Changing blog URLs in cloudscribe SimpleContent, and a handy link checker

I’ve been making some systematic improvements to URLs in the Peter Tranchell website. This website is built using cloudscribe and in particular cloudscribe SimpleContent

Most of the specific information about works of music and writing are published using the ‘blog’ tool, which lends itself to searching by categories, dates etc. In fact the site has three blogs, one for news, one for musical works, one for written works, and the last two of these are managed within folder tenants (using cloudscribe’s multi-tenancy capabilities). However by default cloudscribe uses the URL segment /blog/ in pages created in this way, and some people had remarked that this looked a bit odd having the /blog/ segment in pages about specific musical works, e.g.

After a little investigation, I was able to change the music and written works blogs to use the URL segment ‘works’, by changing this line in RoutingAndMvc.cs:

routes.AddBlogRoutesForSimpleContent(new cloudscribe.Core.Web.Components.SiteFolderRouteConstraint());

to this:

routes.AddBlogRoutesForSimpleContent(new cloudscribe.Core.Web.Components.SiteFolderRouteConstraint(), "works");

Having made the changes, the above post is now at

Having done this, I needed to put in place some redirect rules so that any bookmarks or published hyperlinks that used the old URLs would automatically redirect to the new ones. This was achieved with the URL Rewrite module for IIS, and a rule like this:
<rule name="Redirect writings blog to works" stopProcessing="true">
     <match url="^writings/blog/(.*)$" />
     <action type="Redirect" url="/writings/works/{R:1}" redirectType="Temporary" />

With all this done and seeming to work OK, I then used a link checker to see if I’d left any broken links in the site by accident. For this I used a tool that I remembered from many years ago (I found it in some old notes):

This checks up to 2000 hyperlinks free of charge. It did find plenty of broken links, where external websites had moved or removed things, e.g. this History of music at Eastbourne College, which I rediscovered with some searching:

I had linked to this document because it contains some information about Peter Tranchell’s brief spell at Eastbourne College in 1949-50:

Brian Polden (S48) remembers Peter Tranchell: ‘He brought with him an outrageous and infectious sense of fun and was a most gifted musician’. Ian Fraser (Sykes) (P47) remembers: ‘He was a bizarre character, particularly in his very eccentric manner of dress, including multicoloured dressing-gown sashes with tassles instead of a belt, which didn’t go too well with the fur of his academic gown. I vaguely remember the strange music he wrote for one of the school plays, which included a ‘jungle piano’, a small wooden box with pliant metal bars attached which you twanged’.

But none of the broken links had been created by my own actions – phew!