URL Assignments Policy

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Purpose

The University of Dayton controls the names of its web servers, domains, and resources to ensure that the meaning associated with an electronic resource represents and supports the University’s identity and mission.

The University also controls the peripheral naming schemes associated with URLs, such as vanity URLs, short URLs, and other redirects, for practical management of the University’s collective online presence and search engine optimization.

This policy articulates the appropriate creation and usage of URL naming schemes.

Policy History

Effective Date: August 2012

Approval:  December 17, 2015

Policy History: 

  • Approved in original form: August 2012
  • Approved as amended: December 17, 2015

Maintenance of Policy:  Chief Information Officer

Scope

This policy applies to all units of the University of Dayton.

Definitions

(a) "URL (uniform resource locator)": A World Wide Web address for locating a specific, web‐accessible resource.  URLs are formulated by a standardized scheme of web server names, domain names, resource types, file paths, and file names. Every unique resource is identifiable by its unique URL. Search engine services such as Google and Yahoo catalog URLs and their associated information.

Commonly, a URL may be referenced as the name of a website. For example, the name “google.com” may be invoked as a reference to Google, Inc.’s website located on a Google‐owned web server identified by the URL http://www.google.com/index.htm. When used as a name, a URL assumes meaning beyond its technical function.  

Policy

University of Dayton web domain names are administered and controlled by UDit.

The division of Enrollment Management & Marketing controls the manifestation of the University’s www.udayton.edu domain. No URLs are assigned to this domain unless they directly support the University's marketing or advancement efforts. URLs built off of the www.udayton.edu domain are assigned and managed by UDit using the central content management system.

UDit may refuse or disable a URL that violates the intentions of this policy.

Appeal Process

Appeals may be directed to the Web Advisory and Management Team (WebMAT) through the office of the chief information officer or the office of the vice president for enrollment management and marketing.

Maintenance of Policy

This policy is maintained, implemented, and reviewed by UDit and Enrollment Management and Marketing through the Web Management and Advisory Team (WebMAT), comprised of equal representation from each unit.

Guidelines for Interpretation

Sites on www.udayton.edu/ are named according to function and/or organizational hierarchy and follow the trailing slash. With the exception of marketing and advancement websites, University websites are created according to primary organizational division. These divisions may or may not have additional microsites. Microsite URLs follow the CMS folder structure with the full path name and cannot be shortened.

1.  Exception for URLs created before August 1, 2011

University URLs existing before the August 1, 2011 implementation of the Cascade content management system are honored as vanity URLs and redirected to the replacement URL in the CMS.

2.  Subdomain assignments

Subdomains – where “www” is replaced as the first part of the URL, i.e. subdomain.udayton.edu ‐‐ are reserved for functionally required use and are approved by WebMAT on a case‐by‐case basis. Requests for subdomains must demonstrate functional or business‐critical purposes not otherwise addressable by University services. Subdomain assignments must be requested prior to initiation of contracts, purchases, or other commitments for services not offered by the University of Dayton. Purchases or commitments made without prior consultation with UDit or Marketing Services may be ineligible for receiving subdomain accommodation.

3.  Vanity URL assignments

In very rare circumstances, a vanity URL –‐ created to point to another URL, particularly one formulated to look like a subdomain of udayton.edu – may be approved by the web advisory council based on the purpose or audience of the site. A comprehensive online directory to University offices, departments, and programs eliminates most of the need for convenient, short, readable, or memorable URLs. For use in publications, the base URL of new CMS websites should suffice to deliver the visitor to the area homepage where the visitor will select from well‐conceived navigation to browse to the desired destination. If a more specific destination is required, a short URL may be used.

4.  Short URL assignments

Upon request from a Cascade website manager, UDit may assign a short URL to redirect to a www.udayton.edu URL or other UD‐branded website. Short URLs use “go.udayton.edu/” as the base URL short name appended after the trailing slash. UDit reserves the right to refuse name requests which fail to meet policy standards or which might reasonably or more appropriately be reserved for other use.

5.      Other University of Dayton URLs

In addition to UDit‐operated servers, the University maintains a collection of web servers and databases operated by individual units. Units are responsible for adhering to the intentions of this policy.