Follow this guidance on the design of URLs on GOV.WALES.
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 .llyw.cymru and .gov.wales by other organisations, for example local authorities.
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 gov.wales/government-digital-publishing (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 www.gov.wales/your-url-here rather than www.gov.wales/your-url-here/
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: www.gov.wales/workingwales redirects to www.workingwales.gov.wales.
If you need to promote a transactional service, you must promote the transaction start page on GOV.WALES.
Example: you would promote www.gov.wales/find-apprenticeship and this page would include a link to www.findapprenticeship.gov.wales.
Short URLs are redirects that help promote existing content. For example gov.wales/a465section5and6 resolves to gov.wales/a465-section-5-and-6-dowlais-top-hirwaun.
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
- 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 gov.wales or llyw.cymru 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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. Dashes may be used to separate words where appropriate, but are not mandatory for service sub-domain URLs.
The URL must not include reference to any (current) policy, scheme or organisation, which is liable to change in the future.
Blog sub-domain URLs
We use WordPress for our blogs and host them on a GOV.WALES sub-domain in the form blogname.blog.gov.wales. The ‘blogname’ part of this URL will be agreed by the CDT and the blog owner.