Working with the World Wide Web
Policies and Philosophy
Fort Hays State University Web content managers
are responsible for the content of the pages they publish and
are expected to abide by the highest standards of quality and
responsibility. These responsibilities apply to all – whether
colleges, departments, offices, student organizations or individuals.
Each document on the FHSU Web site is considered part of the
university’s public presentation. Each page linked to
the FHSU page must contain accurate information, follow a clear
and cohesive style, be 508 compliant (handicap accessible),
and reflect positively on
Content managers are required to comply
with all university policies and rules and with state and federal
laws concerning appropriate use of computers. Consideration
must be given to the following when constructing Web pages:
- Web resources should support
the mission of the university.
- Resources should be evaluated
for authority and accuracy.
- Restricted and/or copyrighted
resources should be identified
- All accessibility guidelines
must be followed.
- Control and maintenance of Web
page content is the responsibility of the
When creating pages, focus on the needs
of your viewers in both design and content considerations.
Determine if the information being presented is for internal
viewers (and further, if it is for staff/faculty, students
or both) or external viewers. Depending on the audience, the
pages may require different information, priorities and presentation.
When designing a page, the following items
should be considered:
- Each link should be descriptive
(e.g., DO NOT USE: Click Here).
- Graphics and illustrations should
follow university identity standards and policies and have
alt tags (descriptions).
- It is helpful to identify file
size on downloadable files
in kilobytes (e.g., 3K).
- Web page creators are strongly
encouraged to label university-owned images
- Navigational tools (e.g., table
of contents and anchors) are helpful when a page gets lengthy.
Writing for the Web
People who visit Web sites want information
that is dynamic, easily accessible and engaging. Writing should
be less formal, including uses of sentence fragments and short,
declarative phrases. In addition it should have a personal
feel, which can be achieved through use of second-person references.
Please contact the Office of University Relations and the Brand
Implementation Team for assistance on how to write effectively
for the Web.
Technological innovations have created
more lively and interactive programs for communicating with
target audiences. As we become more Web-centric it is important
to use these new and various forms of communication to accomplish
effective recruitment and other goals. Please contact the Office
of University Relations and the Brand Implementation Team for
assistance in creating social media.
Since the FHSU Web site was redesigned in
2009, all college, administrative, departmental and office
sites must use the template provided. There is much to be said
about having a consistent look throughout a university Web
site, and since we began using a template in 2002, we have
had very positive responses from our various audiences regarding
our look and navigational system. Our viewers have commented
that they always know if they are on the FHSU site as they
go from page to page.
The header, footer and main navigational
system are not to be changed; however, each unit should add
its own contact information. This can be done as a link on
the navigation bar or as text at the bottom of each page. Also,
each unit should be sure to include its name at the top of
every page on its site.
A style sheet was created with type specifications
and background colors. Again, these cannot be changed. They
provide much flexibility as far as size of type and use of
bold and italicized type. The style we chose is very clean
and readable on any browser or platform. This adds to the consistency
throughout the site. It also ensures that viewers can see your
pages correctly as the Web only supports a select group
Individual Web Pages
Faculty members are encouraged to create
individual Web pages in order to provide students with course
information, syllabi and some biographical information. These
pages should include the full name of the university and should
link back to the departmental page and/or to other FHSU pages.
Faculty members must use the FHSU template on their first page;
however, on subsequent pages, use of the template is not required.
Individuals who use FHSU computers to house
their pages, or who use an “fhsu.edu” address for
their pages, or if the contents of their pages will cause them
to be associated with FHSU, need to be aware of the Acceptable Use of Computing Resources policy of the university. The
main concerns about these pages include the use of state/university
equipment for purposes other than those for which they are
intended and the use of “fhsu.edu” (sort of an “electronic
letterhead”) which would cause an individual’s
actions to be inappropriately associated with the university.
If, however, an individual uses an address
from another information provider and his or her own computer
to house the links/materials without any direct reference to
the university, the university would probably have no grounds
Most importantly, though, and legalities
aside, you need to think very carefully about your Web page.
The Internet offers unprecedented power for people to display
and market themselves to the world instantaneously – not
only to strangers, but to friends, family, prospective employers,
virtually everyone. First impressions are hard to overcome,
and you may wish to think twice about the personal risks versus
the benefits associated with how you present yourself to the
world through your site. Once done, it cannot be taken back. “You
never have a second chance to make a first impression” rings
especially true for the Internet.
The Web has created a powerful new opportunity
for personal expression, and that is especially positive in
the university setting where the free exchange of ideas is
so highly valued. On the other hand, remember to keep a professional
look while personalizing your pages.
Use of Identity Marks on the Web
University names, the logo and other university
identity marks are reserved for official university use only.
Personal Web pages may not display the logo, the university
seal or other university identity marks. Personal pages should
not lead Web readers to believe they are official university
Web pages. In the case of student organizations or affiliated
faculty/staff organizations, some exceptions may be made. Contact
the FHSU Webmaster at ext. 5520 for prior approval. For approval
to use any other university identity marks, contact the Office
of University Relations.
Most of you have heard about the accessibility
rules for governmental Web sites, including educational institutions,
that were established in 2000 by the federal government and
adopted by the state of Kansas. Basically, what they mean is
that all Web sites should be “device independent” and “508
compliant.” In other words, you should not need to use
a mouse; you should be able to pull up a given page on a PDA
or a cell phone. Also, you should be able to go through a particular
page from link to link using the tab key rather than having
to click the mouse. One of the main groups to which the accessibility
guidelines apply is the visually impaired. If they have to
use a screen reader, it is imperative that you have designed
the site with usability in mind. This is another reason it
is important to give your links meaningful names, as previously
mentioned. We have a Web site that includes accessibility guidelines
and links to methods for testing your pages – http://www.fhsu.edu/accessibility/.
It contains links to state and federal information sites.
Advertising on the Web
Advertising policy is determined at the
state level. For information about advertising on the Web,
contact Suzanne Klaus, Manager of Web Services, at 785-628-5520.