How To: Identify and Preserve Old Content

July 27, 2017 | Jason O'Connell, Christina Anderson

As part of our maintenance and upkeep for the CMS, we will be instituting a regular "clean up and removal" process for any inactive (deleted) content or sections found in the system. This blog post will detail how to identify inactive content and sections, how to turn active content or sections inactive, and how to preserve old content or sections for future use while taking it down from the live web server.

Identifying Inactive Content and Sections

Content and sections each have a different display in the CMS user interface when marked inactive. Content that has been "deleted" is turned inactive in the system, which is noted on the content listing screen just to the right of the yellow dropdown menus. Please see the screenshot below for an example of inactive/deleted content.

screenshot of inactive content in the terminalfour cms

Deleted/inactive sections, on the other hand, are highlighted in red.

screenshot of inactive section in the terminalfour cms

Another way to determine the amount of approved, pending, or inactive content on a section is to open up your site hierarchy and check the numbers from the main site structure. The column on the left with the green icon represents approved content, the column in the middle with the yellow icon is pending and the column on the right with a red icon is inactive. If the number under the red (inactive) column is “0,” no content will be removed from that section (unless the section itself is inactive, then it will be all be removed, section included).

Active, Pending, and Inactive Content Listings

Turning Active Content and Sections to Inactive

Also known as deleting, the methods for turning content and sections inactive are similar, though there are multiple ways to accomplish each. Here we will detail the easiest and most straightforward methods. Anytime you see a yellow dropdown menu next to a designated section or piece of content, there is a "Delete" option. Choosing this will turn your section inactive.

Another option is to move any active, pending (highlighted in yellow), or inactive content or sections underneath a separate inactive section. The cleanup process will also remove any content or sections nested underneath an inactive section.

Until now, marking something inactive removed the section or content from the publish and transfer cycle, and also removed it from the live web server. Currently, marking something as inactive will mean it is slated for permanent removal from the CMS. Content or sections that have been turned inactive and subsequently cleaned from the system are unrecoverable.

Preserving Old Content for Future Use

Oftentimes webpages or content are relevant during certain times of the year, but not others. They need to come down from the live web server, but also not be deleted from the CMS so the section or content can be modified for future use. Here is how we suggest accomplishing this task.

Upon request, Web Services will create an "Archive" section for you to store content or sections that need to be preserved. As long as they are NOT marked inactive, any section or content can be moved onto or underneath the "Archive" section where it will be preserved until it is needed in the future. Please send requests for an "Archive" section to

To move content, use the dropdown menus and select "Move," then navigate to and select your "Archive" section in the box that pops up.

To move sections, you can drag and drop them onto the "Archive" section from the main T4 site manager page.

*Special case: Expired content is treated as inactive. If content is marked to expire at a certain date, it must be reactivated or set to pending between the expiration and the next cleanup cycle.

Re-using Old Content

The CMS preserves all updates and modifications made to any content. One way to ensure old content stays in the system is to modify something outdated with new, fresh content. If you need to roll back to the old content, the yellow dropdown menu has a "History" option that lets you view all old versions, including what has been overwritten. Web Services recommends re-using content as much as possible because it keeps an audit trail, and keeps the CMS cleaner and less cluttered.