URLs and Redirects

User level: Site Owner; Site Administrator

Redirect or alias?

Confused about redirects and aliases? An alias gives your Mosaic page a readable URL instead of the node id (e.g. https://yoursite.web.ox.ac.uk/about-us instead of https://yoursite.web.ox.ac.uk/node/148509). Pages can have more than one alias. A redirect tells the browser to go to a different URL. They are usually used to redirect to a different site, but read on for other use-cases.


To create and manage page aliases, redirects for individual pages and redirects for batches of pages go to Site Settings > URLs and Redirects

URLs and Redirects screen

The .web address of your site is tied to the Mosaic platform and cannot be taken elsewhere to use with a non-Mosaic site if you decide to leave the platform. If the .web address is your primary domain and you decide to leave the Mosaic platform, you can also use this redirects functionality to maintain search engine optimisation during the transition to a new site. 

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A url alias is an additional custom url for an item. This can be used to add an alternative url to link to a page, or to simplify a URL and/or make it more user-friendly e.g. www.mymosaicsite.ox.ac.uk/events/marketing/marketingevent1 could be given an alias of www.mymosaicsite.ox.ac.uk/customname.

More than one alias can be defined for a page. Aliases can be used to support changes to page paths when the domain has moved onto a Mosaic site from an old site.

It is usually easier to edit URL aliases from within each page's Settings screen. See the Page Settings documentation for more information.

A specific page can be redirected to a different specific page on a different site e.g. /holinshed to http://english.nsms.ox.ac.uk/holinshed. Simply define the source (omitting the Mosaic domain name) and the full URL of the destination.

If you need to redirect a page to another URL within your Mosaic site, then use an 'alias'. See above section.

Manage individual redirects


Note that 404 responses are cached by the web server for 15 minutes, so if you add a new redirect it may take up to 15 minutes before that redirect takes effect.

In addition to individual redirects, you can create rules that apply to many pages.

Redirects can be used within your Mosaic site, or to a 3rd party site.

Multiple pages to a single page

  • Pages that contain a particular path can be redirected to an individual page e.g. /event/workshops/* resolves to an individual page: /our_workshops. Note, the asterix represents any path after the forward slash e.g. /event/workshops/page1 or /event/workshops/pages/page2

Pages with a sub path snippet, redirected to another page (using the same sub path snippet)

  • In this example (/learningzone/* to http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/*/index.html) any pages with a path that includes the prefix /learningzone/* will be redirected to an index page that includes a path that is the same as the source e.g. /learningzone/insects/page1 to http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/insects/index.html. Instead of 'insects' this could have been minerals and the user would be redirected to /minerals/index.html instead i.e. anything represented by the asterix in the source path will be replaced in the destination URL

Swap the URL, but retain the page name

  • Very similar to the example above
  • Use this if you want to retain the page name (potentially including a sub path) of a URL, but replace the first part of the path. e.g.  /archive/news/2015/* to /articles/* . In this example all pages after 2015/ will be redirected to a new path, but include the same page name e.g. /archive/news/2015/mypage to /articles/mypage
  • The above example is for redirection within a Mosaic site, but this can also be used for redirecting to a 3rd party site e.g. /learningzone/insects/page1 to http://www.oum.ox.ac.uk/thezone/page1

See examples in the screenshot below:

Screenshot of Mosaic interface


Note that 404 responses are cached by the web server for 15 minutes, so if you add a new redirect it may take up to 15 minutes before that redirect takes effect.

This section provides details of which pages have been requested by users, but do not exist on the site. You should define url aliases for the most frequently requested urls so the user can be sent to an appropriate page instead of seeing the missing page (404) message.

If the user links to a page that does not exist on your site, then they will see the site's 404 message. You can customise this in this section.