General Website Standards

College of Charleston websites are the collaborative responsibility of the Information Technology Division, the Office of University Marketing, academic and administrative units and numerous individuals. Every College website contributes to the user’s overall perception of the College. These standards and best practices are designed to promote a professional presentation of the College of Charleston online.

Roles and Responsibilities

Level-One Websites

Level-one websites include the College’s main Web pages and related sub-pages, including online initiatives such as e-newsletters and micro-sites.

The Office of University Marketing is responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of content and updates for these Web pages. Requests to add content to the College’s main Web pages require approval from the Office of University Marketing.

Information Technology is responsible for the maintenance and support of the systems and software infrastructure necessary to support the level-one websites.

Level-Two Websites

Level-two websites include Web pages for administrative and academic units such as schools, divisions, departments, organizations and centers. Each academic and administrative unit that requests and uses Web space at the College is responsible for identifying a primary person responsible for Web content publishing and a secondary person in the event that the primary person is unavailable or leaves the department.

The Office of University Marketing is responsible for collaborating with academic and administrative units to ensure that their websites adhere to the College’s brand and visual identity standards.

Information Technology is responsible for the maintenance and support of the systems and software infrastructure necessary to support the level-two websites.

Personal Websites

The College of Charleston makes Web space available to students, faculty and staff. These websites should not represent an academic or administrative unit. All personal Web space is provided solely for hosting Web pages. It is not intended as a platform for any other kind of computing or network access.

All individual Web pages must contain the name and e-mail address of the person responsible for page content. Individuals are responsible for maintaining their own site with regard to page building, content and troubleshooting.

Information Technology is responsible for the maintenance and support of the systems and software infrastructure necessary to support personal websites.

Student Organization Sites

The College makes Web space available for student groups recognized by the College of Charleston Student Government Association. Account requests will be honored when approved by the faculty or staff adviser. Student groups may have only one website and must identify a primary person responsible for Web content publishing.

Information Technology is responsible for the maintenance and support of the systems and software infrastructure necessary to support student organization websites.

External Websites

No College of Charleston office, department, unit or individual employee may purchase, register or utilize an external World Wide Web domain name (such as .com, .net, .org) for the purposes of conducting College of Charleston business or representing any unit or operation of the College - including but not limited to the use of the College of Charleston name, wordmark, or other identifier - without the prior written permission of the appropriate executive vice president and the Office of University Marketing. Permission will only be granted in cases where a reasonable and compelling rationale demonstrating the reasons for utilization of an external site are submitted and adequate protections are taken to safeguard the legal interests of the College. Any College of Charleston employee taking such action without proper authorization shall be considered to be operating outside the scope of employment and may be subject to disciplinary action. Additionally, in the event of a legal action over the unauthorized website or its content, the employee will not be defended by or at the cost of the College, nor will the employee be entitled to limited immunity as a public employee.

Web Content Guidelines

Updating Web Content

Campus units are required to update their sites on a regular basis. The exact frequency is determined by the specific content. However, at a minimum, campus units must review all content on their sites for timeliness, accuracy, audience need and support of overall strategy at least once per semester.

Copyright, Legal and Policy Issues

Campus websites, including those websites representing the College and hosted by external Internet Service Providers (such as .com, .org, or .net sites), must comply with all College policies, rules and regulations, as well as local, state and federal laws. For internal and external websites that include the use of any and all copyrighted materials not belonging to the College of Charleston, the campus unit responsible for the site is also responsible for obtaining written permission from the copyright holder and keeping this permission on file. Appropriate copyright notices must be prominently displayed as necessary. It should not be assumed that images or photographs used in College publications or on other College websites are the property of the College of Charleston. Such materials may be licensed by the College under agreements that limit the use of the copyrighted materials and that contain other restrictions dealing with, for example, the period of time that the College is allowed to use the material. Under the College's Policy dealing with the Authority to Contract all contracts for the following matters are subject to prior review by the Office of Legal Affairs: contracts that involve the intellectual property of the College such as the use or licensing of innovations, patents, trademarks and copyrights.

Web Oversight

The College of Charleston has the right to remove from its servers or disconnect from its network any material or Web page that the Office of University Marketing, the Office of Legal Affairs or the Office of Information Technology may determine violates university policies or applicable laws. Pursuant to this responsibility, these offices will communicate with the appropriate executive vice president and may contact the relevant campus units and provide necessary steps to be taken to correct such violations. The College also has the right to temporarily deactivate any Web page that it deems to be out of compliance with College policy or controlling law until such remedial measures are taken.

Web Page Accessibility

South Carolina state government websites shall be designed to be accessible, so that people with disabilities have access to online information, data and services comparable to that accorded individuals who do not have disabilities.

The College’s website is frequented by a diverse group of people from around the world. Web developers and content providers must strive to accommodate visitors using outmoded technologies and slow connection speeds. The College’s Web page templates, and the central College Web pages on which they are based, have been constructed to meet the minimal accessibiilty requirements.

Accessibility Minimal Requirements

The State of South Carolina shall follow the standards established under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, amended in 1998 by the Work Force Investment Act (Section 1194.22 and its subsequent amendments) as its minimal requirements for Web accessibility.

Accessibility Best Practices

It is recommended that agencies also follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, available at, established by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C-WAI) that are not addressed in Section 508.

Templates Design

Templates are available for academic and administrative units to use for their websites. The templates provided should only be used for official College Web pages and are not intended for use by any outside group or institution.
There are templates for two different styles of websites: second- and third-level. Second-level websites are the department’s main page. Third-level websites are accessed through the second-level websites. The third-level template does not include the top banner image that is included in the second-level template. Please note that the templates reflect elements of the College of Charleston homepage, but no templates duplicate the homepage, which is intended as a unique gateway into the College of Charleston website.
Templates should be used as provided, or modified minimally to accommodate specific area needs. All modifications to the official site design must be approved by both the Office of University Marketing and the Information Technology Division. To request a modification of the templates, e-mail the Office of University Marketing or call 843.953.6462.
For the standard Web color palette and type families, see Chapter 4 of this manual.