Checklist for Web Pages Produced by or for
University of Pittsburgh Schools, Colleges, Offices, and Departments


Those who construct or revise Web pages for the University’s academic and administrative units consider broad-scope issues such as what information to provide, how that information can be presented clearly and attractively, how that information and the site itself will be kept current, who the site’s audiences are, and how to organize the site so it is easily navigable and user friendly.

The following checklist is meant to be helpful in the production and maintenance of useful, attractive, and user-friendly Web sites.

Elements to Be Placed on the Primary (Entry) Page

• A graphic or text link to the University’s home page.
• A link to site contact information -- including an individual’s name or title, e-mail or phone number, and mailing address.
• A Web-optimized University seal with accompanying “University of Pittsburgh” logotype. Web-optimized seals and logotype are available at http://www.umc.pitt.edu/web/logos.html.  

Also, the date of last update should be placed on each entry page, and preferably on each individual page.

Responsibilities of the School, College, Office, or Department

• Maintain a current site. Pages should be reviewed and updated, and links checked for viability, on at least a monthly basis.
• Maintain an accurate site. Information on the site should agree with University regulations, policies, and published data.
• When putting up a replacement for an existing page, avoid changing the URL if possible.  If changing the URL is necessary, make certain the Web designer includes a redirect meta tag in the old file.
• Ensure that permission has been obtained for the use of any copyrighted materials. While copyright law for the Web is not well defined, a guideline which may be helpful is to include on a site only those images and text which you would be permitted to publish in a book or article. It is important to refer to http://www.library.pitt.edu/guides/copyright/ for information regarding permissions and fair use.
• Instruct the Web page designer to read and follow the practices listed below.

Responsibilities of the Web Page Designer

• Include required elements, as listed above.
• Create pages that can be downloaded quickly. Avoid large image files.
• Use a design that will be accessible to those using a Web browser such as –IE 5, Netscape 7, or better.
• Enable the average viewer to view a page without scrolling horizontally by designing each page to fit on a 1024 x 768 pixel display. The width should not exceed 715 pixels.
• Add a redirect meta tag to the old file if an updated Web site will have a different URL than the earlier site.
• Make the site accessible to users with disabilities.
 See http://www.w3.org/TR/WAI-WEBCONTENT/ for more information.
• Use Web design techniques such as alt tags, and avoid technologies such as frames, in order to maintain ADA compliance.
• Use a standard font, in sizes ranging from 10 to 14 pixels for text and 14 to 28 pixels for titles and headings, so that the material will be accessible to all viewers. The four standard fonts able to be viewed by most Web users are Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, and Times.
• Include appropriate keyword meta tags to enable search engines to easily find the pages.
• Read the University Web Development Initiative.

For more information about the recommended University Web style and for many helpful site-building resources, go to http://www.umc.pitt.edu/web/index.html.


Updated November 15, 2006

Questions or comments can be sent to Carrie Sparks at sparks@provost.pitt.edu