Web Tools, Standards, and Practices

-- Pending Approval --

This document describes the tools, standards, and practices in place to manage websites that support university communications, academic and administrative departments, and individual activities undertaken by faculty, staff, and students associated with their Wesleyan work. Changes to this document require approval from University Communications, ITS, and Academic Affairs.

Websites and Blogs -- requesting, supporting, and archiving

Official university websites (e.g. www.wesleyan.edu and sub-sites) are hosted by Amazon Web Services using a Content Management System called webCMS. Requests for new Wesleyan websites in webCMS> are initiated via a creative brief and require approval from University Communications.  Requests for webCMS support should go through Service Now, and support is provided by ITS and University Communications.

The approved and supported blog hosting platform is an on-premises instance of WordPress.  University Communications provides WordPress templates with the appropriate branding and navigation elements University Communications and IT Services will determine what plugins to make available in this instance of WordPress. Requests for new blogs on WordPress are initiated via a ticket in Service Now.  Requests for WordPress support should go through Service Now, and support is provided by ITS and University Communications. 

The approved 3rd party managed blog hosting platform is WesCreates, provided by the Reclaim Hosting web hosting service.  Requests for WesCreates accounts are directly handled by the user through the process on the WesCreates website. ITS will facilitate support via requests submitted through ServiceNow. Support is provided by Reclaim Hosting’s online.

Termination of Websites and Blogs 

  • WebCMS: If a webCMS website is no longer needed, the website administrator must inform University Communications so they can remove it from the Wesleyan web presence.  University Communications will determine if the content should be archived or deleted. 
  • WordPress: If a WordPress website has had no updates to any pages on that website for 3 years, the website will be considered inactive.  Inactive WordPress websites will be removed from public viewing.  University Communications will determine if the content should be archived or deleted. 
  • WesCreates: If a WesCreates website is administered by a student, that account will be terminated on August 1st of the student’s graduation year. Information on migrating content is available here. Student users will receive ~90 days’ notice of account termination with monthly reminders (May 1st, June 1st, and July 1st).  Wesleyan will not provide any support in migrating any content in student-administered WesCreates websites. If a WesCreates website is administered by a faculty or staff member and is no longer needed, the website administrator should shut down the website. 

Digital Accessibility Standards 

It is the responsibility of all website owners and/or administrators to ensure that their websites are compliant with the Web Policy, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) as amended Sections 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. All website content also must make a reasonable effort to ensure that electronic and information technology (EIT) be accessible, as outlined in the WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards. University websites that are created or undergo substantial revisions or redesign after July 1, 2020 are expected to make any new digital content created and produced at Wesleyan conform to the standards to the extent technically feasible. Where conformance with the standards is not technically feasible, site owners should consider how to make the content available in an alternative format to individuals with a disability. 

Website owners and/or administrators must ensure that their websites can be read by screen readers. This includes appropriate use of 

Many different types of tools are freely available – many as plugins to your browser – including WAVE plugin for Chrome browser and Color Contrast checker.

Social Media Accounts: 

Prior to creating a new Wesleyan-related social media account, we strongly encourage faculty and staff to request a social media strategy session with University Communications. Social media accounts must be “owned” by a full-time staff or faculty member, even if the department is utilizing student workers to aid in social media efforts. All social media work completed by students must have oversight by a full-time staff or faculty member. All social media passwords must be changed once a student worker no longer needs access to the social media account.  All social media channels must display a Wesleyan branded profile icon obtained from University Communications. Each account should adopt the proper channel title syntax for branding consistency, and should follow the Social Media Guidelines and Wesleyan University Brand Guidelines for Social Media