External Domain Names

Official websites must be hosted in the University’s official domain: missouristate.edu. Missouri State will not host outside domains, such as those ending in .com or .org, without an approved exemption by the Office of Web and New Media.

Explanation

The University will not host or link to outside domains for official University websites unless exemptions are approved. Although external domain names may help create short web addresses for University units to publicize, they also cause several problems:

  • Disassociation with the University

    When a University unit or sponsored project promotes a web address without the ending "missouristate.edu," that unit disassociates its site from the official Missouri State website. In turn, the University may lose some marketing advantages that could have been developed from an association with the project.

  • Confusion to the web surfer

    Since addresses ending in "edu" are regulated, the "missouristate.edu" address promotes that a website is officially recognized by the University. Some web surfers may become confused on whether the website is an official Missouri State site or a "knockoff" if it doesn't end in "missouristate.edu."

  • Administrative overhead

    Certain administrative, billing, and technical details must be handled with each registered domain name. If many domain names are registered, the overhead can impose a burden on the University.

Alternatives

Many methods can be used to create quick and easy addresses to access a website:

  • Request a unique host name, or prefix, for use within the missouristate.edu domain

    The resulting address provides a concise method for accessing and publicizing an official website. Examples of addresses using unique host names include ozarkswatch.missouristate.edu and www.news.missouristate.edu. This service is only available to official websites.

  • Register an Internet Keyword

    Internet Keywords allows web surfers to enter the name of an organization or project into the Internet Explorer address field, which then takes them immediately to the site. For example, if you enter "Missouri State University" in to the address bar, you'll be immediately taken to the Missouri State homepage. This alternative would be good for site with a large external audience, such as the Journal of Public Affairs or Athletics.

  • Set up web forwarding

    Web forwarding allows an external domain name to point to an existing Missouri State website. Even though web forwarding requires less administrative overhead than hosting an external domain name, it may still cause some disassociation with the University and confusion to the web surfer.

    As such, the University discourages, but does not prohibit, the use of web forwarding. To use web forwarding with official websites, University units must abide by these requirements:

    • The unit must work through the Director of Web and New Media to purchase a domain name and web forwarding according to the Director of Web and New Media's methods and procedures.
    • The domain name and web forwarding must be paid for from a University budget and owned by the University.
    • Web forwarding must point to an existing Missouri State web address.
    • Top-level University web pages will only link to the Missouri State web address, not the external domain name.
    • The external domain name must be appropriate to the University's mission and approved by the Director of Web and New Media (appeals may be made to IT Council).

    Unofficial websites wanting an external domain name or web forwarding must purchase and service the domain name with their own funds and resources; however, the Office of Web and New Media will consult with organizations to help determine their domain name options.

Exemptions

Some University units may be granted exemptions to this policy. Units must abide by these requirements:

  • The unit must work through the Director of Web and New Media to purchase an external domain according to the Director of Web and New Media's methods and procedures.
  • The domain name must be paid for from a University budget and owned by the University.
  • Computer Services will host the domain name (if it is not associated with a commercial use exemption.
  • The external domain name must be appropriate to the University's mission and approved by the Director of Web and New Media. Appeals may be made to IT Council.

If an exemption is approved, the Office of Web and New Media will register and set up the external domain name. To avoid billing and registration problems, University units are not permitted to register domain names without the approval of the Director of Web and New Media.

Applying for an exemption

To apply for an exemption, contact the Office of Web and New Media and explain your need, purpose, and desired address. Exemptions will be approved for units that meet any of the following criteria:

  • The unit is an auxiliary unit that conducts business with the public and would like to register a ".com" address
  • The unit is involved in public broadcasting, where the industry standard is to register a non-profit or ".org" address
  • The unit has received a commercial use exemption.