3.0 Site-Build Style Guide

When building site:

  • Submit in Cascade through the “Check Content & Submit” button. Add or ignore words that you know are correct and common for our site, i.e., “Meriam”
  • Use the Google Chrome in-browser SiteImprove Accessibility Checker and fix errors that need fixing
  • Fix misspellings and broken links as you come across them
  • Make all email addresses links
  • No text-based images (flyers, posters, banners, etc.)
  • No external links in the Navigation Menu. Put them within primary content or create a button
  • External links should open in new browser tab (Target=New Window)
  • Use proper naming conventions (see “Naming Your Site” information)


  • Compare old site to new site (side-by-side comparison)--look for missed pages/documents

  • Look for pages with missing information

  • Take note of pages with content blocks that are too long or not scannable. Propose new options like cards, etc.

  • Make sure all buttons and cards within site are formatted the same (ok to have different formatting for different functionality)

  • The naming convention for Login buttons should be XXXX Login

  • Check links--make sure external links open in new window (Target)

  • Look for duplicate info

  • Make sure index pages are functioning as indexes

  • People pages--include photo and contact info on individual pages

  • Directory information--refer people to directory

  • Academic program info--refer to catalog

  • Look for font sizes that are slightly off: <p> issue.


  • Reference the University Style Guide for content and branding best practices.

  • Page titles should relate to URL

  • Headings: As a default, H1s should be title case (cap all words except prepositions unless they have 4 or more letters), H2s and below should be sentence case (first word and proper nouns get caps). However, consistency is most important, so there may be cases when this rule should be adapted to fit the content.

  • Double check footer and office information (check against directory, use division/college subfooter)

  • Ampersand on titles, headings, and link lists

  • Links: use https version, write meaningful links (no "read more" or "click here")

  • PDFs and Docs:

    • Links pointing to the following file types are automatically labelled with a file extension [e.g. Application Form (PDF)]: PDF, PNG, GIF, CSV, JPG/JPEG, DOC/DOCX, XLS/XLSX, PPT/PPTX, Google Doc, Google Sheet, Google Slide. Do not manually add the file extension to your link text.

    • Make sure non-compliant documents have the accessibility boilerplate statements on page “If you require this information in an accessible format, please contact [client name and number] or the Office of Accessible Technology at 530-898-6532.” 

  • Submit service request for accessible assistance 

  • Include last comma in a series, ie., birds, fish, and cats. However, don’t include a comma when using ampersands (like in a title), ie., Department of Birds, Fish & Cats

  • Remove curly quotes and apostrophes. Use straight quotes

  • Phone numbers should be linked. When creating the link, highlight phone number go to insert link, select external, then type in "tel:530-898-xxxx" then Ok.

Other issues to consider: tables, forms, pdfs, redundancy, naming conventions, content issues (audience/focus, scannable pages, etc.)

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Article ID: 36028
Fri 8/25/17 1:47 PM
Mon 7/6/20 2:33 PM