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WiscWeb - Vanity URLs

This document will walk you through the limitations of vanity URLs and will describe our alternative solution.

Important update

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?

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:

Vanity URL/Domain:

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.

A good question to ask is: "What domain/URL do I want people to go to?" If it differs from what you have now, the site can be re-launched to publish under a new domain. Then, we can redirect the old domain to the new one. To facilitate this process, please fill out a Launch Request Form and choose the radio button for "I am re-building an existing site." 

Limitations of vanity URLs

  • Vanity URLs/Domains can dilute the SEO metrics tied to your primary domain name

Options unsupported by WiscWeb

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 and set up a "Go URL." This URL can be used in print and web/digital marketing, as needed. Additional information about this option are located in goUW - Shortened and Vanity URLs.


  • If you have questions about vanity URLs/Domains, please reach out to the WiscWeb Support Team at

Keywordsvanity URLs, redirect URLs, marketing URLs, vanity Domains, short URLs, go URLs, alternative URL, addDoc ID95382
OwnerJenna K.GroupWiscWeb
Created2019-10-29 11:55:32Updated2024-04-01 09:54:04
SitesDoIT Help Desk, WiscWeb
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