College Web Standards -
Developing Web Pages

In order to help faculty and staff to create and maintain their own Web sites within the Foothill College Web site, what follow are guidelines that ensure that the college maintains its unique identity and positive public image on the Web. These guidelines fall into four major areas:

  • Appropriate use of the college Web site;
  • Overview of the publishing process and role of the Marketing & Communications Office;
  • Web site creation guidelines;
  • Accessibility standards required by law.
Appropriate Use of the College Web Site

Foothill College utilizes the World Wide Web as an important electronic publication medium to enhance student learning and the teaching, research, marketing, student life and administrative functions of the college.

The Foothill College Web site may not be used to create Web pages for personal business, personal gain or any purpose other than college or district business.

To facilitate the sharing of information in the support of college departments, programs and functions:

  • Faculty may create and maintain personal Web sites containing their curriculum vitae, office hours, course syllabi and any other information in support of that faculty member's role in the college. For assistance with Web-based instructional development, contact the ETS Instructional Development Department.
  • Faculty and staff may create and maintain Web sites for the support and dissemination of information related to the purpose and goals of an educational or administrative department, or other college entity.
  • Students working under the responsible, direct supervision of a staff or faculty member may create and maintain Web sites for the support and dissemination of information related to the purpose and goals of an educational or administrative division or program.
To promote college programs and activities to the general public:
  • Faculty and staff may create and maintain Web sites for the purpose of promoting a college program, event or service, or a community program or event. Such sites may be subject to coordination with the Marketing & Communications Office and existing publicity for the event or program.
Creating a New Web Site

The process for developing new Web sites within the Foothill College site is outlined below.

  1. Request space on the Web server by contacting the Web site coordinator, who will determine the site's location within the information architecture of the main site. You will receive a user name and password that will enable you to test and edit your site on a development server.
  2. Designate a site author, who will be responsible for Web site creation and maintenance. A page template is available to help the author meet design and accessibility standards. You may also choose to use the services of the Web design coordinator, who can provide graphic design and authoring assistance and help you build an effective site.
  3. Submit your completed Web pages to the Marketing & Communications Office for final approval. Upon approval, the Web coordinator will post it on the main college site.
Modifying An Existing Web Site

Unless other arrangements have been made in advance, it is the responsibility of all site owners to revise and update their Web sites as necessary. The Web team will periodically review sites for timely updates and accuracy. If a site has not been updated in six months and contains outdated information, the college Web coordinator will notify the site owner that revisions are needed. Sites that are not updated within two weeks of notification will be subject to removal until corrections are made.

Web Site Guidelines

The basic rules defined for Foothill-hosted Web sites are as follows:

  1. All sites must be fully ADA and Section 508 compliant. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  2. All sites must be fully identified as a Foothill College programs site with proper logos, headers and footer.
  3. All sites must be submitted for review to the marketing office.
  4. All "original artwork and designs" (copyright compliant) must be included with the submission. This includes any Photoshop, Illustrator or other graphic files.
  5. If Flash, Movies or any multimedia is used on the site, it must be fully compliant with ADA Section 508 rules.
  6. No ftp, email accounts or direct site access will be granted to students or non-full time faculty/staff.
  7. All sites to be placed on the Foothill server must be easily maintainable by the Web coordinator.
  8. Any cgi or other scripts used are subject to approval by the Web coordinator.
  9. All work must be completed in full before it is submitted to the Marketing & Communications Office for review and posting.
  10. Sites may not advertise a product or service that is external to campus.
  11. No graphic or derogatory messages (i.e. porn, slurs,hate messages, etc.).
  12. Clubs sites must be sanctioned by Foothill College
  13. Page header graphics or titles should state "Title at Foothill College" or "Title of Foothill College" or some wording indicating that the "Title" is an officially recognized organization or part of Foothill College.
  14. All Web pages must include the official Foothill College Web footer.
  15. A contact email address for the site must be included. You may not advertise a product or service on Foothill-hosted pages.

* Level 1 pages: (Example) Home page/index

  • Use the Home page design

*Level 2 pages: (Example) News, Divisions, Programs, Schedule, Register, etc,

  • Use the identical look and feel for all level 2 pages. Common header and footer.

*Level 3 pages: (Examples) BSS, Athletics, Language Arts, Fine Arts, etc.

  • Level 3 sites can have there own look and feel but must conform to the Foothill standard by using the Foothill header and footer used on Level 1 and 2 pages.
*The common use of the headers and footers ties all the sites together allowing for full navigation while still allowing each of the sites to have their own identity.

Please note: all sites are subject to approval by the Foothill Marketing and Communications Office.

Required Accessibility Standards

The current Foothill College Web standards state that all Web pages should conform to the Priority 1 guidelines as set forth in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0.

The district is currently in the process of developing a more comprehensive policy based upon the Section 508 Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) which will be referenced here when completed.

For more information about making your site accessible, view the High Tech Centers Training Unit Web site at .

The accessibility of each Web site is subject to the review of the college Web coordinator. Below are some tips to making your Web pages accessible.

Making Web Sites Accessible

Page Design-An important step in creating accessible pages is to validate your HTML. You can do this by going to Web sites such as Bobby, which allow you to test web pages and repair barriers to accessibility and encourage compliance with existing guidelines.

Make sure the HTML titles of your pages are unique. Titles are an important navigational tool for users. Document titles are more important than people realize. Browsers bookmark titles and search engines often look for and index titles.

When possible, use only technologies defined in a W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) specification and use them in an accessible manner. When this is not possible, provide an alternative page that is accessible and complies with all standards. Images-All images and image map coordinates should have an ALT tag that specifies alternative text that will be shown if image display is not possible or disabled by the user. This gives the user some indication of what's missing. ALT tags should be properly punctuated to allow various screen readers (software for the visually impaired) to work more effectively.

  • Judiciously use the appropriate amount of text in ALT tags. ALT tags should describe the image in as concise a manner as possible. If your image includes text, the ALT tag should reflect that text.
  • ALT attributes such as "image" or "photo" are uninformative. Make your ALT text specific and meaningful. Using transparent GIF spacers is fine, but they need to have ALT text. For non-essential images, you can use a blank ALT tag; for example, ALT="" is acceptable for spacer GIFs or other noncritical or content-devoid images.

Color-If you use a colored background, make sure there is high contrast between the background and text. Because of cross-platform and monitor issues, color should be chosen from the 216-color Web palette. Avoid backgrounds with busy patterns; these make text difficult to read.
Frames-It is better to avoid using frames. However, when using frames, provide sufficient information to determine the purpose of the frames and how they relate to each other. When a screen reader encounters a frameset, it will read the filenames for each frame and allow the user to choose between them. Therefore, each frame must have a descriptive file name. Also, use the <noframes> tag to provide an alternative when it's not possible to make the frameset accessible.
Tables-When using tables to represent data, rows and columns should be clearly labeled and the summary attribute should be used in the table tag. This does not apply to tables used for layout.
Top of page November 16, 2012