Carnegie Mellon University


Marketing & Communications with Computing Services


An orphan is an item on a live website that has no corresponding counterpart in the CMS. An orphan is created when an item in the CMS is deleted, moved or renamed without being unpublished. It could have outdated or obsolete information that you don't want on your live site. 

Orphan Report

Regularly request an orphan report. Once orphans are identified, the CMS team can remove them. An orphan can also be removed manually if the need is urgent.

Prevent Orphans

Check unpublish, when deleting, moving or renaming a page/file. 

Step 1: Determine the Orphan URL

Determine the URL of the orphan on the live site (e.g.,

Step 2: Create a Page

  1. Create a new page, in the file structure, matching the orphan URL
  2. Match the name in the orphan URL for system name. Do not include the .html extension. 
  3. Click Submit

Note: If the orphan is a file, such as a PDF, upload a PDF so that is corresponds to the orphan's URL.

Step 3: Unpublish

IMPORTANT: If the published orphan contains content that should be saved, copy it from the web browser and save it before unpublishing.

  1. Unpublish the page/file you created
  2. Visit the orphan URL. Refresh the page if necessary
  3. A "Page Not Found" message should display
  4. Delete the page you created