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11.16 - Domain Name Policy

Policy Statement

All Weill Cornell Medicine public facing web sites are expected to utilize standard institutional domain stems as part of their URLs.

Reason for Policy

Consistency in institutional URLs creates a more consistent user experience, increases search engine ranking for Weill Cornell Medicine web properties, and reduces institutional costs.

Entities Affected by this Policy

Weill Cornell Medicine units

Who Should Read this Policy

Faculty and staff involved in the development, maintenance, or ownership of WCM web properties.

Web Address of this Policy

https://its.weill.cornell.edu/policies/

Contacts

Direct any questions about this policy to Dan Dickinson, Associate Director for Web Communications, using one of the methods below:

Office: (212) 746-6819

Email: dwd2001@med.cornell.edu

Definitions

These definitions apply to institutions and technologies as they are used in this policy:

  • Canonical Domain: The domain name that is configured as the primary identifier for a site. See secondary domain.
  • Domain Name: A string identifying an internet resource, such as “weill.cornell.edu”.
  • Drupal: An open source content management platform, used as a standard at WCM.
  • Independent Domain Name: A complete domain name ending in .com, .org, or other extension that does not end in weill.cornell.edu or weillcornell.org (e.g. weillcornelleye.org, cornellurology.com)
  • Internal Domain Name: A complete domain name ending in “.weill.cornell.edu” or “.weillcornell.org” (e.g. give.weill.cornell.edu, primarycare.weillcornell.org)
  • NYP: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
  • Secondary Domain: A domain name that is configured to redirect a user to the canonical domain name of a site.
  • WCM: Weill Cornell Medicine
  • WCM Internally Hosted Site: A website for official WCM business built using approved platforms and hosted on institutionally managed hosting.
  • WCM Externally Hosted Site: A website for official WCM business built using unapproved platforms and/or not hosted on institutionally managed hosting.

I. Overview

With limited exceptions, websites used for official WCM business must utilize an internal domain name as their canonical domain.

Websites that are targeted specifically at patients, or have over 50% of their content about clinical care, should use an internal domain name of the form unitname.weillcornell.org as their canonical domain.

All other websites should use an internal domain of the form unitname.weill.cornell.edu as their canonical domain.

Any independent domain names associated with websites for WCM business must be treated as secondary domain names.

II. Principles

2.01 Internal Domain Name Registration

Internal domain names can be requested through ITS via standard support request, or via discussion during execution of a web project.

Information about the business function and what website the domain name will be used for should be provided with the submission. For WCM Externally Hosted Sites, additional information about site construction, management, and hosting may be required before the request is reviewed.

Requests will be reviewed by relevant ITS staff with a maximum turnaround of:

  • WCM Internally Hosted Sites: 3 business days
  • WCM Externally Hosted Sites: 10 business days

If approved, system changes will be processed by ITS automatically for WCM Internally Hosted Sites. For WCM Externally Hosted Sites, coordination will be required with a site manager or other technical resource.

If rejected, an explanation will be provided to the requestor.

2.02 Independent Domain Name Registration

Registration of new independent domain names is no longer recommended for WCM business.

Should a unit still desire an independent domain name to be registered for use as a secondary domain, they can be requested through the ITS domain name registration service:

https://its.weill.cornell.edu/services/web-application-development/domain-names

Information about the business function and what website the domain name will be used for should be provided with the submission. For WCM Externally Hosted Sites, additional information about site construction, management, and hosting may be required before the request is reviewed.

Independent domain name acquisition through ITS requires a registration agreement signed by an authorized departmental or divisional administrator. ITS will not register or renew independent domain names without this agreement being completed.

2.03 Exceptions

Exceptions to the requirement for all sites to use internal domain names as canonical may be issued in certain instances. These instances may include multi-institutional websites (such as a joint WCM/NYP program) or as required by the Office of Development.

To request a policy exception, please provide rationale via email to domains@med.cornell.edu. The request will be reviewed at the next available meeting of the Web Governance Committee, and a summary of the decision will be provided in email.

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