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Website Policies

General Standards

The following standards apply to all webpages on all SWOSU web servers:

  1. All webpages must be in compliance with the appropriate SWOSU policies and applicable local, state, and federal laws, including copyright.
  2. SWOSU webpages should not contain or link to content that may be considered inappropriate for certain viewing audiences, including but not limited to, sexually explicit or violent content.
  3. Webpages located on university servers may not be used to promote commercial activity and/or personal business or to promote personal financial gain, except as may be permitted by other university policy or regulation.
  4. SWOSU webpages should not contain confidential university information or student information covered by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) unless adequate security measures are in place to restrict access to authorized persons.

Web Style Guide

SWOSU intends for webpages to be attractive and functional and reflect positively on the university, its organizations, and its community. The Web Style Guide has been established as a set of guidelines and recommendations for SWOSU websites. All webpages shall adhere to the standards established in the Web Style Guide.

  • Plan ahead. Determine the purpose, intended audience, and what materials are going to be included. Make a logical outline of the website.
  • Users read text differently in a web browser than they do on a printed page. Headings and subheadings are scanned as well as links to quickly find information rather than reading every word. Content should be written in short, concise paragraphs. The most important information needs to be placed at or near the top of the page (“above the fold”) to ensure that it is visible to a reader who does not scroll. It is important to keep in mind that users might arrive on a webpage in many different ways so the content should be written to work as a stand-alone webpage and not presume that the reader has arrived through a certain path.
  • Page titles must be meaningful and reflect the content of the webpage.
  • Headings are used appropriately to reflect the importance of content. (<h1>, <h2>….<h6>) H1 reflecting the highest importance.
  • Links should be descriptive of the information that they link to. (Example: “Online University Application” not “Click here to apply”)
  • Images should be sized and optimized to reduce file size as much as possible.
  • Images should not contain important text, such as headings, as it limits accessibility. Alternate text must be applied to all images.
  • Filenames should follow these naming conventions:
    • Filenames should contain ONLY letters, numbers, and dashes.
    • Dashes are to be used instead of spaces.
    • Lowercase letters are preferred.
  • Captions must be used to describe any important information conveyed through visuals or sounds in multimedia content.
  • Links to other sites are set to open in a new window so that users aren’t taken away from the SWOSU website.
  • Preferred terminology and spelling:
    • Email
    • Webpage
    • Website
    • Username
    • Login (noun), log in (verb)
    • Filename
    • Homepage
    • Online

If accessibility standards cannot be met, the information should be available by alternative means.

Institutional Webpages

Institutional webpages are created and maintained by Web & Creative Services. All administrative and academic department webpages on the SWOSU Web are institutional webpages plus additional pages designated as such.

Each department must designate a single information provider to be the point of communication with Web & Creative Services. Any full-time employee may serve as the web representative. The web representative will submit requests for updates on departmental webpages to Web & Creative Services. Web representatives are responsible for the accuracy of content submitted. Web & Creative Services is responsible for adhering to all SWOSU policies, procedure, and guidelines and all local, state, and federal laws.

Advertising, Donors, and Sponsorships

Advertising is not permitted on the SWOSU website.

Sponsorships and donors may be recognized on the SWOSU website. Sponsorships and donors are the receipt of funds without an endorsement from SWOSU.

Corporate partners are established when there is a formal written agreement between a corporation and SWOSU. University departments and organizations may link to university corporate partners with proper approval from the Web and Creative Services, Public Relations and Marketing Department or the university president.

University departments and organizations may acknowledge corporate sponsorships of events or programs through the use of text, corporate logos, or trademarks which may link to websites outside of the SWOSU domain with proper approval from the Web & Creative Services, Public Relations and Marketing Department or the university president.


All information and images published on the SWOSU website are subject to intellectual property rights and copyright laws. Webpage authors must obtain written permission from the owner of the copyrighted material (including text, graphics, and other forms of media) prior to the copyrighted material being published on the SWOSU website. Copyright infringement complaints should be sent to the University’s Copyright Compliance Officer.

Users of the SWOSU website are permitted to access, use, print, and reproduce information from files and webpages unless stated otherwise provided: (1) the use is for personal, educational, or non-commercial purposes only, (2) images and information are not modified in any way, and (3) any copyright statement originally provided in the materials is included in the reproduction. Any further restrictions placed on information by SWOSU or the author must be honored.

Logos, graphics, photographs, templates, and text on webpages displaying official SWOSU logos are trademarked by SWOSU. Redistribution or commercial use is prohibited without express written permission. For more information on official SWOSU logos and trademarks, refer to the Graphics Standards Manual.


Fundraising that is not university-related is prohibited on the SWOSU website. Departments and organizations must obtain advance approval according to University Policy (Gift Solicitations).

University Web Committee

Oversight and review of university policies and guidelines related to the SWOSU website are the responsibility of the University Web Committee. The University Web Committee shall serve as a governing board for violations of the SWOSU Web Policy as well as a review board for webpages that may contain inappropriate or false information. The University Web Committee reserves the right to recommend the removal of webpages in violation of the Web Policy and the right to recommend the suspension of web publishing privileges of persons acting in violation of the Web Policy.