Aliases on www2

What is an alias?

A website alias is a nickname for a website.  

Natural URLs tend to be machine names which appear to people as ugly, unmemorable and unusable.  Our legacy TSSMS names are an example of machine generated names (e.g;  aljhomep, boarddec, opperspd).  So we create names/aliases that are more human friendly to use for URLs (e.g.; columbiariver, border2020, lawsregs, new-bedford-harbor, pesticide-registration). 

What's new about aliases in Drupal WebCMS

  • There are two possible methods for making aliases for each web area: the short name or the URL overwrite. Pick one.
    • We encourage the use of the short name for URLs.
  • EPA will use one, and only one, alias for any web area.
  • Drupal WebCMS does not use capitalization in URLs. Everything is lower case.
    • Drupal WebCMS also does not use special characters or punctuation in URLs. This restriction is not new.  Using punctuation or special characters in a url is a poor practice.
  • Office of Web Communications approves the alias and names used for web areas.

How we use web area names/aliases in Drupal WebCMS

Full Title 

This is the web area name. It will appear as the page title on the web area homepage.

  • Example 1: The full title on the homepage of the New Bedford Harbor Web area is: "EPA Cleanups: Communities around New Bedford Harbor."
  • Example 2: The full title on the homepage of Border 2020 is: "US-Mexico Border 2020."

Short Name

Preferred alias option. The URL for your site will be generated from the short name with all lower case letters and hyphens between words. The unmodified short name is used in breadcrumbs (for microsites) or hublinks (for resource directories).


  • Short Name = New Bedford Harbor 
  • The URL is ""
  • The breadcrumb reads "New Bedford Harbor"
  • The web area name on basic pages is "New Bedford Harbor"
  • The full title is used only on the homepage

URL overwrite

Alias option 2. Use this field to specify a URL other than what is generated by Drupal WebCMS from the Short Name. For example, use "nbh" if you want the URL to be instead of This option is not recommended for EPA urls.

Example microsite:  

  • Full Title = "US-Mexico Border 2020"
  • Short Name = "Border 2020"
  • URL overwrite = border2020
  • The breadcrumb and web area name is "Border 2020"
  • The URL is, rather than

Example resource directory:

  • Full Title = Air: Fate, Exposure, and Risk Analysis (FERA), which appears on the homepage
  • Short Name = "Air: Fate, Exposure, and Risk Analysis"
  • The hublink is "Air: Fate, Exposure, and Risk Analysis"
  • URL overwrite is fera so the URL is, rather than