Objective: The objective of this document is to outline the specified policies that should be applied when interacting with the official West Chester University Internet domain, wcupa.edu, and its constituents.
Note: This is a working document and is subject to change to meet the evolving web needs of the university.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- I. SCOPE
- II. GOVERNANCE STATEMENT
- III. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF WEB SITE ADMINISTRATORS
- IV. Content Management System (CMS)
- V. WEB STANDARDS
- VI. WEB Request Process
- VII: GUIDELINES
This document governs the use of the University website, wcupa.edu, which is the official Internet homepage for the University. West Chester University’s web presence is a key communications medium to promote and enhance the university’s image by providing relevant and current information about our programs, activities, services, and accomplishments. The website, www.wcupa.edu, is the sole property of West Chester University of Pennsylvania; while certain faculty and staff will have access to edit certain portions of the site, create new content, and remove old content, the site and all its sub-sites remain the property of the University.
The University’s website is distinctive in its integrated user experience, widely distributed publishing responsibility, and flexibility for customized content. With such distributed publishing responsibility comes a shared responsibility for quality assurance, usability, performance, and security. The actions of one individual or department can affect the entire system. Therefore, it is imperative that the university formalizes a web strategy to present a standard experience to internal and external constituents.
II. GOVERNANCE STATEMENT
All university web content presented on the Internet will be governed by this document. Web content will be supported on the wcupa.edu domain, which is the primary domain to which this document pertains. Faculty, staff, and students using university resources to develop and present university web content will abide by standards designed to assure quality, performance, usability, accessibility, and security.
This document will establish basic requirements for the use of all university web resources. To strengthen the university’s public image through the adoption of a uniform visual identity, West Chester University’s websites will employ the use of standard page templates. A site-wide design for West Chester University’s websites will ensure a user-centric, usable, and consistent environment that supports a stronger university brand and provides site creation efficiency. The sites will provide accessible, accurate, and informative content and will be used for appropriate and legal purposes.
The requirements of this document deal with university standards for web content, including accessibility, design, maintenance, marketing, copyrights, and security.
III. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF WEB SITE ADMINISTRATORS
Office of Information Services
The Office of Information Services is responsible for:
- Managing and developing the University website (and related infrastructure).
- Providing documentation of guidelines to assist with the development of web
- Offering training on editing software tools including Photoshop and Omni CMS (product
of "Modern Campus")*.
- *Omni CMS was previously called "OU Campus" and Modern Campus was previously called "OmniUpdate"
- Ensuring performance, availability, and the on-going monitoring and assessment of issues related to security and performance of the university
University Communications and Marketing
University Communications and Marketing is responsible for providing the following:
- Input on the design and layout of the University
- Content for the Events and News sections of the
- Assistance to departments with specific marketing needs that may tie in with existing and/or new web
- Web images of specific events for the WCU
- Decisions on posting images outside daily University These decisions may require input from the Marketing Committee.
Web Advisory Group
The Web Advisory Group is led by the Director of Web Communications and includes representatives from each of the 5 colleges; Student Affairs, Student Services, Student Government, IS&T, University Communications and Marketing, Undergraduate Admissions, Graduate Students, and International Students. The group meets once a semester, fall and spring. The Web Advisory Group is responsible for the following:
- Providing overall governance for the university’s website, (wcupa.edu), and all sub-sites hosted on this domain
- Creating, recommending, and implementing policies and procedures to guide: design, branding and sub branding considerations; security and risk management; training and leadership of content publishers; quality assurance; performance; measurement, tracking and
Director of Web Communications
The Director of Web Communications (or Senior Web Specialist in the absence of the Director of Web Communications) is responsible for the following:
- Working with the Communications Office, the Marketing Committee, the Web Advisory Committee, Office of Information Services staff, and others, as needed, to ensure that the University web presence supports and promotes the University mission
- Monitoring University web pages for compliance with the Web Standards (see section V) and other relevant University policies, taking appropriate steps necessary to ensure compliance.
