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Get a custom domain

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To set up your Stanford Site with a user—and search engine—friendly URL you will need to request and configure a custom domain. 

What is a URL?

URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator. A URL is an address that points to a unique resource like an HTML page, a CSS document, an image, or a video. It’s the information you type into the web browser that directs you to a location on the web.

What is a custom domain?

A custom website domain provides a more user-friendly and often shorter and more memorable name for users to remember to access your website. Using a custom domain for your site means the URL will remain constant as a user browses your site. (E.g., is a custom domain name.)

What types of URLs are there?

There are four types of URLs you can use with Stanford Sites: 

  • The default URL, which follows the pattern This URL will continue to function even after a custom domain has been applied to the site. Sites that only have a default URL are not considered "launched" by Stanford Web Services.
  • A custom domain. These are appropriate for official stanford units and must adhere to the URL policy set forth by University Communications.
  • A custom domain. These are appropriate for personal sites on Stanford Sites. The sitename must be a version of the site owner's name.
  • A redirect. In cases where you have a section of your site that is large or important enough to require a custom URL, you can create a redirect to a portion of your site using the tool. This can also be useful if your department or unit changes names and you want to temporarily redirect using the old URL.

We strongly recommend that you use a custom domain. This will give you the most flexibility in terms of managing URLs to your site long-term, including the ability to re-launch the site should you ever undertake a redesign, reorganization, or a change in underlying technology. To get a custom domain on your site, please submit a launch request.