University Web Developers

University Web Developers

I was just curious what other people's experience has been with using subdomains for different departments/schools instead of regular subfolders (which is what we currently use). For example:

www.yourschool.edu/department

vs.

department.yourschool.edu

From a usability perspective, is one or the other more natural to your site visitors?

From a technical perspective, has using a subdomain caused any problems with linking, cross-domain scripting, etc.?

Views: 381

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

My preference has always been department.yourschool.edu.
We do not allow subdomains to be used by our departments/colleges/units. Our main reason was because prior to a site redesign several years ago our departments all appeared to have a separate identity - some completely unrecognizable as part of Southeastern. We worked very hard to create a unified, consistent presence for our Web site and with the support of our administration decided that all Southeastern Web sites should be a subfolder under our main www.selu.edu url. From a web management perspective this makes it much easier to keep up with as well since we don't have to keep track of 20 to 30 different subdomains. We received a little resistance at first because we had to actually remove a few subdomains but overall everyone was supportive of the decision.
I have found telling someone go to: department.yourschool.edu they will type in www.department.yourschool.edu . Yes, you could setup forwarders I know. I find subfolders relieve this issue.
I work at the college level of a university and at my level, we mainly use subdomains. Subdomains seem to be more intuitive and easier for marketing. For example, printed materials look better with clean URLs.
We do a lot of 'short urls' or redirects for marketing purposes. Many of our offices and departments have redirects like www.selu.edu/housing, www.selu.edu/admissions, etc.

We do the same, w/o the www. (callutheran.edu/shortcut)

My university uses subfolders. For the longest time I thought we were just "behind the times,"but the points Amber L makes are very reasonable. Thank you for that point of view!
We do mostly subdomains for the larger depts and colleges, but then subfolders for the smaller depts in those colleges. It seems to show that one is a part of the larger.
ex. engineeringcollege.school.edu/civil
That is how I prefer it, but honestly we have some that do both. If they want a subdomain we'll do it.
My understanding is that, if used correctly, subdomains may improve your search results or provide for "friendlier urls" or identities for marketing purposes. However, content management (e.g., potential duplication) and server administration (e.g., domain upkeep) is probably going to be more challenging

IMHO, I think subfolders are easier all the way around. More intuitive from an technical perspective. From a usability perspective. I think all but the most casual site visitors are attuned to using a slash to get around.

Eventually, it all depends on strategy and resources, no?
We use subfolders for sites housed on the main server and subdomains for those house on other servers. I actually blogged about this recently at http://blog.case.edu/webdev/2008/10/04/subdomain.html as people kept asking me why they couldn't have a subdomain and I had to keep explaining that it wouldn't really give them an advantage.
While I appreciate what you are saying, Heidi, about subdomains having little impact on marketing,
I'll have to confess that I'm not in agreement. It does have an impact on perception, and marketing
is very much about perception. I have been involved with many, many startup things where we picked
a name just so it worked as a URL. There is a bit of a "vanity license plate" effect, where even if you think
it doesn't matter, it matters to the person that has it, too. That said, one could ask who really needs to have a "front door" site within a university "enterprise" for which a domain name gets used. The larger the university, the more sense it makes, that's also an observation I would make.

I would only go to the 3 level, the service.school.edu, that's the limit of where it makes sense. I have
seen folks try to go for more levels, typically in governmental sites (or edu in the UK), and after 3 it
just feels totally bureaucratic.

At my school, we do hand out these 3rd level names upon request. If there is some issue with
the appropriateness of the names or we think some name should be reserved, then a discussion
ensues.
Dirk,
I think I get your point. The people at Case who request subdomains certainly do have the perception that it helps, but from an enduser point what I've read seems to indicate it doesn't make much difference. It may also be easier to manage on a smaller site like WCU. For Case with 347,000 pages indexed on Google (not counting internal pages) limiting subdomains to sites housed on other servers helps us from both an administrative and navigational standpoint.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Profile IconBen L., John Nathan Parker and Jeffrey Green joined University Web Developers
yesterday
Mark Mazelin posted a discussion

