How to create, move, delete, and edit pages

This article describes how to create, move, delete, or edit a page. In all these instances, it's a good idea to check our guidelines for What we write to confirm if any of these actions should be taken and discuss it with the MDN Web Docs team before proceeding.

Creating pages

All pages on MDN Web Docs are authored in markdown format. The content is written in a file named index.md, which is stored in its own unique directory. The directory name represents the name of the page. For example, if align-content is a new CSS property for which you want to create a new reference page, you'd create a folder in en-us/web/css named align-content and create a file called index.md inside it.

Note: The name of the directory differs slightly from the slug of the page. Most notably, the slug follows sentence casing.

There are a lot of different page types with certain structures and supporting page templates for them, which you can copy to get you started.

A document's index.md file must start with front matter that defines the title, slug, page-type, and tags. All of this front matter information can be found in the aforementioned page templates. Alternatively, you might find it helpful to refer to the front matter within a similar document's index.md.

The general step-by-step process for creating a page would be:

  1. Start a fresh, up-to-date branch to work in.
    cd ~/repos/mdn/content
    git checkout main
    git pull mdn main
    # Run "yarn" again to ensure you've
    # installed the latest Yari dependency.
    yarn
    git checkout -b my-add
    
  2. Create one or more new document folders, each with their own index.md files.
  3. Add and commit your new files as well as push your new branch to your fork.
    git add files/en-us/folder/you/created
    git commit -m "appropriate message about your changes"
    git push -u origin my-add
    
  4. Create your pull request.

Moving pages

Moving one or more documents or an entire tree of documents is easy because we've created a special command that takes care of the details for you:

yarn content move <from-slug> <to-slug> [locale]

You just have to specify the slug of the existing document that you'd like to move (e.g., Learn/Accessibility), as well as the slug of its new location (e.g., Learn/A11y), optionally followed by the locale of the existing document (defaults to en-US).

If the existing document that you'd like to move has child documents (i.e., it represents a document tree), the yarn content move command will move the entire tree.

For example, let's say you want to move the entire /en-US/Learn/Accessibility tree to /en-US/Learn/A11y, you'd perform the following steps:

  1. You'll start a fresh branch to work in.
    cd ~/repos/mdn/content
    git checkout main
    git pull mdn main
    # Run "yarn" again just to ensure you've
    # installed the latest Yari dependency.
    yarn
    git checkout -b my-move
    
  2. Perform the move (which will delete and modify existing files as well as create new files).
    yarn content move Learn/Accessibility Learn/A11y
    
  3. Add and commit all of the deleted, created, and modified files as well as push your branch to your fork.
    git commit -a
    git push -u origin my-move
    
  4. Create your pull request.

Note: yarn content move automatically adds the necessary redirect information to the _redirects.txt file so that the old location will redirect to the new one. Don't edit the _redirects.txt file manually! Mistakes can easily creep in if you do. If you need to add a redirect without moving a file, talk to the MDN Web Docs team about it.

Deleting pages

Documents should only be removed from MDN Web Docs under special circumstances. If you are thinking about deleting pages, please discuss it with the MDN Web Docs team first.

Deleting one or more documents or an entire tree of documents is easy, just like moving pages, because we've created a special command that takes care of the details for you:

yarn content delete <document-slug> [locale]

Note: You need to use the yarn content delete command to delete pages from MDN Web Docs. Don't just delete their directories from the repo. The yarn content delete command also handles other necessary changes such as updating the _wikihistory.json file.

You just have to specify the slug of the existing document that you'd like to delete (e.g., Learn/Accessibility), optionally followed by the locale of the existing document (defaults to en-US).

If the existing document that you'd like to delete has child documents (i.e., it represents a document tree), you must also specify the -r, --recursive option, otherwise the command will fail.

For example, if you want to delete the entire /en-US/Learn/Accessibility tree, you'd perform the following steps:

  1. You'll start a fresh branch to work in.
    cd ~/repos/mdn/content
    git checkout main
    git pull mdn main
    # Run "yarn" again just to ensure you've
    # installed the latest Yari dependency.
    yarn
    git checkout -b my-delete
    
  2. Perform the delete.
    yarn content delete Learn/Accessibility --recursive
    
  3. Add a redirect. The target page can be an external URL or another page on MDN Web Docs.
    yarn content add-redirect /en-US/path/of/deleted/page /en-US/path/of/target/page
    
  4. Add and commit all of the deleted files as well as push your branch to your fork.
    git commit -a
    git push -u origin my-delete
    
  5. Create your pull request.

Note: If the slug of the page you wish to delete contains special characters, include it in quotes, like so:

yarn content delete "Mozilla/Add-ons/WebExtensions/Debugging_(before_Firefox_50)"

Removing content from MDN Web Docs will inevitably result in updating the existing content as well. As a lot of articles link to others, the removed content will likely be referenced elsewhere. Adding the redirect will mitigate the impact of removing content; however, it's best practice to edit content to reflect the change and include the content edits along with the removal pull request.

Editing existing pages

To edit a page, you need to find the page source in our content repository. The easiest way to find it is to navigate to the page you want to edit, go to the bottom of the page, and click on the "Source on GitHub" link.

Preview changes

If you are editing the page locally, to see what your changes look like you can go to the content repo folder, execute the CLI command yarn start, go to localhost:5042 in your browser, and navigate to the page and view it. Enter the title in the search box to find it easily. The previewed page will update in the browser as you edit the source.

Edit tags

You can add or remove tags, which describe the page's content and purpose, in the "tags" list at the top of the page source. See How to tag pages for information about which tags to apply.

Attach files

To attach a file to your article, you just need to include it in the same directory as the article's index.md file. Include the file in your page, typically via an <a> element.