Guidance on Red URLs

Typically, all Red URLs are changed from sitename.red.uic.edu (when in test/build mode) to sitename.uic.edu at launch. Following a long-standing practice for CNAMES at UIC, we have also encouraged the use of *.lab.uic.edu for lab sites. One benefit of using the *.lab CNAME is that there is a wildcard security certificate for that configuration that streamlines the site launch process. A similar convention is available for UIC class sites under a *.class wildcard.

We are also now offering another recommendation for use of wildcard security certificates for departments that want to group their primary sites, labs and courses, etc. under a department CNAME. For example, if department alpha wants to group all sites under *.alpha.uic.edu, the *.alpha wildcard can be created and all alpha sites can then use a mysite.alpha.uic.edu convention, regardless if it is an academic unit, lab, class, or other unit within alpha.

It is highly recommended that the decisions to use this convention are considered and authorized from a unit administrative level in order to facilitate consistent use for the department or college. In addition, site administrators will need to determine what redirects would need to be placed for sites that go from mysite.lab.uic.edu to mysite.alpha.uic.edu or other similar changes in the site URL.

Redirects

Has the location of an important page changed recently? If so, you can keep bookmarked visitors from seeing error messages by implementing a redirect. Site administrators have two redirect options on Red:

  1. Site admins can manage page redirects and custom 404 errors via the Red WordPress dashboard. To get started, go to Tools > Redirection. All redirect data will be saved in your site dashboard.
  2. Redirects can also be requested via our contact form (select “Request Something Else”), which are ultimately processed by ACCC Web Services. These are saved at the server level and can only be changed by authorized ACCC staff. For more information, please visit this ACCC page.

The Question of WWW

Notice that Red URLs are sitename.uic.edu not www.sitename.uic.edu. This follows historical precedent at UIC and will continue to be our practice. In a few cases, site owners have requested to allow the use of www.sitename.uic.edu and this need is accommodated with a redirect of the www version to the non-www site. This can cause a site to be flagged as “unsafe” until the planned project to ensure that https works everywhere for UIC.

For all requests regarding URLs, wildcards or redirects, please contact Digital Communications through our Webform and select “Request Something Else” from the options.