What's in a name? The good, the bad and the ugly of choosing a non-standard McGill URL

We recently updated our guidelines and supporting documentation for McGill domains and URLs. Get the low-down on best practices for choosing McGill URLs and the steps to take to request approval.
Image by Photo by Taylor Brandon on Unsplash.

Domains are an important part of our online brand. When people navigate to a McGill URL, they believe they've reached an official McGill website that meets our standards and policies.

Tips for choosing a McGill URL

There are a number important questions to ask when choosing your new domain or URL including:

  • Is the URL already in use?
  • Is the choice of URL too general?
  • Are there any negative implications to consider?
  • Is the URL an appropriate reflection of your department's purview?
  • Does the URL include an abbreviation or acronym?
  • Does the URL include jargon?

For detailed guidance about considerations when choosing a new URL see, Domains and URLs for McGill websites.

Submit a request for a website with a standard and/or approved domain name or URL

For standard domain names and URLs (sites on McGill-managed web platforms, such as WMS websites, and virtual host websites like juncker.lab.mcgill.ca), approval must be obtained from IT Services' Web Service Group. Submitting a request for a new site on one of these platforms will initiate the approval process.

Submit a request for approval of a non-standard domain name or URL

Approval for all non-standard domain names that include the word McGill (for example, mcgillathletics.ca*) must be obtained from Communications and External Relations (CER).

* We usually discourage using this type of domain name because anyone could register a domain like “mymcgillsite.com” and use it to claim to be a legitimate McGill entity. If we allow this practice, we make it hard for to users to distinguish legitimate sites from phishing schemes.

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