- Ensuring that content contributors have regular access to their sites and content analytics (Google Analytics).
- Monitoring website content, quality, and performance while assisting content contributors to likewise improve those areas.
- Providing assistance to content contributors’ web development and support issues, including account access.
- Overseeing the maintenance of the CMS to assure proper functionality.
- Maintaining records of all assigned content contributors and administrators in a form that is available to University employees.
- Assisting content contributors in developing content which is searchable via major search engines.
- Inspecting files in any website for violations of network security.
- Terminating access and accounts for those content contributors who cease affiliation with West Chester University (employee, student, or other authorized affiliation). Those individuals should lose access to all web accounts and privileges immediately.
- Removing outdated data or material to ensure all content is current.
University Content Contributors:
Content Contributors are people who have permission to edit, modify, or update web pages or web media content within the wcupa.edu domain. The University Content Contributors are responsible for the following:
- Managing website content and related materials (web pages, media files, and images).
- Removing or updating outdated information or content.
- Developing and maintaining the content of their assigned pages in accordance with this governance document (standards, guidelines, best practices, etc.)
- Consulting as needed with the University Web Team, and/or University Communications and Marketing regarding assigned web content.
- Appointing a site administrator(s) who is responsible for overseeing web maintenance and development of the site and interfacing with the University web Note: Site administrators need to be full-time employees of the university and be assigned publishing rights within the editing software tools.
- Ensuring the accuracy, timeliness, and relevance of their designated web pages.
- Assigning student interns or GAs access to their sites as needed.
- All content contributors are required to attend CMS training, offered by the Web Team, prior to receiving editing access to their web pages.
- All content contributors should attend the Web Content Writing class offered by the Web Team on a regular basis.
CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (CMS)
Omni CMS, a product of Modern Campus, is the content management system provider for WCU.
- The CMS is centrally managed via the WCU Web Team with infrastructure provided by IS&T.
- Each designated department web editor is given responsibility and access to manage his or her specific web site. Access to the web site is mainly limited to WCU faculty, staff and students (i.e. graduate assistance, interns), who are working with a specific faculty or staff member.
Team Roles and Responsibilities
The CMS environment will be managed by two teams: Web Services, and department web editors. Regardless of what name the Web Teams ascribe to these teams, they will play distinct roles and have distinct responsibilities. For the purposes of this governance plan, the teams are defined as follows:
A. Web Services
|Roles||Responsibilities and Tasks|
B. Department Web Editors
|Role||Responsibilities and Tasks|
|Department Web Editors||
OU Campus, a product of OmniUpdate, is the content management system provider for WCU. The CMS will only be accessible to WCU employees who have been given access to a web site directly, by authentication of their PASSHE Active Directory account information.
- There are three load balanced production servers that service the WCU web site
- Node01 located in Allegheny Hall
- Node02 located in E.O. Bull
- Node03 located at North Broad
- OmniUpdate provides a cloud based solution for the working Users will edit their pages on the OU Campus working server. The pages will publish to the staging and live servers located on premise.
Authority levels are set by administrators by assigning a user level to a user. The levels that will be used are Administrator (Level 10), Editor (Level 6).
- Level 10 administrators: control the configuration of the OU Campus CMS and its users. They can go everywhere and do A level 10 administrator can create users and groups, and configure the workflow process. Administrative functions include the ability to check pages back in that have been inadvertently left checked-out, override the approval process when pages have been sent to unresponsive approvers, edit the site and account settings, run the Dependency Manager scanner, perform a global find and replace, and override default permissions for other authority levels. Administrators can also perform a site publish, configure publish targets, restrict access to a site, and configure social media and RSS settings. Level 10 administrators are the only users that have access to the Setup menu and to the source code. To receive level 10 access you must be a current member of the University Communications and Marketing Web Team.
- Level 6 Editor: inherently have access to the page parameters, which includes configuration options
such as the title, description, meta tags, and any customized configuration The other
options from within properties are available based on group permissions and implementation.
