URL and Subdomain Guidelines

URL and Subdomain Guidelines

 

The Office of University Marketing and Communications monitors the use of "friendly" web addresses, subdomains and virtual domains, and evaluates new requests with the goal of continuing to strengthen the Brock University brand.

Instead of giving every entity its own virtual address (or several virtual addresses), Marketing and Communications encourages departments and programs to rely on the Brock domain by referring visitors to their respective home pages (or the University home page) and suggesting they search for the specific entity.

Television, radio and print constantly direct people to websites for more information. Rather than saying "Go to specificinformation.domain.com for more details," they say "Visit domain.com for more details." Then on the domain's homepage, visitors find the details, a link to more information or a search box. It would be faster, perhaps, to go directly to the information, but there's a better chance of a person remembering a broad URL (brocku.ca, for example) than a specific one.

Online and in email, the URL doesn't matter as much. A person can click a link no matter the address. Elsewhere, it serves our visitors best when we are consistent.

Sections of the website that are granted special URLs should be targeted at an external audience (prospective students, parents, donors) rather than an internal audience (employees).

Special marketing, advertising and fundraising campaigns will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please contact webproject@brocku.ca to request your special URL.

Subdomains
Subdomains are created only for central services. These are services that are generally managed by Information Technology Services such as the Learning Management System. (lms.brocku.ca)
 

Marketing and Advertising
Special marketing, advertising and fundraising campaigns will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Please contact webproject@brocku.ca to request your special URL.

Tip
Do not separate words with a space or underscore. Spaces may cause the link to break and underscores are indistinguishable from spaces when the link is underlined. The hyphen is an acceptable word separator.

Friendly URLs
Having clean and search engine friendly URLs is a key factor in how high a site ranks in search engine results. In the age of Google, search engine optimization is extremely important in the success of your site. A large number of visitors will find you by using a search engine.

Traditionally, search engines have shown a preference for static-appearing URLs that are short and have limited parameters. Shorter, cleaner URLs also resonate better with the user. Users can also navigate your site easier when URLs are uniform and reflect the overall site architecture.

Effective URLS:
      • Improve customer site experience with a consistent approach for domain name formats to improve site usability.
      • Make it easier for the search engines to crawl, index and rank your site’s content.

8 Reminders for URL Best Practices
      • Plan a logical hierarchy for your site
      • Be consistent with URLs
      • Incorporate relevant keywords into URLs where possible
      • Use hyphens as word separators
      • Strive to keep URLs short – they will be remembered more
      • Avoid duplicate content with dynamically driven pages/URLs
      • URLs should be in lower case throughout
      • Keep important content as close to the root folder as possible; no more than three folders deep.

 University Content Management System (CMS) 

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