WiscWeb - WordPress UW Theme - Domain Naming Guidelines for WiscWeb

This document will explain the options for choosing a domain for a site that will sit in the WiscWeb multi-site instance.

If you are reserving a new URL for your WiscWeb website, there are certain items that must be considered when choosing your domain name.

 Unsupported domains for WiscWeb

Sub-Directories
WiscWeb sites cannot be published to sub-directories/sub-folders. All new domains under the WiscWeb offering are required to run under their own domain name and can't be published to a sub-folder. Please review the Supported Domains for WiscWeb below and choose a new domain.

Wordpress.com Domains
If you have a Wordpress.com site, we can work with you to transition the content over to WiscWeb. However, we will not be able to host the site under the Wordpress.com domain. Please review the Supported Domains for WiscWeb below and choose a new domain. (Please Note: You will be able to redirect your old URL to a new URL using the instructions provided by WordPress). 

Anything Considered "Unacceptable" in DoIT's DNS Name Selection Policy
WiscWeb follows the campus guidelines for reserving wisc.edu domains. We will not be able to reserve a domain that is considered unacceptable by these standards.

Previously-Established Domains
If a specific domain is already in use, we will not necessarily be able to obtain it for you. Consider alterations to the domain like abbreviations or creating a fourth level domain off of your unit/division/department site. If you have concerns over who owns the domain currently, let us know and we can facilitate that conversation with the other group. 

 Supported Domains for WiscWeb

Third level wisc.edu domains appear as third.wisc.edu (Example: wiscweb.wisc.edu)

The criteria that Hostmasters apply and the chain of escalation for approval of third level domains are outlined in DoIT's DNS Name Selection Policy.

Third level domains require a rationale for their use. The following information is helpful in determining whether or not you meet the requirements of eligibility for a third level domain and should be included in the "Description" area of the WiscWeb New Site Request Form:

  • The scope of the website
  • List all groups or departments that have ownership over the site contents
If the scope of your site lies within one department/division (does not cross departments or divisions), you should build off of the existing department/divisional site using a fourth level domain.

 Fourth Level Campus Domains

Fourth level wisc.edu domains appear as fourth.third.wisc.edu. (Example:  yoursitename.mydepartment.wisc.edu)

Fourth level domains are typically used for sites that have a single affiliation or are contained within a department or group on campus and want to retain that affiliation in the URL. 

You can submit new fourth level domain requests without any additional justification provided the third level domain that you are referencing already exists.

 Purchased Domains from Third-Party Registrars

If you already purchased a domain (.org, .net, etc.) from a third-party domain registrar, you can use it for your new WiscWeb project or we can redirect it to a new wisc.edu domain. 

Please Note: 
  • You or someone in your department will need to have access to the account credentials for your purchased domain so that administrative functions can be performed.
  • Prices of these domains will vary depending on the registrar company and type of domain and you will likely be required to renew it periodically.
  • If you have a purchased domain but would like to use a wisc.edu address, we can help redirect your old address to your new address. Please contact webhosting@doit.wisc.edu

 Tips

Request Fourth Level Domains for Lab Sites
Lab sites on campus typically publish to fourth level domains. These can either reference the larger unit/department/division, or you can choose to publish it as a subdomain under labs.wisc.edu.

Check for Existing Domains
A really easy way to test if a domain is already in use is to just type it into a browser. If it doesn't resolve anywhere, you're probably ok to request it. If it resolves to an existing site or gives you anything other than the "This Site Cannot Be Reached" message, it is unlikely that you'll be approved for the domain as it is probably already in use.

Fourth Level Domains are the Safest Bet
Fourth level domains do not require a justification and aren't as thoroughly regulated as third level domains. If you are concerned your request for a third level domain might be denied, consider a fourth level domain, instead.



Keywords:domain, URL, website, wordpress, DNS   Doc ID:87775
Owner:Jenna K.Group:WiscWeb CMS
Created:2018-11-15 12:38 CSTUpdated:2018-11-28 15:29 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, WiscWeb CMS
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