Campus-Related Website Guidelines

The following guidelines reference three audiences:

  1. Mission-critical: Referring to the mission of the Commonwealth Campus Web project to “attract, impress, and engage students,” this audience comprises prospective students, current students, and their families.
  2. Internal: This audience refers to employees of the campus (faculty and staff).
  3. External: This audience refers to alumni, donors, community members, etc.

If the primary audience for a campus-related webpage is mission-critical or external, the page should reside on the campus’s primary public site ( Pages on the campus’s primary public site benefit from the following:

  • A consistent theme, branding, and navigation throughout the site
  • Content is included in the site’s internal search engine
  • Content is more likely to be picked up by external search engines
  • Content is curated by Google Analytics, providing valuable information for advertising
  • Site design adheres to current University accessibility standards

There are occasions when pages for mission-centric and/or external audiences may need to be hosted on a different platform. These may include the following:

  • University-related sites with specific branding guidelines, such as LaunchBox sites
  • Sites for events or conferences
  • Sites utilizing a blogging feature
  • Sites used by current students that require Penn State WebAccess Authentication

Official content, especially of a curricular nature (e.g. academic calendar, program requirements for admission or completion), should not be hosted on any webpage or website outside of the campus’s primary public site or the content's authoritative home (e.g. suggested academic plans, as maintained on the Undergraduate Bulletin). This content should be linked to and not replicated locally.

In all cases, the decision of where to host the pages will be made by the campus’s primary web administrator, Victoria Garwood, Director of Strategic Planning and Communications.

If the primary audience for a campus-related webpage is internal, the campus’s primary web administrator should be consulted to determine where the page should reside and which parties are responsible for maintaining the page and its content.

If it is determined that another platform is better suited to host a page and that individuals other than the campus’s primary web administrator plan to manage the maintenance of the page, the responsibilities of these individuals include the following:

Penn State supports a number of services to host content on the web.

  • Sites at Penn State: Utilizing WordPress as a content management system, Sites pages can be used for all audiences, including internal and external.
  • Microsoft Sharepoint: This product is integrated with Office365, is meant for internal audiences, and is protected by Web Access.

The campus’s primary web administrator has the final say on all decisions regarding where campus-related websites are hosted. All web pages are subject to review by the web administrator before being linked to the campus's website. The web administrator reserves the right to remove a link or not link to a webpage that is not in compliance with any of the above policies.