They can create new pages, and have the ability to upload files and publish pages
to the live server. They can add Snippets to a page and edit the content within the
snippet. The level 6 option was chosen to ensure that users’ would not be able to
unintentionally break their pages by having the ability to delete, move, and or rename
their files. Level 8 users inherit this feature and have the power to assign it rights
which would inhibit the administrators’ control. Users must be trained before they
are given access to edit a website and the system administrators are solely responsible
for assigning permissions.
- Users responsible for editing websites can choose to have the Enforce Approver option This gives a single user the ability to publish the web page to the live server. Other users in the permission group will be able to edit the pages but will need to submit the page to the approver for publishing.
Clients have the ability to add pre-determined gadgets (i.e. image gallery, snippets of code) to their pages.
Web Page Maintenance
This section is not final and will continue to be updated as users’ requests are addressed.
- Removing a page from public view without deleting the page in OU The page will be:
- Deleted on the live server.
- Checked out by the webmaster account so that it cannot be published by the user.
- Checked in when the user contacts the Webmaster requesting that the page be made available again.
Training in Omni Campus is available to all WCU employees who have been asked to update their department web pages. It is currently offered as a self-paced study in D2L or offered live by request only. To request access to the D2L class, please email the Web Team.
At these training sessions individuals charged with making department level editing changes to their web sites are given instruction on how to maintain the existing content, create new content and to develop new pages. The training booklet is located on the WCU FAST website training handout index under CMS.
As users become more familiar with OU Campus’s capabilities, the Web Team will offer training on what additional functions a content management system has to offer. As a result, the Web Team has continued to offer individual department information workshops and “consulting” sessions on applying the available tools to help streamline current processes.
V. WEB STANDARDS
Accessibility: West Chester University is required by Title 2 of the Americans with Disabilities Act to be fully accessible to everyone. For a thorough explanation of accessibility design guidelines, visit the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative website at www.w3.org/WAI. Special care should still be taken for audio, video, and multimedia content. Content contributors should place text transcripts and captions for all web videos or audio files.
Site Locations: All University, academic department, and administrative web pages must reside on a registered server with the required current security software installed. Hosting of WCU web pages on non-WCU servers should only occur rarely, and must be approved by the Vice President of Information Technology. Student organization web pages reside on www.orgsync.com. The WCU search appliance only drills down to sites on the web server. The WCU library is an exception. Because the library is a standard resource for students, our search appliance will also index the library site even if it resides on a different server.
Identification: Each website's association with West Chester University must be clearly identified. The name of the department must be on every page it creates. The Department Head’s or Director’s e-mail address must be displayed on the department’s main page or “contact us” page. To preserve anonymity, generic e-mail addresses may be used.
Content: Stale Content; having fresh and up to date content is key for running a successful and user friendly website. Because of its importance, content will be reviewed every 12 months. A report will be pulled by the Web Team for pages that have not been updated in the last 6 months. The web site editor will have 30 days to review and update the content. If you’d like to be notified sooner, the Stale Content report is available to all users. This allows you to have reminders emailed to you when the page has not been edited in the set amount of time. Obsolete data/content will be removed by the Web Team. Any images that have not been published in a calendar year, and are not linked via dependency tag on any pages, will be recycled. In some instances, older content will remain on the website for necessary archival, marketing, and policy purposes.
Web pages linked from the West Chester University site or stored on a server connected to the university network must comply with applicable laws and with university policies and regulations. The following must not be included in any web pages:
- Copyrightable or licensed materials for which the necessary permissions for use have not been obtained or an exception permitting use applies.
- Material for commercial gain unrelated to the University.
- Material that could lead to illegal activities (unless used in an appropriate academic context).
- Material or speech that is unlawful (unless used in an appropriate academic context).
- Material that is intended to damage, to interfere with, or place an excessive load on a computer system or network
- Replication and repurposing of original content should be avoided. Instead, links to the original source in the content management system should be used. Policies regarding Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Trademarks should be followed.
