Domain names are an important part of the university's identity, and should follow a consistent structure in order to promote the university brand and help users easily navigate the USNH web universe.
Purpose and audience
The primary domain names for the University System of New Hampshire institutions are
Other USNH domain names and web applications should follow a consistent structure in order to promote the university brand and help the public and the USNH community easily navigate USNH websites.
Institutional domain and subdomain names
Colleges and schools at USNH are permitted to use the subdomain configuration department.institution.edu, such as paulcollege.unh.edu. This allows department sites and sub-sites to have a simple URL. For example: paulcollege.unh.edu/graduate or ceps.unh.edu/chemistry.
Software and tools hosted by external vendors that have a contract with Enterprise Technology & Services, or approval from a dean, are also allowed the subdomain configuration toolname.institution.edu. For example, library.plymouth.edu is redirected to Springshare, mycourses.unh.edu is redirected to Canvas, and catalog.unh.edu is redirected to CourseLeaf.
Other units with websites hosted at USNH should use the subdomain structure institution.edu/name-of-department-or-organization.
These subdomain names should be concise and have meaning to the user, such as unh.edu/research.
They also should:
- Correlate with an organization's name.
- Work for email addresses and social handles.
- Employ dashes between words instead of spaces or underscores: college.institution.edu/executive-development-programs.
- Be lowercase. Intermittent use of uppercase letters can be confusing for users and disrupt SEO.
Subdomain names should not:
- Conflict with other groups on campus.
- Include the articles "a" or "the," or special characters.
- Include acronyms unless they are universally recognized: institution.edu/hr.
Submit a digital work support form to request a domain/subdomain. For more information about individual page URLs, see the URLs standard.
Writing out a domain name or subdomain
When referring to a domain, subdomain or URL, avoid using spelling out "http://," "https://" or "www."
There may be some instances when these might not work in a certain browser without the "www." Always test a URL before referring to it in written communications.
Whenever possible, it is recommended an application be hosted under the main website in a sub-folder. An example structure would be: ceps.unh.edu/application-name.
Some web applications for business process or research require dedicated web services. ET&S Software Development has a dedicated service located at webapps.unh.edu, where custom applications are hosted. The URL for the application uses the structure webapps.unh.edu/application-name.
Departments that host their own sites or applications also may implement a dedicated service for web applications such as:
If there is a technical reason a subdomain will not work in a sub-directory, please fill out a request form to have your subdomain reviewed through Enterprise Technology & Services (ET&S).
Using other domain names (.org/.com)
Whenever possible, sites should be set up using the website options available at USNH.
In some instances, a .org address may be allowed. This is typically reserved for partnership sites where there is a legitimate sharing of website ownership between USNH and another entity. There also are circumstances where grants or campaigns may include other schools and would qualify for a .org address. When creating such a domain, make sure it does not conflict with a unh.edu, keene.edu or plymouth.edu address.
USNH ET&S Software Development should be a manager of any domain names that point to USNH websites or USNH servers. Any address containing "UNH", "Keene" or "Plymouth” should be owned by USNH ET&S or another USNH entity approved by ET&S. If a domain name containing "UNH", "Keene” or "Plymouth” is necessary, please contact Software Development to request purchasing the domain. USNH Software Development should be a manager of any other domain names that point to USNH websites. Otherwise, unh.edu, plymouth.edu and keene.edu domain names may not be redirected to externally-hosted sites (see External redirects).
For support, questions, or to request a URL or domain name, please contact ET&S Software Development.
Responsibility for content
Anyone who creates a domain or subdomain is responsible for complying with all applicable policies and this Standard. When address conflicts arise, such as nearly identical addresses for unrelated groups on campus, the Digital Communications Governance Team will provide a recommendation.
Domain and subdomain names are removed once a web page has been removed. To redirect a URL to another page, see the Redirects standard.
Although USNH ET&S does not monitor or regularly review website content, it reserves the right to remove at any time any content that it considers to violate this standard or any other USNH policies.
If inappropriate, inaccurate or conflicting URLs are discovered, USNH Software Development will contact the site owner to discuss the issue. If the site or content owner cannot be contacted or is no longer at USNH, the URL will be administered by ET&S and can be removed if deemed inaccurate or inappropriate. When a domain or subdomain is obviously unacceptable, USNH ET&S will immediately remove it prior to contacting the site owner. Unacceptable domains and subdomains also may cause website access to be suspended.
Reports regarding inappropriate content may be sent to Software Development.