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Deleting and archiving content

Remember that Contentful is a very interconnected system of content. Pages reference components, assemblies, data entries and other pages. And even the smallest bits of content, like an inline callout component, are connected to the pages and other, larger blocks that reference them.

Before you can delete a content entry, you need to disconnect it from other content. Which means you need to remove the other content attached to the entry, and also go to any content linking back to your entry and remove it as well. Make sense? Deleting content that is still connected to other content can break the system (in the form of disabling its ability to publish).

And before you do any of that, if a page you’re deleting is live on our website, you need to set up a redirect from it first, so future visitors to your poor deleted page won’t go to a 404 page instead (which Google doesn’t take kindly too, either). Read our guide to creating redirects.

To delete a page:

  1. In the rich text editor (RTE):

    1. remove any embedded content including images (click the block’s 3 dots and select Remove)

    2. delete any hypertext links - or just do a select-all (Ctrl + A) and delete if that’s easier

  2. Below the RTE:

    1. Remove all other added content

    2. Remove the metadata (Page information component)

  3. In the sidebar:

    1. Click any links under LINKS – each will open in a new browser tab

    2. For each item, remove any links or references to the page you’re trying to delete

  4. Once all connections are removed in the original page:

    1. Click the 3 dots upper right and select Delete

    2. A window will ask if you want to permanently delete. If there is still other content connected to the page, it will show what that is and link you to it.

c. If you’re satisfied that all other content is disconnected, click Permanently delete.

That page will then be unretrievable. So consider potentially Archiving the page instead if you think you might need it again at some point.

To archive a page

If you need to remove a page from the website but not delete it - like for a seasonal event page you might use next year - you can archive it and set up a temporary (302) redirect.

With archiving, you don’t need to remove and disconnect all the content being referenced, but you do need to change the links in any other content linking back to your page.

  1. Set up a redirect from the page you’re about to archive

  2. Disconnect links to the page. Using Links in the sidebar, go to the other content (they’ll open in new tabs) and remove or change the links.

  3. Click the Change status button and select Archive. You’ll be prompted if other content is still linked to your page.

Once archived, your page will disappear from the main content dashboard. But never fear, it’s just hiding in the shadows, ready to be unarchived some day and happily used again. In your left sidebar, under STATUS, click Archive to display all archived content in the dashboard. From there you can unarchive or delete.

Any questions? Email Lindsay Foley in the Central Digital team.

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