Website Translation Services

I've been tasked with getting some of our website translated into Spanish and Chinese. We had some pages translated into Spanish several years ago, but since multi-lingual was not part of our workflow, the content on those pages quickly became out-of-date and were just recently removed from the site.Do any of you have pages translated to other languages? Do you use a 3rd-party service to do it, or someone on campus with those skills? Or an automated service like Google translate?For those of…See More
yesterday
Michelle L. Monti replied to Michelle L. Monti's discussion Questioning the Value of College Holiday Videos
"Thanks for responding, Erik! I agree and like your point about it being a different kind of piece without a call to action. Those projects have their place, but is sometimes hard to justify carving out the time for them."
yesterday
Erik Hagen replied to Michelle L. Monti's discussion Questioning the Value of College Holiday Videos
"We did one in 2012 and 2013, but not 2014. We initially got caught up in the buzz because everyone was doing them, and it seemed like a fun idea. But this last cycle we were so busy with other projects we couldn't justify carving out the time.…"
yesterday
Erik Hagen posted a discussion

Dynamically adding text to a PDF

We're looking for a service or tool that will let employees create their own business card and have a press-ready PDF sent to our print shop. Ideally the employee would type in their info into a form, and that text would be dropped into a predefined PDF template. I know this falls under the "web to print" industry, but I haven't found any workable services yet. Thanks!See More
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Otero Junior College has gone live with their new responsive website. Design by our partner Donoughe Design. Great work!! www.ojc.edu "
Wednesday
Nursalim Hadi posted a discussion

Web Developer - College of Business - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

WEB DEVELOPER Information Technology College of Business University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignSearch ExtendedThe College of Business seeks a Web Developer responsible for the College's web design. The primary focus for this full-time, non-tenured academic professional position will be to leverage available web technologies and services (including a Web CMS), extensive technical skill, and strong independent judgment and decision making skills to architect and implement web sites that…See More
Wednesday
Nursalim Hadi is now a member of University Web Developers
Tuesday
Amber Klaus is now a member of University Web Developers
Feb 21
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Looking forward to working with our newest customer Merced College. Welcome to the OmniUpdate family!"
Feb 20
Kevin Hanselman posted a discussion

Webmaster at The Sage Colleges

The Webmaster manages and maintains all aspects of The Sage Colleges’ website, www.sage.edu, as well as Sage’s online presence and e-communications, in order to provide a successful online interaction for our audiences with Sage and to support key enrollment and advancement goals. This full-time administrative position reports to the Senior Director of…See More
Feb 20
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"East Los Angeles College has a new responsive website. Looks great! www.elac.edu "
Feb 19
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Everybody's favorite OU Campus trainer gives some great tips on building your own training program in today's blog post. Check it out! "
Feb 18
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Please note that OmniUpdate will be closed this Monday in observance of President's Day. Business will resume on Tuesday at 6:00 AM PST."
Feb 13
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Happy Friday everyone! OU Campus has some new users over at University of Alaska Anchorage. Welcome to the OmniUpdate family!"
Feb 13
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"The 2015 OmniUpdate User Training Conference is almost here! See some familiar faces and learn more about the goings-on at the conference in today’s blog post. "
Feb 12
Stephanie Enoch is now a member of University Web Developers
Feb 12
Colleen Brennan-Barry replied to Colleen Brennan-Barry's discussion HighEdWeb Announces 2015 Regional Conferences
"We're excited, too -- we know it's going to be a really great few days of learning. Looking forward to seeing you there!"
Feb 11
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Murray State University went live with their new responsive website! Congratulations! www.murraystate.edu ;"
Feb 11
Loren Leonard added a discussion to the group PHP Developers
Thumbnail

Redirect Management Tool

Looking for some advice and hoping you guys might help me out. Do any of you know of a tool or service that will provide an interface to webserver redirect configuration? Looking for a frontend tool that would allow redirects to be configured by non-programmers/developers.While this is likely a php/apache solution I am not opposed to standing up a windows box and doing this via IIS/asp.net. Many thanks!See More
Feb 11

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2015   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service