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Website Standards and Guidelines

The following website standards have been established by the Office of Public Information and Publications to ensure a high quality, consistent and user-friendly web and mobile presence, including an important and accurate presentation of information.

In many cases, the website may be the first place someone learns about The University of Tampa. The purpose of these standards is to help produce an engaging interface that best represents UT’s mission and brand.

Responsive Web Design

Instead of a separate mobile site, responsive web design (RWD) is a technique of website design to ensure a visitor has the best possible experience on a website, regardless of device used. UT’s Office of Public Information (PI) and the Office of Information Technology (IT) implemented a fluid layout on all UT websites. This means that every web page on the www.ut.edu site adjusts according to the screen size on a desktop, smartphone, tablet or other mobile device.

External/Public Website Communications

All official UT websites and external/public communications remain in Ektron...

All official UT websites and external/public communications remain in Ektron.

External communications include any public-facing website. All sites should adhere to the UT brand, look and feel and be approved by the Office of Public Information and Publications. New sites must be set up and remain in Ektron, unless otherwise specified as an exception, following UT’s mission, goals and brand standards.

Exceptions that are not in Ektron include:

  • Student Organizations
    Student organization’s faculty/staff advisor should oversee the student organization websites and maintain passwords/logins for long-term maintenance. Students are encouraged to have creative and educational freedom on these sites. Student sites must adhere to the student handbook and rights and responsibilities. The UT student organization directory exists in Ektron as a means for finding current student organization contact information and descriptions, and the content is maintained by the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement (OSLE). OrgSync exists for student organizations' internal communications and is also maintained by OSLE.

  • Online Academic University Catalog
    Searchable program and course descriptions, academic policies and more. Managed by the Registrar's Office.

  • Ed Tech Knowledge Base
    Ed Tech is an external tutorial educational site maintained by Educational Technology and managed and approved by the PI and IT offices.

  • UTweb
    UTweb should only be use by faculty, staff and students as an educational and hands-on learning opportunity to build their own websites.

  • Tampa Spartans
    UT Athletics maintains athletic news, schedules, rosters and other athletic information through PrestoSports.

  • Dining
    Sodexo manages the UT dining website, an external facing site, including dining options and menu listings it provides on campus.

  • Library
    Online catalog, databases, ejournals, documents and other scholarly materials managed by the UT library.

  • Bookstore
    Campus bookstore online store, managed by Barnes & Noble.

Internal (UT Faculty, Students and Staff) Website Communications

Internal communications include intranets with a sign-in function...

Internal communications include intranets with a sign-in function, such as SpartanWeb, Blackboard, HIRE-UT, UTampa360, OrgSync and Workday. Intranets are managed by IT. Other specialty sites may contain public-facing web pages, but also include a sign-in function, such as the alumni and spartans abroad program portal.

Website Authoring and Approval Process

The typical process for a department is to have one to three department authors...

Website Authoring

Ektron, UT’s web content management system (CMS), provides a host of features for a consistent look and feel for all UT web pages. The system allows for content creation to be in the hands of departments across campus. UT staff and faculty, with little technical training, can edit content in their assigned areas.

Requests for authoring/supervising and training are made to the web communications manager.

Approval Process

UT Department Author > UT Department Supervisor > UT Web Writer > UT Final Approver

The typical process for a department is to have one to three department authors who have a sense of ownership of their web content to ensure all content is up-to-date and accurate. These individuals are content experts in their division and are able to communicate effectively to UT’s primary online audience of prospective students. These department content authors then submit their content to be reviewed by their department supervisor.

The department supervisor oversees the department author to ensure the section of the site stays up to date, verifies the content should be released on the public platform, checks for inaccuracies and reviews details.

The content is then submitted to Public Information’s web writer, who ensures the content has a consistent tone and appeal to our audience. The web writer also checks for style, grammar and other errors.

Finally, the content is submitted to the final approver who confirms the content follows UT’s brand standards and Web strategy, consistency and checks technical issues.

Guidelines for Web Authors

Getting started, updating content, text, writing style...

  • Getting Started
    UT web authors are provided with one-on-one Ektron training (45 minutes) and receive the UT Ektron Author Manual. Before making changes to your site, determine your main audience, goals and hierarchy. This important step is vital to the success of the site. Requests for authoring/supervising and training are made to the web communications manager.
    WATCH VIDEO: Web Content Tips from Career Services.

  • Updating Content
    The highest priority of a web author is taking ownership of their website content and updating pages frequently. Not only does this keep the site fresh and interesting for the visitor, but also benefits the website’s SEO (see below) and entire UT online presence as a whole.

