- Accessibility Requirements
- Minimum Requirements for Official WIU Web Pages
- Visual Identity
- Design Guidelines
- Domain Name and URL Requirements
- Web Site Hosting Requirements
- Required Review/Update Schedules
- Multimedia (Audio/Video)
- Social Networking Guidelines
Content Management System (CMS) Guidelines
- Gaining Access to the CMS
- Requesting Exemptions to Using the CMS
- Use of Templates Outside of the CMS
Definitions of Official & Unofficial Sites
- Level 1 Sites (University master/marketing sites)
- Level 2 Sites (Departmental/College/Unit)
- Level 3 Sites (Organizations)
- Level 4 Sites (Student, Faculty & Staff Personal Web Sites)
Policies and Guidelines
- Password Policy
- Media/Photo Release Guidelines
Web Use Guidelines
- ALL new or redesigned websites except for web pages designated as unofficial (see Definitions of Official & Unofficial Web Sites).
University Technology Web Services, working with the Internet Technology Advisory Committee (iTAC), maintain these guidelines and will update the guidelines as needed to keep the guidelines consistent with the University’s mission and current as technology evolves.
Questions, comments or additional information regarding the following guidelines can be directed to the Office of Web Services at (309) 298-1287 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I. Accessibility Requirements
All official websites made available to the public or required to be viewed by state employees must meet or exceed the requirements of the current Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (www.dhs.state.il.us/iitaa). Western Illinois University’s Web Accessibility Policy (www.wiu.edu/policies/webaccessibility.php) reiterates that all official WIU web sites are required to follow the state requirements.
By default, the templates provided in WIU’s Content Management System (see Content Management System Guidelines) meet accessibility requirements. The use of templates within the Content Management System will help ensure (but not guarantee) that accessible web pages are provided to the public. Web content managers are responsible for ensuring that content provided via Western Illinois University web pages meet current accessibility standards.
II. General Guidelines
A. Minimum Requirements for Official WIU Web Pages
It is expected that all official University web sites (see Definitions of Official and Unofficial Sites) must be transitioned into and managed via the University’s Content Management System (CMS). For all official University websites, the following minimum requirements must be followed:
- The words Western Illinois University should be prominent on every page, as this is visual confirmation of the University’s role and presence.
- Organization and contact information should be prominent and updated for each department, office or division.
- A link back to the main page of the department, office or division should be provided on each page.
- A link back to the WIU home page should be provided on each page.
- The official WIU logo (in accordance with the WIU Visual Identity Guidelines) should be provided on each page.
- Each page must be in compliance with the University’s Visual Identity Guidelines.
- All web pages must comply with the policies and regulations of Western Illinois University, and applicable state and federal laws.
- Each web page must be in compliance with the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act.
B. Visual Identity
Web pages and sites must comply with the University brand and identity. The complete University Visual Identity Guidelines are available at www.wiu.edu/visualidentity.
All Web pages must adhere to Western Illinois University logo policies. This includes the proper use of the Western Illinois University logo as established by University Marketing. Logos of other institutions or companies must be smaller than the Western Illinois University logo and may only be linked if the link is to a specific Web page directly related to information about a service or affiliation to Western Illinois University provided by the institution or company.
D. Design Guidelines
Images must be appropriate, free of copyright restrictions (attribution must be provided when necessary), cropped and sized properly for Web use. Using HTML to resize raw or photo-quality images for web use is not appropriate.
When using purple and gold, the official Western Illinois University school colors, use the following hexadecimal triplets:
- WIU Purple: #663399
- WIU Gold: #FFCC00
3. Phone Numbers, E-mail Addresses and Mailing Addresses
Phone numbers, when provided on the University web site, should be displayed in the format:
It is recommended, though not required, that e-mail addresses not be made into clickable mailto links. If a user does not have an email program installed on their computer, said links will not function.
Mailing addresses, when displayed, should follow the standard set forth in the University Visual Identity Guidelines available at www.wiu.edu/visualidentity.
