About this Site: Web Standards

Rationale for Web Standards

Standards for the SCSU web site, as for other publications, help to reinforce a consistent look and feel that best represents our university. They ensure visitors to the SCSU web site will find pages that are useful, appealing and easy to navigate.

Definition of Official SCSU Web Sites

SCSU official web sites/pages are considered university publications that disseminate administrative or academic information and include those developed for:

  • Colleges
  • Academic departments and programs
  • Administrative offices
  • University designated committees
  • University policies and procedures
  • University online services
  • Other academic and administrative units of the university

Official SCSU web sites are subject to state and federal laws and university policies including the web standards, accessibility policy, computing use policy, copyright policy, advertising policy, dynamic website development policy, and privacy policy. (For "Definition of Non-Official SCSU Web Sites" see below.)

Required Web Standards for Official SCSU Web Sites

Official University Header: Every page in the official web environment will contain the official SCSU header. This header is not to be modified in any way without explicit permission of the SCSU Web Council, to include altering code, recreating the header, adding additional imagery, changing links, changing the size, etc.

Official University Footer: Every page in the official web environment will contain the official SCSU footer. This footer is not to be modified in any way without explicit permission of the SCSU Web Council, to include altering code, recreating the header, adding additional imagery, changing links, changing the size, etc.

Page Title: Each page in the web site must contain a title that includes "St. Cloud State University" in the title content (e.g. <title>Department Name: St. Cloud State University</title>).

Background: Backgrounds for all pages will be white (#ffffff) to ensure legibility. Background images are not allowed.

Frames: Use of frames is not permitted in an effort to make SCSU web pages as accessible as possible to many audiences.

Text Links: It is strongly encouraged to use the standard default colors (blue-unvisited/purple-visited) for textual links with underlining, as these conventions are most widely understood. Relative links should be used whenever possible for ease of portability when moving sites from server to server. Links must be checked manually at least twice an academic calendar year to assure they link to their intended destinations.

Department Email Account: Each department or office will obtain a department/office email that will be checked on at least a weekly basis by a designated person in the department. This email can be redirected to an individual's personal email account if necessary. Do not use a personal email address for the department account.

Department Academic Program Information: Departments must not replicate undergraduate or graduate program descriptions and course descriptions. Instead, a link or links should be provided to this information located in the online catalogs. If you find something in error in the online bulletins, please inform Academic Affairs at (320) 255-3143.

Content: Departments will check their entire web site at least two times per academic calendar year to ensure all content is accurate and timely. Content will be updated or removed as needed.

Additional Policies: Official sites must adhere to the following policies: accessibility, computing use, copyright, advertising, dynamic website development, and privacy.

Please contact the SCSU Web Team at webteam@stcloudstate.edu or (320) 255-4805 for assistance in implementing the web standards.

Non-Compliance with the Required Standards

If an official university site is found to be out of compliance with the required standards, the responsible individual(s) for the site will be contacted by the Web Manager or a designee. The Web Manager or designee will explain what steps need to be taken to bring the site back into compliance and a written timeline will be negotiated with the department. If the site is not brought back into compliance by the agreed upon date, the web account will be turned over to the SCSU Web Team and brought into compliance.

Help with making your site compliant can be obtained by contacting the SCSU Web Team at webteam@stcloudstate.edu.

Important: The Web Team will be available to help departments and offices move their web sites to the new server and update their web sites to comply with the new standards. Colleges, departments, centers and divisions will have until Friday, November 1, to complete the transition to the new server and meet compliance with the new SCSU web standards.

Definition of Non-Official SCSU Web Sites

The following are examples of non-official web sites:

  • Personal web sites - faculty, staff and students.
  • Web sites developed for curricular materials (i.e. D2L, personal curricular sites).
  • Student organization web sites - student organizations should consult with the director of University Organizations regarding any guidelines that office may have.
  • Web sites maintained on university servers for external organizations (type B and C accounts).

Non-official SCSU web sites are subject to state and federal laws and university policies including computing use, copyright, and advertising. In addition, curricular web sites must adhere to the accessibility policy.

Questions or Comments on the Standards

The Web Council, comprised of representatives from various units of the campus community, is responsible for developing and enforcing the web standards, and overseeing the development of the SCSU web environment. If you have questions or comments about the web standards, or have a dispute about the standards, you can contact the Web Council at jcturner@stcloudstate.edu.

If you need help implementing the web standards, contact the SCSU Web Team at (320) 255-4805 or Webteam@stcloudstate.edu.