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University Web Services (UWS)



Policies and Procedures

URL Management Guidelines

Requesting a Subdomain:

A subdomain is located in front of the domain in a URL. An example of a subdomain for “library” might look like: where “ucdenver” is the domain and “library” is the subdomain. A subdomain is configured in the university DNS servers and once it’s typed in by a visitor, it redirects them to the complete (and typically longer) location, such as
A university entity can request one primary subdomain through University Web Services (UWS) if their Web site is completely unique in content or purpose and contains a significant amount of content (~ 25 or more pages). Additional subdomains may be granted if deemed appropriate by UWS. Subdomain requests are granted on a “first-come, first serve” basis and requires approval from the entity’s senior management or designee. Requests will be processed within 48 hours after final approval. 

Subdomains previously granted on deprecated university domains such as, and are not guaranteed, will not be automatically migrated to the domain and must be requested through UWS. Integrated University Communications (IUC) and UWS reserves the right to refuse requests deemed inappropriate or likely to be used in the future by CU Denver entities. For example, a subdomain that includes common terms such as “apply,” “contact” and “academics” may be denied due to their potential use for university Web sites . For further clarification, see “Reserved URLs” below. 

Requesting a Subdirectory:

A subdirectory is located after the domain in a URL. An example of a subdirectory for “library” might look like: A subdirectory can be an actual file on the Web server or redirect a visitor to a deeper location in the site.

A university entity can request a subdirectory redirect on the domain through UWS if it does not meet the criteria for requesting a subdomain.  A subdirectory redirect request is granted on a “first-come, first served” bases. IUC and UWS reserves the right to refuse requests considered inappropriate or likely to be used in the future by CU Denver entities. For example, a subdirectory redirect that includes common terms such as “apply,” “contact” and “academics” may be denied due to their potential use for university Web sites. For further clarification, see “Reserved URLs” below. 
Entities considered a division of a parent Web site or entity that uses a subdomain should request a subdirectory redirect using the parent entity’s subdomain. For example, The Business School may choose the subdomain and use subdirectory redirects such as or for each department. A subdirectory redirect request for a subdomain requires approval from the subdomain owner’s senior management or designee.


The “www” and “http://” prefix in a domain was initially used to direct an application to the appropriate service (Web, mail, FTP, etc) on the correct server but it is no longer necessary. A visitor will still access your site if you use the prefix or omit it. However, using the prefix inconsistently may negatively impact search engine rankings because the search engine may see “” and “” as two separate sites. Do not include the “www” prefix when linking to a Web site from electronic formats such as e-mail, Web site, etc. Refrain from using the “www” prefix in printed formats, such as postcards, promotional giveaways (pens, mugs), brochures, etc., unless you feel it has an aesthetic value or makes the URL more recognizable as a Web address. Contact UWS for more information on unique prefix needs such as Secure Socket Layers (SSL), https://.  

Naming Conventions:

Make the URL memorable, intuitive and search engine friendly by using keywords familiar to your visitors. Search engine optimization (SEO) tools, such as Google’s Keyword Tool: (, are a great way to find keyword ideas for a URL. Refrain from using acronyms and abbreviated words in the URL unless the acronym or abbreviation is a keyword familiar to your visitors.

A single word URL may not be as meaningful or specific as multiple words. When using multiple words in a URL, do not separate words with a space or underscore. Spaces may cause the link to break and underscores are indistinguishable from spaces when the link is underlined. Acceptable word separators include hyphens and capitalizing the first letter of each word (sometimes referred to as CamelCase).

Please contact UWS for additional resources or assistance with selecting URL naming conventions.


Conflicts and disputes will be mediated by the Web Administrative Team.

Reserved URLs

IUC and UWS reserve the right to refuse requests for subdomain and subdirectory redirect URLs likely to be used in the future. University entities have exclusive rights to URLs containing or related to their official entity name. The list below includes, but is not limited to, URLs reserved for future use.

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