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Web Virtual Hosts

URL shortening and link management services

UIT Launches New Vanity URL Platform

January 7, 2021

The Stanford Virtual Host service lets you replace a long, unwieldy URL with one that is shorter and more descriptive of your website's content.

These virtual URLs help people remember how to get to your website and make it easier for them to type its URL into their browser. For example, a URL like emailcalendar.stanford.edu/ is easier to type and quicker to identify than uit.stanford.edu/service/emailcalendar.

The Virtual Host service is available only to departments, research groups, and university-recognized student organizations. Virtual URLs can not be linked to an individual's personal web page. See the Stanford.EDU Name Assignment Policy for full details.

Two types of virtual hosts are available:

  • Vanity URLs (redirects) — the real URL of your website is displayed in the browser window after people arrive at your website.
  • Proxy — the virtual URL stays in the browser window after people arrive at your website.

The Web Virtual Proxy Host service will retire Sept. 30, 2021. Additional information on the project can be found on the WCMS Virtual Proxy Hosting project page.

Vanity URLs vs. Proxies: What's the difference?

Feature Vanity URLs (Redirects) Proxy
Replaces a long web address with one that is shorter and more descriptive Included Included
Can specify a PTS group owner so that multiple users have permission to edit a virtual host's settings   Included
Workgroup integration Included  
Can specify the features you want for your virtual URL on the request form, such as WebAuth (depreciated) requirements   Included
Add additional short URLs  Included  
Learn more Vanity URL Service Virtual Host Proxy Service