Web Policies

These policies guide the use and creation of content for Wheaton's website.

Guidelines/Compliance

Wheaton’s website, www.wheaton.edu, is the sole property of Wheaton College. While certain faculty and staff will have access to edit the site, create and remove content, the site and all its sub-sites remain the property of the College.

The website provides a primary platform to showcase the College and project a positive image of Wheaton to the world. It is a strategic asset that carries enormous influence and provides global access to all aspects of the College. With more than a hundred web editors managing portions of the site, guidelines that encourage clarity, accuracy, and consistency are essential to protecting the College’s online image. This document aims to cover all areas of web governance, but if you have questions that are not answered upon reviewing this, please contact the.web@wheaton.edu.

The web team has access to all areas of the Wheaton website and to ensure quality control, will edit/alter content as needed for clarity, grammar, spelling, usage, and style, as well as to conform with college naming conventions and branding. The College reserves the right to revise or delete content housed either on college managed resources or external resources that do not meet acceptable use guidelines or the standards outlined in this policy.

Roles/Permissions

Sitecore content management system permissions are determined by user groups, which are determined by the area of the site a user needs access to. If specific needs are determined (e.g., certain users can only write in draft mode), web content owners (the people in charge of the webpages for their office/department/college/center), should contact the web team (the.web@wheaton.edu). Web content owners should also contact the web team if pagemasters (e.g., students, former employees) should no longer have permission to edit the site.

Quality Control/Workflow

Web content owners are responsible for determining their own internal workflow. It may be that the pagemaster is also the web content owner, or that there are multiple pagemasters who report to a web content owner. Content owners should contact the web team if there are pagemasters in their groups who should only have the ability to “edit” pages, not “publish” pages. Only “publishers” will be able to make changes that will instantly go live on the site.

Regardless of the structure, when your department makes changes to existing pages, have a second person review the webpage(s) content before you publish it. Make sure that you use the Sitecore spell-check feature before you submit changes. It won’t catch everything, but is still a useful tool.
Sitecore also allows you to view your pages in preview mode before they are published. Please take advantage of this feature to double-check your work before you publish.

If a blatant spelling mistake(s), factual error(s) or other errors related to brand standards appear on a page, the web team reserves the right to correct the page and contact the writer/editor responsible to advise taking more care when making or reviewing changes. If this is a recurring problem, the web team will relay the concern to the manager of the area and may suspend editing privileges until it is resolved. Please see the Noncompliance section of this document for more details. It is imperative that we all work together to keep the new website free of typos, bad grammar, etc. and consistent in style and quality.

Training/Education

Only editors who have been formally trained will be given access to the content management system. Members of the web team are responsible for initial training, after which editors may contact the CMS User Training and Support Specialist (x5510) or consult the training videos available on the intranet. Users may also call the CMS User Training and Support Specialist (x5510) for help on specific projects or challenges. Once trained and given access, users may not share their username with others or take it upon themselves to train another pagemaster.

Written Content/Messaging/Branding

Wheaton College’s website features a winsome writing style that engages our readers in a conversation. Our goal is to speak directly, answer questions, and give information as concisely and clearly as possible without overwhelming readers with too much text. User studies show that web visitors are task oriented, meaning they skim and scan to gather just enough information to get to their next destination. Subheadings and bulleted and numbered lists are tools to help us achieve these goals.

So that we convey a clear and consistent message, it is critical for all parts of the site to use the College’s official visual identifiers (logos) and naming conventions and style outlined in the Wheaton College Brand Guidelines. When questions arise that are not covered in the Brand Guidelines, you can find answers in the AP StylebookChicago Manual of Style and Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

Visual Content

Wheaton College is committed to using photography that meets a high professional standard. When posting photos on the site, use primarily documentary-style photography that captures authentic and vibrant interactions among students and among students and faculty. When at all possible, avoid using stock photography, and never use images acquired through searching Google or other search engines since it is difficult to determine rights of usage. It is important to reflect our strategic priority of deepening ethnic diversity at Wheaton on the website through our use of photos. Remember to show diversity whenever it is possible to do so in an authentic way that does not appear staged or contrived.

Web content owners and pagemasters for the individual departments, offices, and centers are responsible for photos on their pages. The web team maintains a digital library of 50,000+ professional campus photos which are available to use on your web pages. The web team is happy to help you find, size and place images, including rotating banners and widget images, on your page.

One of our governing principles is the importance of making our site accessible to all users. In support of this priority, when adding photos, you should include “Alt Text” in Sitecore so that those who are visually impaired and using text browsers can know what your picture or illustration looks like. If you don’t know how to add alt text, contact the CMS Training and Support Specialist for help. Keeping your alt text shorter is better: A good rule of thumb is between 5 and 15 words.

Videos

Videos are a primary component of telling Wheaton’s story, and like other materials that tell our stories, video needs to follow the College’s brand standards and maintain consistent style, tone, and message. For information on the process to follow when developing a video for the website as well as graphics and fonts that should be used, refer to the video guidelines.

Social Media and New Technologies

When used well, social media helps build relationships and extend our brand to important constituencies like prospective and current students, donors, alumni and our local community. When used unwisely or ineffectively, social media can put the College in awkward and even potentially damaging situations. These expectations and guidelines are designed to help you avoid pitfalls and have a successful experience using social media.

Any social media account with Wheaton College’s name associated with it should be considered as officially representing the brand and voice of Wheaton College and as such is subject to the same laws, professional expectations, and guidelines as would be expected for in-person communication with students, parents, alumni, donors, and the media. And, of course, as members of the Wheaton College community, we endeavor to live “For Christ and Kingdom” as outlined in the Statement of Faith and the Community Covenant in all our interactions, online or otherwise. For more information and social media best practices, see the Social Media Guidelines.

All social media accounts (existing or new) representing official College organizations, clubs, departments and groups should be registered with Marketing Communications so that we can provide you with support, training and tools for success. Please download the Social Media registration form and return it to the.web@wheaton.edu to register.

Mobile Applications

Groups, clubs, departments, and centers should contact the web team prior to launching mobile applications to ensure the applications follow Wheaton College branding standards.

Measurement

Google Analytics has been embedded in all site pages. The web team will grant access and provide training for departments that wish to utilize this data. Contact the.web@wheaton.edu to request access.

Content Management System

All content will be held and propagated to the site using the approved CMS Sitecore and its implemented version. No other software product may be used within Wheaton’s approved CMS and build architecture. If you require additional web functionality, please contact the web team (the.web@wheaton.edu) before pursuing third-party options. All content owners and pagemasters are expected to ensure all links are live, tested, and appropriately implemented.

Noncompliance

Pagemasters of department/divisions that violate the aforementioned policies and brand guidelines will receive email notification from the web team with 10 business days to address violations. If no attempt is made to address violations within 10 business days, the content owner(s) of the department/division will be contacted and will have five business days to address violations. If no attempt is made to address violations within this timeframe, the web team will notify the deans and/or chair of the department/division and take the necessary action to address any content in violation of the guidelines directly.

If three or more violations occur within a six-month period, the department’s content owner will be contacted by the director of web communications, who will develop a corrective plan of action. Continued and egregious violations will incur significant penalties, up to the removal of editing and publishing privileges for individuals or a department.

The web team will make every effort to work with pagemasters and content owners to address violations and assist in any necessary website update.

Adopted FY 15-16

Web Governance Board:
Wendy Woodward
Kimberly Medaglia
Rebecca Larson