CMS: Choosing a System Name


Learn how to properly assign or change a system name for your page

Critical Concepts


System names must:

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

Note: If you use a system name that contains spaces or capitals, the CMS will suggest a compliant system name: 

Asset naming screenshot

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 NamesUnacceptable System Names
contactphone-email (unnecessarily long)
addadd-new-component (unnecessarily long)
jane-smithJane Smith (capitalization, space)
joe-deliJoe's_Delicatessen (capitalization, special character, underscore)
californiacalifornia.state.documents (unnecessarily long, special characters)

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 include an extension (e.g., .pdf, .jpg).

Steps to Take

Changing a System Name

Changing a system name will change the URL (web address) of a page and 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 on the white menu at the top right of the page.
  3. Choose Rename.

  4. Under New Page Name, type in a new system name.
    1. 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, with no way to change it.

  5. Click Rename. The file will now be renamed in the CMS. The page will be unpublished from the live site.
  6. To have the newly renamed content appear on the live site, you mush publish it.
  7. Republish. The links in the site that link to the page with the changed name will be broken. They will update in the CMS, but won't be fixed on the live site until those pages are published. Also republish any pages that have the changed page in the navigation. For many CMS sites, that means the whole site needs to be republished.