ShopSite Tip – Renaming a Page Filename or Moreinfo Filename Now Deletes the Old File

We recently stumbled upon this little known change in ShopSite ® a few weeks ago. It can be quite handy to use, and to know that this functionality now exists in the software.

In Version 10 SP1, ShopSite altered what happens when you change a filename for either a page or more information page in the backoffice.

What happened before?

Previously, when you changed a filename for a page, the old file was never deleted and became orphaned. This meant the web page still existed, but was no longer being updated.

This could lead to visitors finding the old page in a search engine, and seeing outdated or incorrect information. The workarounds in the past included:

  • 1. Going in via FTP and deleting the old file
  • 2. Creating a test page with the same filename as the old filename and then deleting the page in ShopSite (and saying yes to delete the physical file)
  • 3. Setting up a permanent 301 redirect to redirect users and search engines to the new location (this should be done regardless)
  • 4. Editing the content on the old page to include a link to the new page

What happens now?

The old system required additional manual changes in order to easily keep things clean. Many merchants would often forget to do this, and over time hundreds (or thousands in some cases) of old outdated files would accumulate in their store, and still be indexed by Google, leading to shopper confusion.

Starting with version 10 SP1, if a merchant changes the filename of a page in the ShopSite backoffice (not via database upload) and clicks “Save”, the old filename is instantly renamed to the new filename on the server. The content of the page does not change until after the Publish button is clicked, but the filename (i.e. URL) of the page is updated right away to the new name.

This is important to realize, as merchants used to the old method may not be expecting their old filenames to be renamed by ShopSite directly. If you relied on the old filename/content still being in place, you will need to create a new page as a placeholder, or copy your old page to a different name before renaming the filename.

For most merchants, this is a great feature, as it eliminates the extra steps of getting rid of the old page / content when you change the file name of a page (just “set it and forget it”).

Don’t forget the 301 redirect

As we discussed in a previous post, it’s important to setup a 301 redirect so both human beings and search engines are properly directed to the new content / location. Failing to do this could result in 404 not found errors or viewing/indexing old outdated information, neither of which are good for your store.

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