- Name of individual and/or department for whom the mail piece is intended
- Building name followed by room number (Macomb campus)
- Street address: 1 University Circle or 3300 River Drive
- City, state, and ZIP(+4): Macomb, IL 61455-1390 or Moline, IL 61265
E. Domain Name and URL Requirements
Official web sites must be in the University's official domain: www.wiu.edu. Western Illinois University will not host outside domains, such as those ending in .com or .org, without an approved exemption by the Office of Web Services/University Technology. Exemptions must be granted before a domain name is purchased.
1. Sub-Domain Restrictions
Sub-domains (e.g. xyz.wiu.edu) are restricted for:
a) Dedicated web applications (e.g. zimbra.wiu.edu, westernonline.wiu.edu)
b) Industry standards/best practices (e.g. the use of m.wiu.edu for the University’s mobile web site)
c) Indicating unofficial (personal) WIU web sites (e.g. faculty.wiu.edu) (See Definitions of Official & Unofficial Web Sites)
Sub-domains will not be granted for typical Western Illinois University web sites – all University web sites will be located under the www.wiu.edu domain. Web managers of sites that currently have sub-domains should have a plan in place to phase out the use of said sub-domains.
2. Redirects & Aliases
If a long URL is needed to be referenced in print publications, correspondence, marketing pieces, etc. a shortened URL replacement can be requested by contacting Web Services.
For example, the URL www.wiu.edu/student_services/financial_aid/sources_of_aid could have a URL redirect created such as: www.wiu.edu/sourcesOfAid. The preferred method will be to redirect the user visiting the shortened URL to the correct, full URL. Aliases (where the user remains at the shortened version of the URL) are not recommended due to the fact that it eliminates the usefulness of web site breadcrumb navigation that indicate where within the WIU web site the user resides.
F. Web Site Hosting Requirements
Official University web sites are hosted on the Western Illinois University web server cluster. Separate domain names or off-site hosting for official University websites should not be purchased without first contacting Web Services/University Technology.
All Western Illinois University sites represent official communications from the University to the public, therefore all content must adhere to University policies and standards - including FERPA and the University's Appropriate Use Policy - and all local, state, federal and international law. This includes Western Illinois University sites hosted off-site regardless of whether they fall under the www.wiu.edu domain.
G. Required Review/Update Schedules
Once a web page is created, your relationship with it doesn’t end simply after publishing it to the web. Outdated information and broken links damage the reputation of your department, office and the University. Update pages frequently. Set a regular schedule, such as once a semester, to check names, positions, links, contact information, and basic content are correct for each page. Depending on the content and service area, pages may need to be updated more frequently.
The University reserves the right to identify copyrightable materials on University-owned resources. The University also investigates reported copyright violations.
Works subject to copyright require written consent prior to publication on the web. Providing notice and obtaining consent are the responsibilities of the web site supervisor requesting publication. A record of the consent must be maintained as long as the content is online. Consent obtained by electronic means will be considered adequate.
I. Multimedia (Audio/Video)
Western Illinois University is required by state law to abide by the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act (IITAA). Requirements regarding audio/video can be located in section 7 of the IITAA requirements. For complete IITAA requirements, visit www.dhs.state.il.us/iitaa.
All web videos provided to the public (or required to be viewed by employees) are required to be captioned. One exception to requiring captions: if web videos contain essential audio but no essential video, then a text transcript may be provided instead of captions (see IITAA Section 7.1). If a web video contains essential visual information (not discernible from the audio), audio descriptions must additionally be provided (see IITAA Section 7.2).
Regardless of the physical server that houses the website and/or video, any website that identifies itself as representing WIU and presents video to the public should adhere to the IITAA requirements.
J. Social Networking Guidelines
Guidelines for the use of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, YouTube, etc) are available on the University Relations web site at www.wiu.edu/vpaps/university_relations/social_media_guidelines.php. These guidelines discuss best practices to use these forums effectively, protect the University’s reputation, enhance the University’s image, and help units and staff follow University policies.
III. Content Management System (CMS) Guidelines
With one exception, all official University web sites (see Definitions of Official and Unofficial Sites) must be transitioned to and managed in the University’s CMS. An exception is granted to secure web sites that require a username and password to access, as these sites are not available to the public.
No alterations to the CMS-provided template structure or CSS may be made.