  • Text
    Avoid large amounts of text. Add only the most critical information users can access quickly. Bulleted lists and multiple headings are encouraged for easy reading. Visitors are more likely to scan than read. Always “paste in plain text” to avoid importing unnecessary code.

  • Writing Style
    UT’s Style Guide provides guidelines for writers to help produce consistency throughout the University’s publications and website. The guidelines are based on the Associated Press (AP) Stylebook, Webster's New World Dictionary and local usage. See UT's writing style guide and offices and departments style guide for details.

  • Duplicating Information
    Authoritative content should be referenced by linking to the direct source. Do not duplicate authoritative information. Examples of authoritative content sources include:
    • Faculty and Staff Online Directory and Biographies: Staff listings are maintained by Human Resources, and faculty listings are maintained by the Office of the Provost in UT’s online directory only. Biographies, directory images and CVs should not be located elsewhere on UT’s external websites.
    • Course numbers, offerings and descriptions: Required courses, course identifiable information and descriptions are maintained by the Registrar’s Office on UT's online catalog only and should not be duplicated on any other UT website. A generalized “topics of study” section is acceptable.
  • Links
    Create links with descriptions (for example, don’t use “click here.” Instead, highlight the name of the item used in a sentence and add the link from there.) Always preview and click the link to verify the link is working.

  • Images, Video and Interactivity
    Limit each page with minimal images and/or videos. Associate relevant ALT tags and descriptions with all images. Images are uploaded to the server through Public Information. A list of photographers can be recommended if your images need an update. Ask for assistance with embedding videos. New video requests can be made to the marketing communications manager.

  • Preview
    Preview page before submitting to double check changes.

  • Tables, Frames and Pop ups
    Avoid fixed tables, frames, pop ups and dynamic effects.

  • PDFs and Other Files
    If PDFs must be used, follow accessible guidelines below. Overwriting PDFs is encouraged instead of uploading new files and replacing. Creating new pages or adding content to pages are encouraged instead of adding PDFs to the website. Before PDF’s are uploaded to Ektron, they should be checked to insure there are no spaces or dates in the filename.

  • Mobile
    Verify your content functions well on a mobile device. The content should be easily read without having to pinch the screen. This is especially the case if there are tables or other add ons on your pages.

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
    Verify the content on the pages has relevant keywords and related terms organically. Keywords should be added to the content in page naturally. Use the UT search function to verify your content comes up when searching related keywords. Requests can also be submitted to have your page show up first depending on the keyword.

  • Related Content and Add ons
    Specialty functionality can be added to the page to make it more dynamic. This includes four quick facts (red facts bar), six-photograph photo gallery, quotes, related resources, related news and related featured content.

  • Social media
    Add social media links to the page to increase followers. Add links to photo albums that are posted as well. Before adding links or starting a social media account, review the UT social media policy and guide.

  • Web Strategy and Branding
    (structure/navigation, tone, adding pages, related content and all other web communications)

    To enhance a section of the UT website or to create a new web page, please send requests to the web communications manager. See UT's web layout options for authors, including layout options, visual enhancements and UT branding.

  • Continuous Enhancements
    Remember that websites should be constantly updated to adhere to the changes within the University and the changes within our audience’s needs. Staying up-to-date with trends and expectations is important for the website’s success. The Office of Public Information and Publications performs usability studies and surveys with website visitors to make continuous improvements to UT’s websites.

Accessibility

Rehabilitation Act Section 508 and the WCAG 2.0 AA standards...

The University of Tampa is committed to ensuring that web and electronic communications on www.ut.edu and official University websites are accessible to individuals with disabilities. View UT's web accessibility statement.

  • Provide text alternatives for any non-text content, such as images.
  • Create content that can be presented in different ways, such as resizing, distinguishable against background, keyboard accessible, navigable and readable.
  • Make web pages appear in predictable ways, including consistent navigation and search options.
  • Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0
  • Accessible PDFs include searchable text, alternative text descriptions, correct fonts, tags, interactive form fields, navigation aids, language and security settings that do not interfere with assistive software. The file name of the PDF should not include spaces when uploaded. Quick check with Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Privacy

The purpose of UT’s website privacy statement is to disclose our privacy practices...

The purpose of The University of Tampa’s website privacy statement is to disclose our privacy practices to visitors of UT websites. UT is committed to protecting your information and providing reasonable levels of privacy in regards to visiting UT-related websites. UT has created this statement to disclose the information gathering and dissemination of information for these websites. See UT's privacy statement.