What are Vanity URLs? 

Engage offers institutions the ability to set up a customized or "vanity" URL. This means that you can brand your Engage application using https://hostname.institution.edu or similar. 

Though the URL appears to be that of the institution, browsing to the URL takes the user to the Engage service hosted by Campus Labs. This gives your users a feeling of familiarity and trust in using the application and ensures that perceptions of your institutional ownership and the integrity of your marketing efforts are maintained. 

Custom vanity URLs are made possible when you create a Domain Name System (DNS) entry for the URL. 

Domain Name Services (DNS) 

Your institution's network administrator can use DNS to route requests for the custom vanity URL to Engage. The DNS record must be a CNAME alias record entry in your DNS zone that points the custom vanity URL you selected at our services. 

The specific host name you will need to use for this alias is: 

  • For United States: engagevanity.campuslabs.com 
  • For Canada: custom.campuslabs.ca 

It is important to create a CNAME instead of a direct IP address, or A, record so that any future hosting changes on our part do not require further intervention. 

Using a Vanity URL for your Community 

  1. Determine the URL to be used. We recommend working with your campus marketing team to decide what would work best for your campus. Most campuses use their Engage community brand in conjunction with their existing domain. For example: {your Engage community brand}.{yourinstitution}.edu. 
  2. Make sure you own your chosen vanity URL or buy it if you do not. You can purchase domains through a variety of different third-party vendors but work with your IT or Marketing teams to complete the purchase. 
  3. Forward the above information to your IT team. This contains all the information needed in order to create the vanity URL. 
  4. Contact our support team, either by mail or by phone, to let us know that the new Vanity URL should be configured for your site. 

For IT Administrators 

Campus Labs has instituted a method to generate the required security certificates for the requested URL. This method leverages the work done by the non-profit entity Let’s Encrypt to create and update the certificates. You can see details on how this works from their web site 

When using this method, no intervention will be required by either your IT staff or by Campus Labs Support. The certificates will be automatically generated and installed every 90 days indefinitely. 

Please contact Campus Labs Support (support@campuslabs.com) with any additional questions or concerns you have about the custom vanity URL process, and we will be happy to assist you! 

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