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Website Content Procedures

Explore the essential guidelines for maintaining a consistent and accessible digital presence on our website. From branding to ADA compliance, discover how we ensure every piece of content reflects Willamette University's commitment to quality and inclusivity.

Branding and Consistency

  • To maintain a consistent look and feel throughout the website, ensure that content aligns with these university branding guidelines:
  • When writing for the university website, follow Willamette’s Digital Content Guide.
  • The header and footer of the web page serve as standard navigational tools, offering consistent access to pages tailored for specific audiences, particularly prospective students.
    • Links and graphics in the header and footer are fixed and may not be altered unless directed by the AVP for Institutional Marketing or to correct a broken link.
  • Accessibility

    Willamette University is dedicated to ensuring that all digital content, including text, images, PDFs, videos, social media, and emails, adheres to our Digital Accessibility guidelines in alignment with the current Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) standards and Willamette’s Digital Accessibility guidelines. This commitment supports the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which mandates that websites be accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.

    To make content such as PDFs ADA-compliant, several key considerations must be addressed:

    Tagging: PDFs should be properly tagged with metadata outlining their structure (headings, lists, tables, links), facilitating navigation and understanding by screen readers.

    Text Recognition: For PDFs with scanned text images, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) should be applied to convert the text into a machine-readable format, enabling screen readers to vocalize the content.

    Alternative Text: Images and graphics within PDFs must include descriptive alternative text, aiding users with visual impairments in comprehending the visual content.

    Contrast: Sufficient contrast between text and background is essential to ensure readability for users with sight loss.

    Language Settings: Correct language settings must be applied to PDFs, ensuring screen readers interpret and vocalize the content in the appropriate language.

  • Content updates

    Website content updates and feedback regarding content accuracy can be submitted via these designated channels:

