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Follow this guidance on the design of URLs on GOV.WALES.

First published:
25 August 2021
Last updated:

GOV.WALES URLs are designed to be user friendly, and to follow a consistent, predictable, format.

Follow these URL standards for GOV.WALES products, LLYW.CYMRU products, and their sub-domains. Separate standards apply to the use of the and by other organisations, for example local authorities.

URL style

URLs on GOV.WALES should:

  • be clear, unambiguous, easy to read, easy to type and easy to share
  • use lower case words
  • be related to the title of the page
  • be in the English language on GOV.WALES and the Welsh language on LLYW.CYMRU
  • not contain acronyms, unless very well known or a department acronym for example HMRC
  • use dashes to separate words so they are easy to read, for example (this might not apply if the URL is designed to be read aloud)
  • not include articles (a, an, to, the) and other superfluous words, for example use /benefits or /benefits-guides rather than /a-guide-to-benefits
  • use the verb stem, where possible, for example /apply instead of /applying
  • be based on user need rather than the name of a policy, scheme or service, which might change
  • not end with a slash, for example rather than

URL promotion

You must not promote GOV.WALES sub-domains. If you need to promote a site or service that has a GOV.WALES sub-domain, request a short URL that will re-direct to the sub-domain in the user’s browser.

Example: redirects to

If you need to promote a transactional service, you must promote the transaction start page on GOV.WALES.

Example: you would promote and this page would include a link to

Short URLs

Short URLs are redirects that help promote existing content. For example resolves to

Examples of where they are used:

  • clearly defined, permanent sections of the site that we need to promote offline
  • GOV.WALES campaigns
  • GOV.WALES microsites
  • GOV.WALES organisations

Short URLs:

  • do not use hyphens
  • use words specific to the content
  • make sense forever, for example you may need to include a year
  • must not be publicised or included in materials until you have approval by the Corporate Digital Team (CDT)
  • beginning or must not be used to re-direct a user to a non-GOV.WALES URL

Short URLs are reviewed and approved by the CDT. To request a short URL email and include:

  • the reason you need a short URL
  • the content or page the short URL will link to
  • how your short URL will be used in marketing and promotion

Short URLs are reviewed and may be deleted if they are not being used.

Service sub-domain URLs

The transactional part of our digital services will typically not be hosted on the GOV.WALES domain. It will exist on a GOV.WALES sub-domain in the form:


The ‘servicename’ part of this URL will be agreed between the Corporate Digital Team and the service manager. The servicename:

  • must be clearly related to the service name
  • may be abbreviated
  • should omit words which are not essential to understanding (for example, a, an, to, the, and)
  • must not include reference to any (current) policy, scheme or organisation, which is liable to change in the future

Ensure users start their journey from a launcher on a GOV.WALES start or sign in page, to support this:

  • do not promote or share service sub-domains
  • tell search engines not to index pages

If you think users need direct access to a page on your service sub-domain discuss this with the Corporate Digital Team.

Blog sub-domain URLs

We use WordPress for our blogs and host them on a GOV.WALES sub-domain in the form The ‘blogname’ part of this URL will be agreed by the CDT and the blog owner.