Videos: All videos used on the WCU website should accurately reflect the mission of the University. All videos must be reviewed as to not display illegal activities, offensive, obscene or threatening slogans or logos on clothing, and verify proper attire is worn on the students/faculty/staff in the video. It is important to show a range of genders, ethnic backgrounds, races, ages, etc., but avoid artificial-looking situations that are obviously trying to communicate diversity. All videos posted on www.wcupa.edu should be ADA compliant. All videos that appear on the university’s website should be captioned. Videos are to be housed on YouTube since West Chester University does not have access to their own streaming server. If you’d like a video to be embedded on the university’s website please contact the Web Team. Contact the Digital Media Center, DMC, if you would like to create a video for your department’s website.
Audio: All audio used on the WCU website should accurately reflect the mission of the University. Web page editors are permitted to submit audio to the Web Team requesting the files be added to departmental sites and pages. In submitting the request, the editor is acting on behalf of his/her department and maintains the responsibility for the audio certifying that they have already acquired all necessary licensing, and have taken measures to ensure ADA compliancy. Audio is to be encoded as an MP3 file using a variable bitrate. When the primary content is spoken word (books, podcasts, radio shows, etc.), the file will be encoded as a single channel (mono). The Web Team reserves the right to remove large MP3 files from the server. Refer to the Web Standards section of the Web Governance document regarding accessibility and audio.
Documents: All Word documents should be placed on the web as a PDF. The link to the document should clearly indicate is it a PDF.
University Internal documents: All internally used documents should reside on the University’s SharePoint intranet and not the main WCU web server (see SharePoint Governance Plan, Section VI).
Event Calendar: Clients can request the addition of an event calendar for their web pages. The events are tied to those entered into the 25Live system.
Page Design: All web pages must maintain an integrated user experience and look across the site. Adjustments or additions to the templates or questions about whether a website violates applicable policies are referred to the WCU Web Team and the Web Advisory Committee. In addition, non-university web content should not use or replicate the University’s templates in a manner that confuses content ownership.
Browsers: Because most browser vendors are on a 4-6 week release cycle, the WCU website will support the latest version of popular browsers including Edge, Safari, Chrome, FireFox, Internet Explorer, etc. as long as the vendor supports the product.
Logo: The WCU logo is a marketing symbol meant to convey, at a glance, that the page is a representation of West Chester University. Refer to the university Logo Policy for more information.
Images: All images used on the WCU website should accurately reflect the mission of the University. Images should be reviewed as not to display illegal activities, offensive, obscene, or threatening slogans or logos on clothing, and verify proper attire is worn on the students/faculty/staff in the image. It is important to show a range of genders, ethnic backgrounds, races, ages, etc., but avoid artificial-looking situations that are obviously trying to communicate diversity. Images should be sent to the WCU web team for proper sizing. Alternate text (Alt Tag) should be added to each photo to meet ADA compliance regulations. When the sole purpose of an image is to convey decoration only, empty alt is required. An images which is used as a link without any text must have non-empty alt text.
Under Construction Sites: Under construction messages or image signs should not be used.
Templates: Users can create new pages for their website based on a template. The following templates are available:
- Branch Top:
- Used for external campuses Currently only used for Philly campus.
- Used for homepages of Academic and Administrative departments (example: President’s page, College of Education and Social Work, Registrar and Financial Aid)
- Used for Student Affairs departments (Campus Rec, Career Development, etc.)
- Used as the internal pages for all top level
- Used on a case by case basis, as the web team deems necessary for organization of content
- Used for pages that need to retain all content
Style Guide: Contains WCU’s design elements.
Internal Hyperlinking: A meaningful hyperlink, describing where the user will be directed to, should be used rather than the words like “Click Here”, "Learn More", etc..
Course Listings: The only course description which can appear on the university webpage is from the Undergraduate Catalog or the Graduate Catalog. Web editors should link to the course as it appears on the course catalog page. Editors cannot post a link to a Word document or a PDF that includes the department’s own course description. The Office of Communications reserves the right to take down such links.
