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: 579

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.
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.
Thanks Heidi for sharing your information. I often have to explain 'why' people cannot have subdomains at our University and your blog explains the reasons perfectly. Great job.

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join our next webcast with Maxwell Rowe from @mackeycreativelab as he discusses ways to help students reach their educational goals using the guided pathways model on your website. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
yesterday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Frustrated with student retention efforts and low graduation rates? Maybe it’s time to consider the guided pathways model for your institution's website. Check out our latest white paper for all the details! http://bit.ly/38rNild"
Tuesday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"OmniUpdate is excited to be in the running for a People’s Choice Stevie Award for Favorite Customer Service! If you’d like to show your support, cast your vote now! You can vote as many times as you’d like."
Jan 16
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Take a ½ hour out of your day to learn 4 important tips on keeping your website accessible! Join Ryan from Paskill Stapleton & Lord @PSandL as he shares the accessibility guidelines for your university website. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Jan 7
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Get up to speed on GDPR and how it affects your higher ed institution and student recruitment. http://bit.ly/2YZZtRQ"
Jan 7
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Web governance should not be an afterthought; when it’s done right, it can actually enhance your workflow and make your job easier. http://bit.ly/33vIZU0"
Nov 8, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Exciting news... OmniUpdate has merged with Destiny Solutions! Learn more on our blog. http://bit.ly/332KSr8"
Oct 30, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Switching to a new CMS? Join our next webcast with Briana Johnson from @OSUIT to learn how to convince decentralized web content authors to tolerate the switch, actively participate, and enjoy it! http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Oct 29, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Your website is the front door to your college or university. Your website design has to accommodate for the way that students interact with and use the information your institution provides. http://bit.ly/2P8VldR"
Oct 24, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn how a new website design and CMS helped Florida Gulf Coast University increase new visits to the school’s website with improved SEO. http://bit.ly/2ByaQq4"
Oct 21, 2019
Profile IconJames Pollard and Michael Clarke joined University Web Developers
Oct 21, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join our next webcast with Kelly Rushing from @uofsouthalabama to learn how to create accessible PDFs for your website by starting with your source documents. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Oct 18, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn why your college or university should choose SaaS across the board, especially for your next CMS. http://bit.ly/2Iy0SZE"
Oct 8, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with OmniUpdate CEO Lance Merker, who will delve into key insights about Generation Z’s online search behaviors to help you refine your school's web marketing strategy. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Oct 3, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Our newest guide will help you learn what it means to be accessible, how to implement accessibility best practices, quick fixes to try as well as a long-term plan, plus tools to help you in your website accessibility efforts. Download it now!"
Oct 1, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are online forms more efficient? Learn how El Camino College used Formstack to create online forms that expedited processing, improved communications, increased transparency, and promoted accountability across campus. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Sep 18, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"It's important to understand the science behind your web pages to better engage and ultimately attract prospective students to your site. http://bit.ly/2ZYK8FZ"
Sep 12, 2019
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"If you’re struggling with web challenges such as accessibility, SEO, design consistency, workflow, content governance, or how to start a website redesign, you’re not alone. Join our next webcast to learn how other higher ed institutions…"
Sep 5, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"eQAfy confirms that OU Campus is still the #1 commercial CMS for colleges and universities in the United States. http://bit.ly/2Lir9Mn"
Aug 28, 2019
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Here’s an outline of everything you need to know about OCR compliance, including what it is, what your college or university can do to stay compliant, and resources for OCR compliance. #accessibility http://bit.ly/2rcPDgG"
Aug 23, 2019

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

© 2020   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service