George Mason University
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George Mason University

Unpublishing and Deleting Pages

There might come a time when a page needs to be retired. In other cases, a page serves a temporary purpose (graduation, for example), and doesn't need to be live all year.

In those cases, we'll remove a page from public view, so it won't clutter up a user's search. There are two ways to do this:

  • Unpublishing. Uncheck the Publish box, then save the page. Sounds simple, right? Not so fast. If you have other pages on this site linking to the unpublished page, those links will still be there. And if the page is unpublished, anyone who clicks on a link will be directed to a page that says, "You're not authorized to view this content." Ouch. Another issue: If the unpublished page has child pages, you've just made those children a lot harder to find. These problems make for a bad user experience. We try to avoid those.

  • Deleting. Think carefully before doing this, then think again. If a page is deleted, you can't get it back. There is no undo option. And if the page you delete has child pages, they might go away, too. One of the staffers at our vendor, Digital Wave, accidentally deleted a page with child pages. All of them had to be rebuilt from scratch. For safety's sake, selecting Delete will take you through a second step, where you must confirm that you want to delete a page. If you're at all unsure, select Cancel — and think some more.

Most of the time, your best option will be unpublishing. The page won't be visible to the public, and it won't hurt anything to have it tucked away in the Mason Drupal Platform.

Time-Sensitive Pages

Many sites put up convocation/graduation/degree celebration pages periodically throughout the year. They essentially have the same information, whether it's for the winter or spring events. Instead of building the page anew each time, you can simply unpublish the existing page when it's time to come down. When you want to put it up again, all you have to do is update the content, put fresh photos in, and publish.

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