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Web Development Guidelines





Official University Web Pages

Campus Identity

Since many of our users will find your site through a search engine and not the University home page, it's important to provide University identification. You can achieve this by following the Illinois Identity Standards for Web. Briefly, those standards are:

Provide Contact Information

Feedback to the Office of Web Services consistently identifies missing or hard to find contact information as a problem for users. Provide contact information throughout your site—at least an e-mail address on every page. On your front page include a link to a complete postal mailing address, key phone numbers (with area codes) and key contact people in your organization.

Create Accessible Sites

Use a design that will be accessible to the largest possible audience. For accessibility guidelines see Section 508, Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility Standards, and the Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Act. For a more in-depth explanation of accessibility techniques, see Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0. Tips and classes for increasing your sites' accessibility are offered through the Illinois Center for Instructional Technology Accessibility.

Navigational Links

Include links to your college or unit and the campus main page. Create a consistent navigational scheme on all pages of your site. Make sure the titles of your links are visible at all times, not just on mouse-over.

Keep Content Up-to-date

Check your content on a regular basis to ensure its accuracy. Avoid including content on your pages which is the responsibility of another department. Link to their pages rather than duplicating the information on your site. Check these links often.

Keep Pages Small

Avoid long scrolling pages (like this one) on main pages.

Follow Campus Policy and Procedures

Follow campus policy for official printed documents when appropriate. For example, any campus department may use the campus logos, but only the Board of Trustees and the President are authorized to use the University seal. Similar issues and restrictions are discussed in the Public Relations, Records and Information section of the Campus Administrative Manual.

Don't Advertise

Don't advertise commercial sites, products, or services on your campus site. Text, links, and corporate logos can be included on a page when referring to corporate sponsors. Don't include any form of text or graphics which promotes or encourages commerce with commercial companies on the campus domain.


Comply with all copyright laws for content—text, images, multimedia presentations, etc. that were created by others. Know where all your content and image files originated. Using content from any source, even a campus site, without permission from the creator, can violate copyright law.

Searchable Sites

Include a search feature in your site. The Office of Web Services has chosen to use Google on the campus site. We encourage you to use this free service.

Use Meta Tags

Meta tags can greatly improve the usefulness of your site by improving the ability of search engines to index your page. To create good meta tags for descriptions and keywords, put yourself in the place of the audience as you create your tags—what words would they use, what are they looking for? The description tag can be similar or the same for all pages on the site. The keywords tag should reflect the general theme of the site as well as information specific to that page or section.

<META name="description" content="Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services">
<META name="keywords" content="CITES, Illinois, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, email, passwords, accounts, computing, telephone, network, phone, computers">

For more examples see

Campus Services

Developing a well-designed, professional, universally accessible, searchable site with expandable structure, modifiable pages, low download time, and a classic yet forward-thinking design that reflects the quality and heritage of the institution and your department while addressing all the concerns of your committee can be time and resource consuming. The Office of Creative Services can help, providing tailored Web site services, including writing, editing, site architecture, art direction, photo shoot coordination, design, and production at an hourly rate.

Personal Web Pages

All on-campus users are provided free web space for departmental and personal use. When using university computer systems and web hosting for personal use please:

Stay "Personal" not "Commercial"

This means that the content and links on your site must not express or imply that you are profiting in any way. For example, links using commercial advertisements are prohibited. Selling your own products or services is prohibited.

Content Must Be "Personal" Not "Organizational"

The personal web space you are provided is not intended for use by any organization, profit or nonprofit. For example, posting your club or church group membership roster or meeting schedule is prohibited.

Keep Your Content "Legal"

Be sure your are in compliance with federal, state, and local laws governing content and copyright. For example, most content and imagery on the web cannot be copied or used without permission, even on personal pages. Keep in mind you can be held liable for what you say on your site.

Be Aware of Your Personal Safety

When you post content which details your address, phone number, daily travel schedule or other personal details, you may be subjecting yourself to unnecessary safety risks. Avoid including such information.

Information provided by Web Services at Public Affairs.