When creating a page, the URL PATH SETTINGS is automatically checked to Generate automatic URL alias.
So, lets say the page is titled "Snakes". Upon publishing the page, the alias will be /content/snakes. If the Generate automatic URL alias were unchecked, the URL would be a machine name like /node/638
When you should change an alias
There are very few situations when you should override the alias to a different one.
However, there are some one-offs when changing the Sites' alias may be useful. If you need an easy simple URL for people to remember, say /contact (instead of /content/contact) you can create an alias for the contact page.
There are two ways to do this, both have identical results.
Uncheck the Generate automatic URL alias box and add in your own alias
In the example above, the alias for the page is now sitename/contact.
NOTE: Sites' automatically generated alias for this page is sitename/content/contact
Alternatively, you can change the alias by going to the URL aliases menu
Click the add alias button.
Enter in both the existing machine URL and the alias to which you want to assign.
IMPORTANT: The Existing System Path field must be the machine name. To find this, go to the corresponding page, make sure the Generate automatic URL alias box is not checked (see above) and copy the URL path.
Aliases and taxonomy terms
When taxonomy terms are created, an alias is automatically generated. For instance, if Samples is entered as a taxonomy term, a URL is created /samples. If the user goes to sitename/samples they will see all content tagged to this URL.
Aliases, taxonomy terms and redirects, Oh My!
Manually editing aliases can have some unintended results. Consider the following example:
If you change the alias of the Documents library from /documents to /content/documents:
- the original alias at /documents is removed
- a Redirect is automatically created (redirect: /documents -> /content/documents)
Now, if a taxonomy term Documents is created (creating an alias at /documents), it will remove the redirect with that same pattern (in this case redirect: /documents -> /content/documents). URL sitename/documents will go to the taxonomy term listing all content tagged with the term. It does not go to the intended document library.