    • Email:
      • Include the URL(s) that need to be updated, details of what needs to be done, and attach any related images or files.
      • A ticket will be automatically generated to track your request.
      • Expect followup within 1-2 business days
    • Digital Support Portal:
      • Willamette faculty and staff are encouraged to use the Marketing Web & Digital Support Portal to submit requests for web updates, training, consultation or site access.
      • A ticket will be automatically generated to track your request.
    • Feedback form
      • A link to the Feedback form is located in the footer of each web page
      • Include the URL(s) that need to be updated, details of what needs to be done.
      • Feedback from requests for web updates will be forwarded to the Marketing Web & Digital Support portal and a ticket will be generated to track the request.
      • Please note: If your request needs to include attached file(s), please send us an email at or submit your request via the Digital Support Portal.
    • Turn-around time for web update requests:
      • Expect followup within 1–2 business days
      • Time to resolution will depend on the complexity of the request and availability of internal resources.
  • Copyrighted Content
    • Digital content that does not meet University requirements for content ownership and copyright will be removed from the website.
    • If copyrighted material is posted with the permission of the content owner, that permission must be attained in writing, be properly cited and available for verification if needed.
  • Use of PDFs, Word Docs, and other file types vs. web pages
    • In general, website content should be added directly to web pages as opposed to a PDF or other file types.
      • Accessibility and User Experience: These formats often pose significant accessibility challenges and can disrupt the user experience. Unlike HTML, these formats are not universally accessible across different devices and browsers and may require users to have specific software to view them.
      • Consistency and Professionalism: Using HTML for content ensures a consistent and professional appearance across our web platforms. Document formats like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel can vary in appearance when viewed on different platforms and devices, leading to inconsistency in presentation.
      • Security Concerns: These file formats can be more vulnerable to security risks, such as the transmission of viruses and malware, compared to HTML content.
      • Search Engine Optimization: HTML content is more effectively indexed by search engines, improving the visibility and reach of our web content. Document formats are less SEO-friendly and can negatively impact the discoverability of our information.
    • PDFs should only be used for documents that users will download and print.
    • PDFs should not be used to display content that users need to read online.
    • All PDFs on the university website must adhere to the University’s Accessibility Guidelines and current WCAG standards.
  • Images
    • Images must meet current WCAG standards for accessibility and proper use as outlined in the Willamette University Accessibility Guidelines for Web Images and Images of Text.
    • Images used must be either original photography, free from copyright restrictions, or have explicit permission granted for their use.
    • Images should be sized appropriately for the module/component of the web page and saved in the correct format:
      • Photos: Save in JPG format and optimize
      • Drawings and simple images (not photos): Save in either PNG or GIF format at 72 dpi
      • Images with transparent backgrounds: Save in PNG format at 72 dpi
      • Logos: Save in JPG, PNG at 72dpi or SVG format (svg is to be uploaded and added as an image, not directly pasted into the code)
      • Overall instructions:
        • Save web images in RGB color format at 72 dpi
        • File size should always be less than 1 MB (properly size and optimize all images)
        • Images should not include text (with the exception of a logo)
  • Videos
    • All videos produced by University employees to be embedded on must be hosted on either the University’s YouTube channel, Vimeo account, or future application determined by the Institutional Marketing department and Web Applications.
    • All videos produced for University-affiliated and student-run accounts must be captioned and have a transcript. This is the responsibility of the producer of the video.
    • Embedding videos on from University-Affiliated Accounts
      • YouTube
        • Videos for broad public consumption, for live broadcasts and that meet the University’s brand and style guidelines will be housed on the Willamette University YouTube channel.
        • Colleges, departments, divisions and offices should not create their own YouTube pages, as the University’s YouTube channel is meant to reflect the diversity of the University. An exception to this is Athletics, which already has its own channel.
        • Offices or departments producing public videos that meet these standards must work with the Marketing Department or their designee to arrange for moderation and uploading of these videos.
        • Playlists on the University’s YouTube channel are managed by the Marketing Department or their designee and may be created for particular groups, such as WU Stream, Career Development, MBA, LAW, and the arts.
      • Vimeo
        • In order to be embedded or hyperlinked on the University’s website, videos that are restricted to access by link or login, that are meant only for users logged into the University’s portal, or that do not adhere to University brand and style standards will be stored on the University Vimeo account.
  • Third-party tracking code
    • Prior to implementation, a written justification outlining the purpose and necessity of the tracking code must be submitted via the Web & Digital Support Portal.
    • The following justifications may be determined valid, depending on specific circumstances. Web Content Administrators will decide upon any additional justifications not included in this list.
      • Appropriate justifications include:
        • Improving User Experience
        • Enhancing Website Performance
        • Analyzing Marketing Effectiveness
        • Measuring Campaign Success
        • Understanding User Demographics
        • Research and Analytics
        • Benchmarking and Comparison
        • Compliance Monitoring
        • Enhancing Security
        • Supporting Institutional Goals
      • Examples of inappropriate requests for tracking (these will be denied):
        • Invasion of Privacy
        • Unlawful Tracking
        • Unauthorized Data Collection
        • Discriminatory Tracking
        • Misleading or Deceptive Tracking
        • Spyware or Malware
        • Non-Transparent Practices
        • Unapproved Research Studies
        • Overly Aggressive Tracking
        • Violating Terms of Service
    • Requests will be reviewed by the WITS and/or Institutional Marketing department before deployment.
    • Approved tracking codes will be implemented by an authorized Web Content Administrator.
      • The tracking code tag name should follow this structure:
        [Script Owner] - [Source] - [Description]
      • Examples:
        • Carnegie - GA4 - MBA RFI Submission
        • Marketing - LinkedIn InsightTag - MBA Application Submission
      • Upon publishing of changes, the JIRA ticket number should be included in the ‘Description’ field, where applicable.
      • The name of the Tag will be added to the JIRA ticket as a cross reference.
    • If a tracking code is believed to be unused or obsolete, the person who requested the tracking code will be contacted to discuss options for updating or removing it from the University website(s)
    • If a tracking code is determined to be interfering with the functionality or performance of the University website(s), it will be disabled immediately and evaluated for validity at a later time.
  • Content mandated by law
    • Federal and local law or accreditation bodies or affiliations may require content on
    • Content falling under these categories to be communicated directly to the Web Governance Committee. To ensure compliance and accurate representation of such information on the university's website, individuals responsible for this content must email the relevant details to the committee at This process is crucial for maintaining the integrity and legal standing of our web presence.
  • Access to edit Willamette web pages
    • Who may update website content:
      • Access to edit website content for the primary audience will only be given to Web Content Administrators in the Institutional Marketing and WITS departments.
      • Access to edit website content for the secondary and internal audiences may be maintained by one or more faculty, staff or student employees in each responsible department.
        • If assistance is needed to update these pages, refer to the “Content Updates” section of this policy
    • How to request editing access and CMS training:
      • Submit a request for Cascade CMS access via the Request Web Assistance form
        • Select “Cascade CMS: Request access to a site”
        • List the site URL(s) that you need access to edit
      • A member of the Marketing Web Development team will follow up to gather any additional details and arrange CMS training.
      • Once training is completed, CMS access will be granted.
  • Feedback and Reporting
    • Users are encouraged to provide feedback regarding website accessibility, content accuracy, or any concerns through designated channels including the Website Feedback form.
    • The Feedback form may also be used to report any suspected violations of this policy or procedure.
Willamette University


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Willamette University
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