Standards

Our website is a vital communications tool for the University's image and its identity. It’s often our first means of contact with prospective students, faculty and staff. For some audiences, it’s our only means of communication. Therefore, it is essential that the website meets the highest standards of identity, design, navigation, accessibility and reliability.

In order to provide a web experience that is unified and represents the University constituency’s official voice and message, this guide sets out best practices and standards that have been adopted to support brand identity, search engine optimization, accessibility, legal requirements, as well as consistency in appearance.

The information that follows applies to all University websites and is intended for content managers and editors who are responsible for the material published on the University website by their department, division, or program.  University Communications Web Services determines and is in charge of the University web presence.  All requests for design changes must come to Web Services.

  1. Official University websites are hosted on the Montclair State University web server.
  2. Separate domain names may not be purchased for hosting off-site. Requests for domain names, to be hosted on Montclair State servers, must be made through Web Services and OIT Systems and Security.
  3. All pages on the Montclair State website represent official communications from the University to the public, and therefore all content must adhere to University policies and standards - including FERPA and the University's Guidelines for Responsible Computing - and all local, state, federal and international law.
  4. Adherence to the Montclair State University code of conduct, and to all copyright rules and restrictions on the use of written, graphical, video and audio materials and data, in accordance with the University's standards and requirements for acknowledgment of sources in academic work, and as stated in the Student's Code of Conduct and the Faculty Handbook, must be met in all aspects of the Montclair State University web presence.
  5. All web pages are subject to Web Services standards regarding both content and technical structure and are subject to editing or removal by Web Services.

Branding and Identity

Montclair State University’s identity and brand reflect our mission, goals, and strategic plan. Our brand is well-established on various levels--visual, cultural and emotional. The website supports this identity in ways that range from the proper use of the University’s logo, to the development and management of effective content, and the website's overall professional appearance. Web Services works to produce websites that support the University brand along with the identity of each University department, division, college and school.

Consistency of design, continuity and commitment to excellence can further reinforce our identity both within the University community and externally. All communications and marketing materials that represent Montclair State University must adhere to the requirements outlined by University Communications.

Accessibility and Usability

Because the University website is visited by individuals with a wide range of abilities, content managers should be mindful of factors that impact web page accessibility such as font size, use of color, alt tags for images or heading tags.  Essential content should never be solely provided in an image, an audio file or a video.  Whenever possible make a text version of your content available.

The University’s website templates have been created to optimize accessibility and usability on University web pages.  Whenever possible make use of the tools provided via the University templates.