This document will walk you through the limitations of vanity URLs and will describe our alternative solution.
At this time, we are not taking new requests for vanity URLs or vanity domains for WiscWeb websites and URLs. Please review the info below and consider the alternative options.
- What is a vanity URL/Domain?
- Is a Vanity URL Needed?
- Limitations of Vanity URLs
- Alternative Options
What is a Vanity URL/Domain?
A vanity URL or vanity Domain is a unique web address that is commonly used (at least, on campus) for the sole purpose of redirecting to a longer address or one that might be difficult to memorize/remember. This is typically something used for marketing purposes to shorten the URL listed in printed materials, social media, or other websites.
The following is an example:
Regular Web Address: something.wisc.edu/staff/bucky-badger
Vanity URL/Domain: bucky.wisc.edu
Is a Vanity URL Needed?
In most cases, it is unlikely that a vanity URL is actually needed. Most web addresses are short enough to be remembered or are already provided as an active link in documentation and therefore, a shorter URL is not required.
Limitations of Vanity URLs
- Vanity URLs/Domains can dilute the SEO metrics tied to your primary domain name
At UW-Madison, we have a tool meant for the purpose of shortening URLs, which can be helpful when the web address is too long or difficult to remember.
If you require a short URL for a web address, please navigate to go.wisc.edu and set up a "Go URL." This URL can be used in print and web/digital marketing, as needed.