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Providence College Web Services Team
Martin Hall, Offices 214 and 302
Phone: (401) 865-2980
Fax: (401) 865-1220

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URL Naming Convention Policies

General URL Policies

Website addresses, or URLs, must meet the following standards and naming conventions.
  1. All lower case.
  2. Only alphanumerical characters- with the exception of the hyphen -.
  3. No acronyms or initials. is preferred over
  4. Urls with multiple words must be separated by hyphens ex: rather than This aids in readabilty making it more descriptive and allowing the user to more easily figure out the address.
  5. Urls must be descriptive- for example- rather than or An obvious url is a greal url. If a user can look at the address bar and make an accurate guess about the content of the page before ever reaching it, it’s a good url. Memorable urls are also easier to share and be recognized by search engines.
  6. Subdomains- subdomains (ex,, etc) are to be used to designate separate systems or servers only.
  7. Web Services reserves the right of final determination on what url names will be used within the sites.

URL Conflicts

When two different groups or individuals want the the same name, the issue will be resolved by the Director of Web Services, whose decision is based on necessity and goals of the instititution.

Vanity URLs

A "Vanity" url, sometimes called an alias url, is a custom url that points to a points to a page or site either on the main site or another site. Vanity urls are often shorter versions of the true url for sites for example; instead of
Vanity urls are significantly more user-friendly, can help you to reach your audience much more readily  and are great for marketing your site.
  1. Only official entities (departments, committees, programs), major events or special sites are eligible for vanity urls.
  2. All vanity urls are redirect urls- they redirect the user automatically to the actual address for your site.
  3. Vanity urls for permanent departments, committees, programs or year-to-year events are permanent.
  4. Vanity urls for one-off or special events are reviewed against the needs of the institution- only events, special activities or other programs that map closely to the highest goals of the institution will be considered for a vanity url. One-off or special event vanity urls are temporary and exist only for the life of the event in question. When the thirty days (30) after the event is over, the vanity url will be deleted.
  5. Mailing campaign vanity urls will remain in place for one year (1). After a year has passed, we will contact you regarding your vanity url. If it is being actively used in a new campaign, we will renew it for another year or potentially make it permanent, depending upon what the Director of Web Services decides.
  6. Vanity urls are to be used strategically, as they have a performance and administrative overhead and their usage should be kept to a minimum- for high-profile department sites (department-level or above),  key initiatives that map closely to institutional goals (such as ) or permanent events that take place every year only. Vanity urls for an individual staff or faculty members page, or for a page that is considered to be a relatively unimportant page in the big picture for Providence College are not candidates for vanity url creation.
  7. Necessity is determined by the Director of Web Services.
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