General Vanity Guidelines

Vanity URLs are becoming increasingly less relevant in a digital-predominant society. With the proliferation of digital devices, prevalence of improved search engines, and digital advertising, it is not as necessary to show a printed URL that someone will need to remember and type in themselves.  

As a best practice, please think through how your web page(s) will be communicated. If there is no print component, then you may be able to publicize your page without needing a vanity.

Important: Please ensure that any necessary vanities are approved by the Digital Communications Group first before committing them. If a vanity URL must be used, then we encourage groups to follow these guidelines:

  • The vanity must be specific enough so that another academic or high-level university use of the requested vanity URL would not be requested; we default to academic needs and top-level university needs first
  • The request must not be a working URL
  • The request must be all lowercase letters
  • If the request includes multiple words, they should be concatenated or separated with hyphens (ex. '' or '')
  • If your group has a number of vanity URLs and a pre-existing directory structure, then the request must follow that pre-existing formula (ex. '')
  • We don't permit duplicates (multiple vanities leading to the same destination page) since our goal is to keep redirects as minimal and organized as possible.
  • Avoid trying to account for spelling mistakes or asking for the same vanity with the letters capitalized
  • Vanities are set manually and can’t be timed to automatically become active. Please consider this when making your request.
  • Vanities typically expire after 3, 6, or 12 months. In some cases, a vanity URL may be approved to be permanent.  Consider when your vanity URL may no longer be needed and include this information when requesting.
  • If the vanity replaces something that is no longer needed, please let us know so that we can deactivate the former one.

Taking these best practices into account, please first think about if you do really need a vanity URL, rather than making the request as a matter of course.

Request a Vanity URL

To request a vanity URL, please read and consider the above information. If a vanity is needed, you can make the request via the DigiComm Project Request Form. The request will be vetted for adherence to the above standards, and then be passed onto a resource who will manually set it.

Please be sure to note when the change requested should take effect.