Web Page Aliases/Short URLs: The Web team can create Web page aliases (short names or short-cuts) to enhance the marketing of the site if you request a marketing URL. In general, shorter names are preferred to longer names. They are easier to communicate, remember, and type. However, names and acronyms that are too short may be confusing to some users. West Chester University names must reside in the wcupa.edu domain. You should not purchase domain names from an outside source/vendor (i.e. GoDaddy) and have that domain name point to a West Chester University web page.
Measurement: Analytics are available for all site pages, so departments wanting to track page views do not need to embed codes on their own. Departments that wish to utilize this data should request access to analytical data for their own reporting needs via the WCU Web Team.
Names: Files, folders, and images are not to have spaces or unusual characters or symbols within a file name. Punctuation marks (other than a hyphen) should also be avoided. Spaces are often overlooked when users type URLs. Moreover, spaces in links occasionally do not work.
- Keep your file names short (under 25 characters) AND meaningful.
- All web page files must end in html, htm, asp, js, css, and aspx.
- All graphic files must end in gif, jpg or png.
- Be aware of how you use upper and lowercase letters. This can help users understand your file names.
Load Time: Large file sizes require a longer time to download. All standard practices to minimize each file size loaded with the page should be used. This includes graphic optimization for all images. Images should be forwarded to the web team for proper sizing.
Duplication and Unused Files: To facilitate revisions and prevent contradictory information from appearing on the University website, content contributors should link to needed information already on the University website rather than duplicating the information on their own sites.
Termination of Links: West Chester University reserves the right to refuse to provide a link on an official University web page and to remove a link without notice. Content and/or links to areas found to be in violation of University policies, or local, state, or federal laws, will be immediately terminated. The following reasons are also grounds for termination:
- Content on official University websites does not adhere to the University's mission or policies.
- Content violates United States copyright laws. To use copyrighted material including text, graphics, photographs, sound and video clips, and software within the West Chester University domain, the site developer must obtain, and retain on file, written permission for each use from the originating author.
- Content is obscene, offensive, or threatening.
- Content is designed for private financial gain or compensation not relevant to the mission of the University or in violation of official University policy, the Computer Users Policy, and restrictions for nonprofit organizations.
- Content is used to intimidate or single out an individual or group for degradation or harassment in violation of federal or state law and official University policy.
- Content is used to engage in or solicit any illegal activity in violation of federal or state law or official University policy.
- Content that is linked from the University’s website to another entity or organization’s site should clearly identify a departure from University pages.
Advertising, Endorsements, and Sponsorship Acknowledgements: West Chester University is the owner of its web pages. No advertising or third-party endorsements are authorized on university web pages unless expressly approved by the president or designee. This includes, but is not limited to, advertising, endorsements, or sponsorship acknowledgements in the form of banner ads and website development credits by third party vendors. Event sponsorship acknowledgements in the form of a simple listing of company names and logos are acceptable.
Homepage Hero Images: The purpose of the West Chester University Homepage Hero images are to showcase the WCU campus, students, faculty, and staff. It can be considered a vehicle for the promotion of the university to prospective students and parents. The hero images represent the diverse academic community that is WCU. The hero images are approved by the webmaster.
- An image loads randomly when a user visits the home page.
- A random image will appear each time the page is refreshed.
- There is no limit to the number of images that are stored in the image bank.
- Time sensitive photos will be removed after sufficient time has passed. (for example, move-in day, homecoming, holiday photos, etc.)
- Event Advertisements
- Advertisements will not be featured as a hero image.
- Will not be added to the images.
- Images from Homecoming events will be added to the image bank during that time.
- December Holiday Break
- Holiday images will be added to coincide with the holiday break.
- Spring Break
- Spring campus shots will be added to coincide with the break.
- All images will require the permission of the students, faculty and or staff member appearing in the This can be in a written or verbal format.
