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Web Design & Publishing Policy
an Information Technology Services Policy
This policy establishes a process for the design and publishing of the University website. It outlines requirements for web hosting, web template, content management, as well as content style and standards.
The Web Steering Committee and the ITC approve the ETSU web template design and the following Web Design Policy, effective September, 2015. The Web Design Policy and current, approved web template are viewable below. The policy is based on the standards set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium for web languages and protocols, and more specifically, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. For more information, follow the links associated with each numbered item.
- Web Domain and Hosting
All websites for ETSU units (academic, administrative and other) must be hosted, in their entirety, on the main ETSU web server and must utilize the University content management system. Exceptions must be requested in writing, submitted to the CIO and Sr. Vice Provost for Information Technology Services (ITS) and approved by Web Steering and ITC. Sites hosted on servers outside the main ETSU web server as of 11/8/2011, when this policy was approved, were not required to move at that time; however the web steering subcommittee and ITC make the final determination and may require sites that did not receive formal approval to move back to the main ETSU web server for hosting. Sites approved for hosting outside the main ETSU web server must have at least one page on the main web server in the Content Management System (CMS) that is consistent with the approved template.
- Content Management
Each site on the main ETSU web server must be completely created and maintained through the Content Management System (CMS) and built based on the approved ETSU template. Any exceptions to the template must be submitted in writing to the CIO and Sr Vice Provost for Information Technology Services and approved by the Web Steering and ITC Committees. (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-facilitate-comprehension, http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-use-w3c)
- Site Creation
Entities or events not wholly owned or sponsored by ETSU may not have entire websites hosted on the main ETSU web server. However, a single informational web page may be created on the main ETSU web server under an appropriate academic or administrative unit. Additionally, a site may be created on an ancillary ETSU server under the following conditions: (1) a user request is submitted to and approval by ITS for creation of a domain name and web space on an ancillary server (2) a user request is submitted to the web manager for creation of the web site and permissions (3) the user is responsible for creating and maintaining all aspects of the website on the ancillary server (which may or may not have CMS capabilities).
- File Structure and Size
The files for an individual site on the main ETSU web server must live within one and only one folder on the server. This may include sub-folders, but should not include multiple folders on the same level.
- Web Content
- Course Materials on the Web
Sites on the main ETSU web server should not contain course materials. Course materials should be posted within the university's learning management system, currently Desire2Learn, on the faculty web server or on other applicable servers.
- Size Limitations
The following file and folder size limitations are in place:
- the total size of all files for a website should not exceed 1 Gigabyte
- the maximum file size for text files = 250 KB
- the maximum file size for images = 1 MB
- the maximum file size for other binary files (PDF's, Word Documents, etc.) = 4 MB
Web standard fonts and those approved in the ETSU identity standards should be used for primary content. (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-facilitate-comprehension)
- Content Standards
Content inserted by the user through CMS must adhere to accessibility guidelines as outlined by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/ , http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/WD-WCAG20-20080505/#time-limits)
- Footer Information
Footer information must contain specific university information and local contact information (Name, Address, Phone, Fax, Local E-mail). (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-facilitate-comprehension)
- Links to External Sites
Links to sites not hosted on www.etsu.edu should open in a new browser tab or window.
- Accuracy and Relevance
The administrative unit(s) publishing web pages to www.etsu.edu is fully responsible for factually accurate and current content. Web sites that contain out-of-date information may be requested to make the necessary corrections. Units failing to comply following such request may have one or more pages removed from the production web server.
- Style and Grammar
All Official University Web Sites must present information using the highest editorial standards (spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, etc.). Web sites that contain editorial errors may be requested to make the necessary corrections. Units failing to comply following such request may have one or more pages removed from the production web server.
Colors for ETSU websites must conform to the ETSU Identity standards. Acceptable colors and fonts can be found in the style and graphics standards manual on the ETSU Identity website.
- Color Contrast
Color schemes for the site must be constructed such that all content on the site is displayed with good contrast and that colors complement each other.
WCAG 2.0 level AA requires a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 for normal text (14 point and bold or larger) and 3:1 for large text (18 point or larger). The WebAIM color contrast checker can be used to determine if a page meets these standards.
- Site Structure
- Site Banners
Top (Template level) banners must be consistent in font-type, size, placement and style across all CMS sites.
- Navigational Limitations
Where possible, all left navigation should appear above the fold (1024 resolution) (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-facilitate-navigation)
- Navigation Structure
Each left navigation should contain a “Home” button as the first link and “Contact Us” button as the last link. (http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-facilitate-navigation)
- Commercial Transactions
No ETSU web site (faculty server or main www.etsu.edu server) may collect credit card payments or other financial or personal sensitive information from users. Any unit needing to conduct commercial activity on an ETSU website (faculty or main server), including receipt of online credit card payments, must receive authorization from financial services and create a valid payment account. The user is responsible for obtaining a merchant ID, if appropriate, setting up the payment site and acquiring adequate training on maintaining the payment site. The web team will review the Web site's plan and make suggestions for links and advertising of the payment site. Any Web site discovered to be in violation of this provision is subject to immediate removal from the web. Any information collected from a web form may be accessible through the Tennessee Public Records Act (https://www.comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/open-records-counsel.html).
- Policy Application
Websites currently in CMS will need to comply with the design policies stated here, even if design exceptions were previously granted/approved.
** These policies are based on the standards set forth by the World Wide Web Consortium for web languages and protocols (http://www.w3c.org, http://www.w3.org/WAI/EO/Drafts/PWD-Use-Web/#diff), and more specifically, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20/WD-WCAG20-20080505/#time-limits-pause). For more information, follow the links associated with each numbered item.
Approved: Information Technology Governance Council
Revised: March 2017
Active since: November 2011