Why Are URLs for RiSE Pages So Repetitive?

Have you ever looked at the web address (URL) for a RiSE page and wondered why it seems so repetitive? For example, the link "http://www.mycompany.org/MBRR/About/MBRR/About/About.aspx?hkey=d9467c06-942d-4f48-99b6-1016919f25a2" seems to repeat things like "MBRR" and "About". Let's dissect that URL and explain how RiSE URLs are structured.

What Are We Working With?

There are a couple of things to be aware of before learning about the structure of a RiSE URL:

  1. This repetitive nature will normally come from links that were added to the site's sitemap in the staff site > RiSE > Site Builder > Manage Sitemaps.
  2. The protocol (http/https), domain name (i.e. www.yourcompany.org) and the URL parameters (anything after the question mark -- hkey, websitekey, etc.) can all be ignored for the purposes of this article -- we only care about the relative path to the page

    Instead of this: "http://www.yourcompany.org/MBRR/About/MBRR/About/About.aspx?hkey=d9467c06-942d-4f48-99b6-1016919f25a2"

    We'll be dissecting this: "/MBRR/About/MBRR/About/About.aspx"

What Are the Parts of the URL and Where Do They Come From?

There are three distinct pieces of a RiSE URL that each perform a specific function.

1) The Site Name - /MBRR/About/MBRR/About/About.aspx

This part comes from the "URL name of this website" field for the site definition in RiSE > Site Builder > Manage websites.

URL name of this website

It tells iMIS which RiSE Website the page should be loaded in. RiSE is capable of housing multiple websites across multiple domain names, so this part of the URL is critical to ensuring that the site will be loaded in the intended template and theme. In other words, if this isn't included then RiSE will have to guess at what your page should look like. When that is the case, the page will normally be loaded in the same template as the last page of your site that they visited. If this is the first page on your site that they've visited then it will be loaded in the system's "default" website, but it is not uncommon for the correct page content to load in an incorrect/unintended design.

2) The Sitemap - /MBRR/About/MBRR/About/About.aspx

This part comes from the location of the link in the website sitemap's hierarchy in RiSE > Site Builder > Manage sitemaps.

sitemap link

It tells the RiSE website which section of the sitemap this page should be loaded in. When browsing a RiSE site, if you click a page in the "About" section of that site then the "About" menu item will be highlighted at the top of the page, and the "About" section's sidebar menu will be displayed automatically.

Context highlighting

Just like with the site name, if this part is excluded then RiSE will have to guess about which menu item to highlight at the top, and which sidebar menu to display. In that case, RiSE will usually highlight the menu for and display the sidebar for whichever page the user came from. If this page is the first they've visited then it will not display either of those things (highlighting or sidebar).

3) The Page Location - /MBRR/About/MBRR/About/About.aspx

This part comes from the location of the page in the website's content hierarchy in RiSE > Page Builder > Manage content.

Content location in RiSE

This portion of the URL tells the system where on the server the actual page content is located. RiSE pages will load (no matter how unpredictably) if the website name and sitemap location are omitted, but the content page location is required for a standard RiSE link to work.