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Website Content Standards

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Related Standards

Please follow the following standards when developing and improving content for the ESU website. As the university's web policy explains, "the website is the university's primary point of information about ESU and its services, therefore the website must provide a clear and consistent experience to visitors."

Template

Page templates have been created for use by all officially recognized University organizations. All officially recognized University web pages must use these templates in the creation of their websites to ensure a consistent, and professional visual identity. The consistent use of these templates also increases site usability on desktop and mobile devices while minimizing visitor confusion and/or frustration due to constantly changing page elements. The template defines styles for common web page elements such as fonts, headings, links, paragraphs, list elements and more.

Page Content

Content should be organized in a meaningful way. Rich content elements can be used to enhance a page's presentation and functionality, while remaining consistent with the template.

For example, does it make sense to craft an FAQ section with key questions that can work in an accordion? How can sidebar help the reader find a specific link or document? Please contact the web manager to discuss any of these page elemements; some use restrictions apply.

  • "Carousel" widgets rotating between different content
  • Expandable "accordion" widgets for displaying FAQs and other lengthy information
  • Feeds of News, Calendar and/or Social Media content
  • Sidebar(s)
  • Video & Photography
  • Embedded forms

Text should be formatted grammatically. The excessive use of capital letters, italics and bold should be avoided. Do not underline text, as that style indicates a link. The template dictates the color and size of text. Use standard paragraphs and lists to format the flow of text.

Text sections should be labeled with a meaningful, written heading that accurately describes the content in the section that immediately follows, and marked using appropriate semantic markup.

Link text should accurately describe the destination or action of the link. Do not use the link address (URL), or "click here" or other generalities. All links should be tested to make certain that they are not broken and that they link to appropriate content.

Pages should contain more than lists of resources or links. A paragraph leading off the page is required; it makes the information more visually balanced and appealing, and it improves the page's description on search engines.

Images and other media elements should be optimized for the web prior to publishing of a web page. Use only high-quality photography, as blurry and/or grainy photography detracts from the message of a web page. You can gain assistance in acquisition of new photos by contacting the web services department.

All videos and audio recordings provided on web pages must be captioned or accompanied by a text transcript.

Audience-Focused Content

Be sure to write for your audience and consider their needs. Think about what information they are looking for, and make it an easy read.

Remember that a high number of viewers are on a mobile phone, and all web users want content that is easy to consume. Keep it short and sweet — pages should be concise and focused.

Use a consistent tone, voice, and person.

Current and Accurate Information

Keep your website content current and accurate. The web page content owner, typically the department chair or director, is responsible for the timeliness and accuracy of website content.

All pages should be spell-checked prior to publishing.

Blank, empty and/or placeholder pages should not be used — this includes "under construction" and most "coming soon" pages, with the exception of recurring events.

Accessibility

Website content must always consider accessibility standards. Web page creators should follow the guidelines and standards available from www.w3.org.

Copyright

ESU's Acceptable Use of Technology policy requires users to "respect the intellectual property rights of authors, contributors and publishers in all media" and prohibits using technology resources, including the ESU website, for "copyright infringement including, but not limited to, illegal sharing of video, audio, software or data." ESU webpages may not contain any third-party copyrighted content -- text, images, video or any other content -- without appropriate permission from the copyright owner.

Contact the web services team for guidance on finding copyright-safe images, search ESU's photo gallery, or request new professional photography for a particular website.

Support and Guidance

The web services department offers support, guidance and assistance to all official web stewards. Web stewards are designated by the content owner and trained by web services staff. If you have questions about a web page or need training or support, please contact the web manager at (570) 422-3999.