Vanity URL Guidelines

Updated March 6th, 2002


UWM has the ability to create `vanity' web addresses as aliases to web materials. This allows a page with a `real' name such as www.uwm.edu/Dept/MyName/index.html to be accessed via a name of the form www.myname.uwm.edu. This not only results in a shorter name but also can eliminate much confusion when communicating a web address orally.

Requests for Vanity URLs

The following guidelines apply to such aliases:

  • All such URLs will be of the form www.abcxyz.uwm.edu where abcxyz is chosen denote the unit or function to whose home page the vanity URL refers.
  • The abcxyz chosen must be unique enough to unambiguously indicate the UWM unit or program involved. E.g., avoiding acronyms or key words that are shared with other UWM entities.
  • Any unit of UWM down to the level of department/center/institute may have one such URL directed to their home page.
  • Any department offering a degree program with a name that differs from that of the department may have a vanity URL directed to that degree progarm's materials.
  • Any SOAR-recognized student organization may have one such URL directed to their home page.
  • Requests for URLs for purposes other than the above (e.g., for special publications or activities) will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Some criteria would be that there be a significant off-campus audience and that the unit's own URL would not be an appropriate route to the material.
  • New URLs will only be created for pages that are fully in compliance with current campus standards. For departmental home pages see http://www.uwm.edu/policy/standards.html, or for student organizations see http://www.uwm.edu/policy/soar-www.html, for a discussion of these requirements.
  • Requests for vanity URLs may be e-mailed to the UWM Webmaster (mhostad@uwm.edu) or to www@uwm.edu. To ensure authenticity, requests should originate from either unit's administrator or from the account owning its home page.

Technical notes

Vanity URLs are targeted at a directory on the web server, not to an individual file. A vanity URL by itself is equivalent to accessing the index.html file in the target directory.

Note also that vanity URL aliases are immediately redirected to the underlying `real' address. That is what the visitor will still see as their web location. If they book-mark the page, the real address is what is book-marked.