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Renaming a page is fairly easy, but is only called differently in MediaWiki: "move". If you want to rename a page, all you do is move it to another, new name. The old page stays existent, only it is empty and (mostly) has a hint of the move to the new page as well as a redirect to the new page (so that all links stay valid).

What it means to move a page

So, moving (renaming) a page means giving it another name. This is done by using the tab at the top. The tab is only visible when you are logged in. Then simply enter the new name and click "Move page". Normally you would want to leave the "Move associated talk page" option ticked.

If you move page "A" to a new title "B", this operation will do the following:

  • Renames the title of page "A" as "B"
  • Renames all the editing history of page "A" as of page "B" as well
  • The page "A" will change into a redirect to page "B" and page "B" will be "copied" with all the original content.

The second point is important: By using the "Move" feature, you also move the editing history, which is desirable in most situations. The editing history allows people to see how the contents of the page were built up, and who contributed what. If you move contents around by copying and pasting (not using the move feature), you do not achieve this (see also Help:Tracking changes). Before moving, check all the pages that are linking to the page you want to move. You can do this in the list in the "What links here" feature, which can be accessed through the link in the Tools (at bottom of the sidebar on the left). The move operation usually leaves behind a redirect (see Help:Redirects), it should not result in any broken links, however you might want to hunt down pages or other redirects which link in to the redirect, and change their text to link directly to the new title. If you do not want to create a redirect, uncheck the box (you will need to have the user right suppressredirect (administrator) to do so). This is only useful in rare cases. If you are not sure, keep the box for redirect checked.

When to rename a page

There are several reasons to rename a page:

  • Spelling errors (including wrong accents)
    • Miguel Cálo > Miguel Caló
    • Carlos di Srali > Carlos di Sarli
  • Naming conventions
    • 2015 Festival name > Festival name 2015
  • Disambiguation
    • Juan D'Arienzo > Juan D'Arienzo (person) & Juan D'Arienzo (orchestra)
    • Buenos Aires > Buenos Aires (tango) & Buenos Aires (city)
  • Titles, that describe the article better

If you are logged in, you can move/rename a page. Before renaming a page, please consider the following questions:

  • What's the reason for the renaming?
  • Does the target name already exist in the wiki? (If so, you cannot rename the page)
  • How many pages link to this page? Has the page renamed before? (See What links here under "Toolbox" in the left sidebar)
  • Might it be better to rise the question at the discussion page before renaming? (Do so especially, if many links point to the page)

How to rename a page

If you are happy with all the answers to the questions above, move on with renaming:

  1. Click on the down arrow button in the edit bar at the right top and choose "Move".
  2. Choose a namespace and the new name (the namespace will stay the same, most of the time).
  3. Write a reason for the renaming.
  4. Hit "Move page".

Proposing a move

If you move a page that might cause upset or could be controversial, propose the move first. Do this by leaving a note giving your reasons on the discussion/talk page. At the same time, include the messagebox Move on top of the page. Do so, especially if you are not the original creator of the page.

Undo a move

As with all wiki editing, a move operation can be reversed. To reverse a move operation, simply move the page back, e.g. move page "B" back to "A".

The page title "B" will still be left behind, as a redirect from "B" to "A".

See also