Domain Names in AEM

The following guide is intended help you to understand the issues and drawbacks of custom domains, particularly in the context of SFU's centralized CMS (AEM). If you are thinking about moving away from a custom domain, you'll find that there are many benefits to making the switch.

Custom Domains

A custom domain is a website address that doesn't fall under the www.sfu.ca/ domain. Examples of custom domains in use by SFU faculties and departments include beedie.sfu.ca and www.4dlabs.ca. If your website currently uses a custom domain, we recommend moving to the SFU domain (www.sfu.ca) during your transition to AEM.

Custom Domain Example 1: Beedie School of Business

Custom Domain Example 2: Student Services

Do you need a custom domain?
No. A custom domain is not needed for hosting published web content in the CMS. 

What are the Drawbacks of Custom Domains?

1. Search engine ranking

Custom domains are not considered part of the www.sfu.ca domain and, therefore, its pages will not rank as highly as those under the SFU domain.

2. Internal linking

The automatic linking feature breaks down when linking relatively from one custom domain to another. The author would need to manually convert that relative link (/departmentname/pagename.html) to an absolute link (http://www.departmentname.sfu.ca/pagename.html). This becomes particularly problematic if you're taking advantage of the CMS's dynamic list-building features — for example, creating an aggregated list of tagged news stories across domains. 

3.Protected pages and intranets

Setting up protected pages and sites within the www.sfu.ca domain is easy, and doesn't require any technical or administrative knowledge.  For a custom domain, the site administrator must work with central IT to develop a custom solution.

Ready to Move to the SFU Domain?

The IT Services team will make your transition to the SFU domain as smooth as possible. You can keep your custom domain for branding and marketing purposes. We will implement automatic forwarding for all of your pages. If a user attempts to visit a page at www.facultyname.sfu.ca/pagename.html, they will be automatically re-directed to www.sfu.ca/facultyname/pagename.html.

SFU Domain Example 1: Safety and Risk Services

SFU Domain Example 2: Human Resources

The redirect will be immediate, seamless, and, over time, use of the custom domain will wane.