B. Gaining Access to the CMS
Access to the CMS is granted by each College or Vice-Presidential-area web master. For a current listing of WIU’s web representatives, visit www.wiu.edu/webreps. All CMS users must log in with their personal ECom ID and password, not a generic or shared username and password.
C. Requesting Exemptions to Using the CMS
If an exemption to using the CMS for an official University web site is required, the exemption must be approved by Web Services/University Technology. These cases are rare. Web sites not granted an exemption must be in the CMS. Those web sites granted an exemption may not use the full WIU web templates provided by the CMS and will be provided a general layout template by Web Services to use if they so desire. Said sites will be required to meet all of the Minimum Requirements for Official WIU Web Pages as listed in these guidelines.
D. Use of Templates Outside of the CMS
The full web templates available in the CMS are only to be used from within the CMS. Any areas found to be using these WIU templates external to the CMS will be required to move the sites into the CMS.
IV. Definitions of Official & Unofficial Sites
The University's computing and networking resources are limited, official web pages contain current web content that supports University functions or programs. University web developers may not store personal web pages or non-web files, such as backups, in any space designated for official web pages.
The following categories of web sites identify the parties responsible for all aspects of the web site development, including accessibility, timeliness, and accuracy of the information presented.
A. Level 1 Sites (University master/marketing sites)
Central web content are top-level web pages and content that either consolidate information from several departments or are developed through the Office of Web Services. Examples include the University homepage and Future Students.
B. Level 2 Sites (Departmental/College/Unit)
Divisions, colleges, departments and other University units are encouraged to have a presence on the University web presence. The administrator of the University unit is the supervisor of the web site and is responsible for all aspects of the web page development, including the accessibility, timeliness, and accuracy of the information.
C. Level 3 Sites (Organizations)
Student organizations sponsored by the University may publish official web sites via the Office of Student Activities. The supervisor of the web site is the president of the organization and is responsible for all aspects of the web development, including the accessibility, timeliness, and accuracy of the information.
University-sponsored groups (e.g. committees and organizations) may publish official web sites via the CMS. Access to the CMS will be granted by Web Services or, in the case of College-sponsored groups, the College web representative. The supervisor of the web site is the president/chair of the group and is responsible for all aspects of the web development, including the accessibility, timeliness, and accuracy of the information.
D. Level 4 Sites (Student, Faculty & Staff Personal Web Sites)
Level 4 sites are considered unofficial web sites and are those hosted but not sponsored by Western Illinois University.
- Unofficial pages do not constitute official University business or statements, and the University does not endorse or actively monitor the content of these web pages. The views expressed on these pages are strictly those of the individual authors.
- Western Illinois University does not regulate the contents of these sites, however, the University will investigate all complaints involving unofficial web pages and reserves the right to remove or block material that violates federal or state law, or University policy.
- Developers of unofficial web sites are encouraged to follow the guidelines for official web pages.
- Faculty web sites are provided on a dedicated sub-domain (faculty.wiu.edu) and all other student and staff personal sites are provided under the www.wiu.edu/users/ directory. These sites are designated as Level 4 sites.
- All authorized users of this information technology resource are required to follow the policies and regulations of Western Illinois University, and applicable state and federal laws.
V. Policies and Guidelines
Web sites may not violate University policies and standards, local, state, federal or international laws, and are subject to editing or removal by Web Services. Web pages must adhere to the Western Illinois University code of conduct, and all copyright rules and restrictions, in accordance with the University’s standards and requirements, and as stated in the Student’s Code of Conduct, Employee Handbook, and the Faculty Handbook.
B. Password Policy
All developers and administrators of WIU web sites are to follow the University Password Policy (www.wiu.edu/policies/password.php).
D. Media/Photo Release Guidelines
All persons registering at, visiting or being employed by Western Illinois University and being present in public settings authorize use and reproduction by the university, or anyone authorized by the university, to any photographs taken while at WIU, without compensation. All negatives and positives, photographic prints and digital photo files shall constitute WIU property, solely and completely.
All other Images, voices, likenesses, and other information require written consent before publication in official web sites. Contact the Office of University Relations for the most current version of the media release form.