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Vanity URLs

Because won't fit on a postcard.

Good information architecture does not necessarily translate to simple URLs. Simplified URLs can help. We offer three solutions for custom URLs, below. A quick W&M URL Shortener is also available from W&M IT.

Solution 1: Create a Simple Redirect Within Your Cascade Site

You're sending a postcard to new students, and you want them to visit this page:

But instead of the full URL, you'd rather they type something shorter, like:

With Cascade, you can simply create a Folder with Redirect Page within your site's root folder.

Solution 2: Request a W&M Vanity URL

You may request, from [[creative]], a shorter "vanity" URL for your website or webpage, suitable for use in print, web and verbal communications. This vanity URL will redirect visitors to the full address. Please keep in mind that, in order to support this service for numerous sites and pages, we must maintain strict guidelines.

Guidelines for Vanity URL Requests
  1. Each vanity name must link to a page on
  2. Your department, office or program may request a "root" vanity URL in the form:
  3. You may request subsidiary vanity URLs for deeper links, in the form:
Solution 3: Build-Your-Own Vanity URLs

If your Cascade department, office or program website has frequent need for subsidiary vanity URLs, you may request the Build-Your-Own Vanity URLs feature. We will create your primary root vanity URL, as described above, and turn on the build-your-own feature. You will then be able to create your own vanity URLs in the form:

Steps to Create Your Vanity URLs
  1. Submit a one time request to activate this feature to [[creative]]
  2. Once the feature is activated, navigate to your _redirects folder, located in your site's root folder
  3. Create a New > Folder with Redirect Page
  4. Fill in these required fields and Submit
    • Folder Name: a short, memorable, easy-to-spell name, used in your vanity URL
      In the example, the Folder Name is studenthandbook
    • Placement Folder: confirm this is set as your _redirects folder
    • Display Name: does not impact the vanity URL; only displays in Cascade
  5. Edit the index of the new folder, set these fields and Submit > Check Content & Submit:
    • Title: does not impact the vanity URL; only displays in Cascade or when this Redirect Page is used as a Related Link
    • Internal Page: use Choose Page to select a page within your site
  6. Publish the new folder