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Virtual Host Proxy

Replace your long website URL with a shorter one

The Web Virtual Proxy Host service will retire Sept. 30, 2021. UIT will contact proxy owners with custom domains to help convert proxies before the service retires. Additional information on the project can be found on the Web Proxy Hosting project page.

With a Virtual Host Proxy, you can use a virtual, shortened, more descriptive URL and not display the actual URL of your website. The actual content server sees all requests from the proxy server, but the browser only has contact with the proxy server.


Using a Virtual Host Proxy allows you to:

  • Replace a long web address with one that is shorter and more descriptive
  • Authenticate users to your web pages, if you don’t want to maintain an authentication service on your website (server)
  • Proxy all traffic to and from the client machine and your website so that only the proxy is touching your web server
  • Specify a PTS group owner so that multiple users have permission to edit a virtual host's settings

However, consider the following limitations. When using a Virtual Host Proxy, you will:

  • Rely on a third party to ensure traffic is flowing to your site, this means all requests for pages and a reply to those requests (to/from client) flow through the proxy.
  • Have limited access to available LDAP attributes because they will be shared for all while using the central service.

To compare the different features between Vanity URLs and Virtual Host Proxies, go to

Designed for

Current faculty, staff, and students; departments, research groups, and officially registered student groups.


  • The Virtual Host Proxy must meet the requirements set out in the Stanford.EDU Name Assignment Policy.
  • An organization's virtual host name must closely and unambiguously match its recognized title.
  • The Virtual Host Proxy must not already be in use or reserved.
  • Your website must be hosted on (Exceptions apply.)
  • See Virtual host eligibility criteria for more information about these requirements.


Free of charge

Get started

Fill out the Virtual Hosting request form.

Before you fill out this form, please make sure you read and understand the requirements (see section above) necessary to qualify for this service. Also, please make sure that the automatic virtual hosting service is not sufficient for your needs before requesting a new virtual host.

Following submission of the request form, your virtual URL should be available within three business days.

Get help

For assistance, please submit a Help request.

Learn more

For IT providers

Last modified June 15, 2021