We have a site that has been used across our company for a couple of years. It uses managed navigation to create friendly urls and includes a lot of published content and several different discussion forums. For us it has been a very successful site with a lot of usage.

The original navigation menu at the top of the page was fairly shallow with just a few choices that lead to landing/query pages that then went further into the content. This was a specific decision made early in the design process and has worked okay, but in our user surveys we've heard that we need to improve the navigation.

What we have

For example the site caters to some different groups without our structure -- the admin group, the user group, and general interest group. Currently the top navigation menu just has a menu item for Groups and the groups landing page shows a bit of information about the three actual groups.

  • Groups (in nav and friendly url)
    • Admins (friendly url only)
    • Users (friendly url only)
    • General topics (friendly url only)

Many people have bookmarked the friendly urls to their specific group(s) and we have a lot of collateral materials with links directly to friendly urls like site/groups/admins or site/groups/admins/discussions.

What we want to do

Our interviews with users has suggested that we switch to more of a mega-menu style with headings and rearrange some of the orders. We want to rearrange and repin existing nodes to new places, but we want to keep the existing urls because they have been popular and used for years.

  • Get involved (heading only non-clickable)
    • Groups (heading only non-clickable)
      • Admins (Link to /site/groups/admins)
      • Users (Link to /site/groups/users)
      • General interest (Link to /site/groups/general)
      • All groups (Link to /site/groups)
    • Some new ways to get involved
      • So on and so forth

The new menu items are no problem because they are new things and we can easily add. The issue is with rearranging the exiting navigation terms. For example groups used to be a first level node, but now it is organized down two levels. That means the managed navigation is trying to put the page at site/involved/groups/admins.

I realized I could go into the term store and configure the friendly url. I tried to set the value of the Get involved node to be blank and it did let me do it.

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The navigation updated and when I hover over the link in the menu it does show the url I want site/groups/admins, but when I click the link in the nav it gives me a page not found error. So I don't think that will actually work.

Another solutions I'm thinking of, is to create a whole shadow navigation that keeps the original urls, but hides them from the nav, and then a new set of nodes to show in the nav. These would provide the needed structure at new urls, and then all those new urls would point to a redirect page that would go to the old known urls. Seems very labor intensive and likely to break or be difficult to keep up.

Any other suggestions on how we can rework our nav, but keep existing urls? (We are only site collection admins, no access to central admin or that kind of stuff).

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