University Web Guidelines and Requirements
All sites must be designed for generally accessible browser software. Use of technologies that require plug-ins or that use features of one particular browser should be avoided or kept to a minimum. Links to plug-in download sites should be included in any site that requires additional software. Please see our Web Site Terms for Service for additional rules.
If you would like to request to post information on the University Homepage, please see the Tarleton Homepage Guidelines.
If you are interested in outsourcing a 3rd party vendor for your website, please see our policy on outsourcing.
System and design requirements for your web site
Departments, Faculty/Staff, Organizations:
Tarleton is currently using a content management system called Cascade Server. All websites (with the exception of student web sites) are developed and maintained inside this web-based application in order to provide better usability, accessible content, consistency of branding, and ease of updating information. This includes departmental, program, course, and faculty web sites.
Cascade requirements of use can be found on the Cascade Guidelines Page, and training modules can be accessed at the CMS Tutorial Website. To receive a Cascade account, please visit the Web Accounts page.
There must be a designated webmaster in your area to keep the website up-to-date at all times. Contact information for this webmaster must also be documented on the particular website's homepage. Contact Web Services for training when needed.
Web Style Guide (February 2014) - Important information about styles and formats required for use with Cascade Server
There are no special design requirements for student accounts, but please be aware of the guidelines listed below. Web programming techniques such as PHP and ASP as well as SQL/databasing are not allowed on student web accounts.
The correct "Tarleton Purple" color codes:
RGB: (79,45, 127)
Please do not choose your own shade of purple. Color gradients are fine, but try to keep the main focal purple color as described above.
Some good secondary color choices:
White: #FFFFFF; RGB(255,255,255)
Black: #000000; RGB(0,0,0)
Images & Accessibility
All images must have alternate text tags so that a person unable to see the image can understand the content and meaning for its use, and so that we may comply with accessibility law under the Texas Administrative Code 206.
When image maps are used, an alternate text-based navigation must be provided.
Large photos (such as those directly off of a camera) should not be used without shrinking them down first. Use a program such as Paint (available on most Microsoft systems) or a free Photo Resizer program. It is not good practice to shrink photos directly on the HTML page, as this does not change the actual file size (Exception: if you are using Contribute, you CAN shrink the photos on the pages because it does actually shrink the file size.)
If you would like to use the official Tarleton logo, there are several logo versions for use on the Tarleton website. Marketing and Communications is currently working on developing a new logo, so this may change in the near future.
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
The use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is strongly encouraged as a means of controlling the display of Web content and applications. For those unfamiliar with CSS, see the W3 Schools tutorial for more information.
Recommendations for the use of CSS
In the same way there are best practices for writing HTML or application code, there are best practices for developing and using CSS. These guidelines present recommendations for writing clear and useful CSS.
University Calendar System
The online university calendar system can be used to enter university-sponsored events for sharing event information with all audiences. Entries to the university calendar must be added through the Open Entry form for approval and:
- Be an actual event with a date, time and location,
- Be sponsored by the university or a university department or organization,
- Have an event contact provided with a phone number and/or email address,
- List detailed information about the event so that the audience is informed as to what the event entails (not vague),
- Have at least one calendar category and one department assigned to the entry.
If you would like a calendar category feed added to your department or organization webpage, contact Web Services for set-up.
Frames are not a preferred technology to use in a website, however, we do not currently have a policy against using them.
All Frames must have titles and the relationship between frames should be described if it is not apparent by the titles of the frames.
All frames must be dropped when linking to resources outside Tarleton State University.
Multimedia (Flash, Videos, Audio, Animation, etc.)
A web page using Java applets or other plug-ins (e.g., Flash) that are not accessible shall provide an alternative which is accessible.
Ensure that moving, blinking, scrolling, or auto-updating objects or pages may be paused or stopped.
You may create your own YouTube account for placing your videos online. If the video could be used for promotional purposes, you may request to place the video on Tarleton's official YouTube account located at http://youtube.com/tarletonstateu. Web Services will need to review the video before placing it on the official Tarleton YouTube account. The video can be embedded (linked to) from the YouTube account and placed inline on your departmental web site*.
Please be aware of any copyright issues that might hamper your video from being placed on the public YouTube service before creating/purchasing them. We suggest that you give credit where applicable on your actual video, perhaps as an extra slide at the very end. Also note that file size and file formats will need to be approved by Web Services before they can be uploaded to Tarleton's official YouTube account.
* The embed code for all YouTube or other Flash videos must be altered so that "allowscriptaccess" value="samedomain" rather than "always". The embed code should never contain a value equaling "always".
Tarleton's Media Server for Video and Audio
As a department or faculty member, you may request that Web Services place your video/audio file(s) on Tarleton's streaming media server. Your video/audio must be Window's Media compatible, and Web Services can attempt to convert your file format if it is not already compatible. We will also assist with embedding your video on your web pages. If the video was created by someone other than yourself, please be sure that you have permission to post the video in order to avoid copyright infringement.
We request that you do not place any video or audio media on the web server (WWW) and instead use one of the 2 above methods.
You must provide a text equivalent (transcript) for stand-alone audio and video with audio in order to comply with Texas Administrative Code 206.
You may contact Web Services at x1819 for assistance with your video/audio placement needs.
Privacy & Collecting Form Data
Special precautions must be taken when collecting sensitive data via web forms, such as social security numbers, UIDs, passwords, or pin numbers. Contact Web Services to discuss options for collecting this data via the web. Only collect this data when absolutely necessary.
All web-based forms must have Tarleton State University branding on them in some form at the top of the page. The form may be embedded into a Tarleton web page using an iframe, otherwise, a Tarleton-branded header graphic should be placed at the top of the form page.
Web Services will assist in creating forms for departments, faculty, and organizations. Please call us at x1819 to discuss your form needs.
Domain Name Usage and Purchase
Ownership of Tarleton domain names
Tarleton must own all rights in the Internet domain names used by all departments, organizations and units within the university. Therefore all faculty, staff and students must cooperate with Tarleton's Department of Marketing & Communications in new acquisition or transfer of ownership for current domain names and websites used for all official Tarleton purposes or activities.
New Domain Name Registration
Tarleton encourages departments, organizations and units within the university to use the .EDU extension whenever possible. Use of the .EDU extension is at no cost. By doing this, it will help the university to reduce 1) cost, 2) the proliferation of Tarleton-related domains, 3) additional resources needed for domain name management and 4) the risks associated with unintended expirations for heavily used sites.
If you wish to purchase a domain name (.com, .net, .info, etc.) for usage with a Tarleton-owned website, please consult Web Services by calling 254-968-1852 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
When using document types other than HTML, some are better than others when it comes to the Web. Our preferred document format type is PDF. If you do not have the full version of Adobe Acrobat or Office 2007 in order to create these files, you can download a free software component called PDF Creator.
Other Useful Information
It's always a good idea to test your website in more than one browser. This will help ensure that all of your audience is seeing the site correctly without problems. Here are links to free downloads of latest versions of popular web browsers:
Questions or Assistance
If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us at 254-968-9885 and press 4.