- Requests for hero images to be used in other WCU materials can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Credit must be given to the WCU Web Team for the use of the image (Example: “Photo by WCU Web Team”).
Social Media: If you participate in or maintain a social media site on behalf of the university, clearly state your role and goals. Before you enter a discussion thread or respond to a posting, think about the implications. If you have any questions about whether it’s appropriate to enter into a social media discussion or write about certain kinds of material in your role as a WCU employee, ask your supervisor before you post or contact the Office of Communications. Social media logos used on the University website, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., must be the standard company logos and cannot be altered. Departmental websites are allowed to link their department’s social media sites; however, they must follow the Social Media Guidelines (Section VI).
Use of Copyrighted or Licensed Material: For the use of any and all copyrighted materials not belonging to West Chester University, written permission must be obtained from the copyright holder and kept on file. Appropriate copyright notices must be prominently displayed as necessary. It should not be assumed that images or photographs used in other University publications are the property of West Chester University.
University Content Copyrighted: All content on the University website is property of the University. Permission to use images on the website for publications, presentations, social media, etc. must be given by the WCU Web Team. Appropriate copyright notices must be prominently displayed as necessary.
Web Security and Performance: WCU web servers are regularly monitored for security vulnerabilities and performance. Web pages that are identified as vulnerable or causing server performance issues may be deactivated until the areas of concern are addressed. The Web Team will periodically check all web pages for performance acceptability. The web team will run a report to locate the heaviest pages. These pages along with a random sampling of other pages will be targeted for performance testing. New application features and major site releases are to be tested on the test server environment to prevent the introduction of poor performing or vulnerable web resources.
Server Logs: WCU web server logs are kept for a minimum of one week before they are archived to a separate drive via an automated process. We maintain six months of logs on our archive drive. On a monthly basis, the log for the oldest month is manually removed.
Website Search: WCU utilizes the Funnelback web search platform through Squiz.
VI. WEB REQUEST PROCESS
Below are the five key steps for a request for a new site and/or the redesign of an existing website or online form.
Phase 1: Analysis
- A department representative will meet with a member of the WCU web team to discuss goals and objectives for the website, review existing content, and look at competitors and other important aspects impacting the development and maintenance of the site.
Phase 2: Planning
- The Web Team will work with the department representative to develop an information architecture, web strategy, and production schedule.
- Forms: the Web Team will develop functional specifications which will be signed and approved by the client before development can begin.
Phase 3: Creating
- The Web Team will design the site based on the specifications from the Planning and Analysis stages.
- Each individual web page or form:
- Must adhere to the accessibility guidelines set forth in Executive Order 926 and Coded Memorandum AA-2006-41 or its successors, best evidenced by adherence to guidelines for Section 508 or WCAG 2.1AA.
- Must contain content created by the department with the web team and/or Office of Communications assistance.
- Should be constructed using the current official University templates and design.
- May contain public and/or password-protected content.
- Will be included in the University’s site search.
- Will be overseen and maintained by the site administrator.
- May offer online payments via e-commerce.
Phase 4: Building and Launching
- The Web Team will build the site/form on a test server. Once testing is completed, reviewed, and approved by the department, it will be moved to the live server. Use of the development system for live content is prohibited
- All sites will undergo usability and performance testing to insure the site’s ease of use and functionality.
Phase 5: Maintaining
- While individual departments are responsible for keeping their sites current, the Web Team will continue to review websites and offer ongoing information and advice to assist content The Web Team will train content contributors and give them the necessary access so they can maintain their sites with the software tools available (Omni Campus, a product of Omni Update and Photoshop). In addition, the team will provide Web Content Writing training to assist users in updating their site’s content.
- Online forms developed by the Web Team will need to be maintained by the Web Team due to the complexity of code; however, it is up to the department representative to provide updates to the form in a timely fashion to the Web Team.
- All sites will be reviewed on a yearly basis to verify that they are compliant with the University’s web standards.
SharePoint Governance Plan
Social Media Guidelines