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Choosing a System Name in the CMS

Learn how to properly assign a system name to your page.

System name for a page is called 'page name' in the CMS

When the CMS asks for a page name, it refers to the system name. This is distinct from a page title or display name. Similarly, the system name for folders is called 'folder name.'

All components in the CMS must have a system name. The system name is the filename that shows in the left-hand sidebar of the CMS. It also becomes part of the page URL (web address) when combined with the folders it is in. System names must:

  1. Be all lowercase
  2. Use dashes between words instead of blank spaces
  3. Be as short as possible
    1. Single words are best. If you must use multiple words, omit conjunctions like 'and' as well as symbols like '&'
    2. Do not duplicate words in the folder name. Avoid repetitive paths like: /department/department-contacts

Within a given folder, each component must have a unique system name. You can (and will) have duplicate system names in different folders.

Each folder must have a page named "index" - This is the default page that will show up when a user navigates to that folder.


Acceptable system names Unacceptable system names
contact phone-email (unnecessarily long)
add add-new-component (unnecessarily long)
jane-smith Jane Smith (capitalization, space)
joe-deli Joe's_Delicatessen (capitalization, special character, underscore)

When you create a new page or folder, enter the system name in the first field ("Page Name" or "Folder Name"). It will default to the name of the template. Override this with the name of the page. If it's the primary page in a folder, use "index" for the name. If it is any other page or folder, name it something meaningful and short.

Files and images

Files and images you upload to the CMS should also follow the same rules for system names. The system names for files must incldue an extention (e.g., .pdf, .jpg).

Changing a system name

Changing a system name will change the URL (web address) of a page. This will break links to the page (including bookmarks). Do not change a system name without discussing it with the site manager first.

  1. Navigate to the page you want to change
  2. Select the More button
  3. Choose Rename tab

    Rename page screen shot
  4. Under New Page Name, type in a new system name
    Note: Make sure that "Unpublish Content" is checked. This will make the CMS automatically unpublish the page for you so it doesn't live on the server under it's old name forever.

    Finish Rename screen shot
  5. Click Rename
  6. The file will now be renamed in the CMS. The page will be unpublished from the live site. To have the newly remained content appear on the live site, you mush publish it.