6.10 Domains, URLs and aliases
www.fao.org is the entry point to all FAO information on the Internet and is the domain under which, in principle, all information published by FAO on the Internet should be located. Exceptions to this policy and the registration and use of a non-FAO domain can be made when there are compelling reasons; for instance when the use of such a domain was specified in the aforementioned formal agreement or when the use of the FAO domain would harm the collaborative nature of agreement.
Internet domain registration and subdomains
The domain name identifies a Web site on the Internet. Every time a domain name is used it is actually translated into a corresponding Internet Protocol (IP) address. For example the domain name www.fao.org corresponds to the IP address 188.8.131.52 (for "fao.org" on the www sub-domain). Domain names, not IP addresses, are used because they are alphabetic and therefore easier to remember.
Domain registration is the process of securing these Web addresses. Registration or renewal is done through official registration sites for a specified number of years. Anybody requiring a new domain should write an e-mail to OCP (use Domain-Requests@fao.org), explaining the need for the new domain name.
Detailed information on domain name section, registration and organization is available in the document Internet domain name selection, registration and organization (Word Document).
How to phrase a URL
It is best to keep URLs simple so that they are easy to copy and paste and so that they may easily be typed into a browser, used on brochures etc. It is important to avoid empty spaces in file names, otherwise they will display as "%20%" and may produce errors.
How to obtain an alias or subdomain
An alias is used when files are located in directories making a URL difficult to remember, for example, the Web page http://www.fao.org/waicent/portal/outreach/ has the alias http://www.fao.org/imark/.
Appropriate aliases or subdomains under fao.org can be established to provide the required identity. The Director or Head of Office or, in case of field projects, the Director of the lead Technical Unit, responsible for the activity requiring an alias, subdomain or new domain should write by email to the Director, OCP, explaining the business case for the request. In the case of technological reasons, the request may be initiated by CIO and, in any case, should first be discussed with CIO.
How to request hosting services
Usually hosting services are available only for decentralized offices however there can be some exceptions, contact OCP for more information.
See also in the guide
References and resources