Subdomains and "Friendly" URLs
The marketing and communications department monitors the use of "friendly" web addresses, subdomains and virtual domains, and evaluates new requests with the goal of continuing to strengthen the www.slu.edu 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 SLU domain by referring visitors to their respective home pages (or the University home page) and suggesting they search for the specific entity. (This works well on our site, which offers a robust, effective search powered by Google.)
This practice strengthens the SLU brand while enhancing usability for site visitors. The more we rely on the address www.slu.edu, the more memorable the address will become -- and every subsection of the site benefits.
Television, radio and print constantly direct people to websites for more information. But what they say is not: "Go to specificinformation.domain.com for more details"; they say, "Visit domain.com for more details." Then on the domain's homepage, visitors can 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 (nbc.com, for example) instead of a specific one.
Online and in email, the URL doesn't matter as much. A person can click a link no matter the address, and links can be named anything (not necessarily the actual address).
Existing friendly and virtual URLs will remain.
New requests must meet the following guidelines:
- The URLs should point to a distinctive service, either the top level of something big or a stand-alone entity.
- Good Uses:
- business.slu.edu (a school)
- mail.slu.edu (direct access to Web-based e-mail)
- sga.slu.edu (high profile, broad appeal student organization)
- Poor Uses:
- oca.slu.edu (School of Medicine's Office of Curricular Affairs, which has a much better and natural URL of medschool.slu.edu/curriculum)
- giftseminar.slu.edu (generic-sounding, not meaningful)
- Good Uses:
- The target audience should be chiefly external (prospective students, parents, donors), not internal SLU (employees).
- Entities will be granted a new friendly or virtual URL only if they are in the Ingeniux CMS. Non CMS-based sites will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- Colleges/schools and administrative departments each may have one virtual URL.
- EX: business.slu.edu
- Special marketing, advertising and fundraising campaigns will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
- There is a 20-character limit on the variable word(s).
The marketing and communications department reserves the right to evaluate all other requests.