Close menu Resources for... William & Mary
W&M menu close William & Mary

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 self-serve 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 Vanity URL

You may request a shorter "vanity" URL for your website from your Cascade Manager. Often more suitable for use in print, web and verbal communications, this vanity URL will redirect visitors to the full address. 

Guidelines for Vanity URL Requests

Please keep in mind that in order to support this service for numerous sites and pages, we must maintain strict guidelines.

  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. Your Cascade Manager will create your primary root vanity URL, as described above, and activate the build-your-own feature. You will then be able to create your own vanity URLs in the form:

Step 1. Request the Feature (One-Time Request)
  1. Submit a request to activate this feature to your Cascade Manager.
Step 2. Create a Vanity URL

Once the feature has been activated:

  1. Navigate to your _redirects folder, located in your site's root folder.
  2. Create a New > Folder with Redirect Page.
  3. Fill in the following required fields:
    • 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.
  4. Submit.
  5. Edit the index page of the new folder and set the following fields:
    • 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 the destination page for your vanity URL within your site.
  6. Submit > Check Content & Submit.
  7. Publish the new folder.