Web Governance refers to the structure of people, processes, and policies that maintain and manage a site over time. It ensures your website remains accurate, consistent, and user-friendly.
It is important to define roles for anyone involved in maintaining the website, whether they are creating and reviewing content, building and maintaining pages, or contributing to overall website strategies and goals. For a College of Liberal Arts department website, roles usually include:
- Department Chair
- Site Manager
- Content Editor(s)/Contributor(s)
- CLA Web Services
- CLA Communications
Each role has defined responsibilities for how they will contribute to the maintenance of the site.
Department Chairs are responsible for setting the overall strategy for the department website. They assign the site manager and ensure content aligns with department values and goals.
Site managers are the primary caretakers of website content, including copy, images, videos, linked documents, news, events, and forms. Site managers are responsible for regularly reviewing site content to ensure its accuracy and its compliance with all applicable policies and guidelines, including ADA/accessibility policies. Site managers have the highest level of access to edit their website and are responsible for making updates as necessary. If a change requires assistance from CLA Web Services, site managers are responsible for submitting the request. For more information about the responsibilities of a Site Manager see the Site Manager Introduction page.
Content editors and contributors may be asked to write or review content related to their area of expertise. While the site manager ensures consistent voice and style, the content editor or contributor ensures the content’s accuracy based on their unique position or knowledge.
CLA Web Services
The CLA Web Services team designs, develops, and maintains all department and center websites for the College of Liberal Arts. They manage all CLA website servers and adopt and implement new tools for web design and management.
As schedules permit, they can create custom graphics/icons, assist with photo editing/compositing, and develop new functionality or features that aren't available on the websites' existing infrastructure. The Web Services team also provides training on WordPress, Beaver Builder, WGAC compliance, and more. They regularly review sites for accessibility issues and manage account access to the University’s accessibility tool, Monsido.
CLA Web Services is NOT responsible for day-to-day content updates to department sites.
CLA Communications ensures that department sites align with the College of Liberal Arts brand and messaging. They provide support and guidance in relation to content, search engine optimization, and social media. They maintain college-level pages that may be used as central calls-to-action from department sites. They also serve as the liaison between University Communications and the departments, sharing policies and processes that may affect department sites.
Site rules are agreed upon policies, procedures, and guidelines that dictate how content is created, published, and maintained. Rules should include, but are not limited to:
Per the CSU Accessibility Policy, all public-facing College of Liberal Arts sites must be accessible and conform to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA level. Site Managers are responsible for regularly checking their content for accessibility problems, fixing any problems that are found, and reporting any problems that were unable to be fixed.
All site content should reflect current department offerings, processes, policies, and staffing. All offsite links should be checked regularly to make sure that they send users to the correct destination. Users should feel confident that the information on the site is correct and up-to-date.
All department sites should align with both the CSU Style Guide and the College of Liberal Arts Visual Brand Language. Site content should follow the CSU Writer’s Style Guide and the use the voice defined in the CLA Brand Guidelines.
With multiple content editors and contributors, it’s easy for a site to start to feel disjointed. Design, language, text formatting, and graphic elements should all be applied consistently to give the site a sense of cohesion.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the practice of optimizing a site to ensure search engines like Google find the content and send the right traffic to your pages. Simple methods such as adding meta descriptions, using clear and relevant headings, and ensuring images have alt attributes can make a big difference in your search ranking.
Review is the process by which you ensure that your site is following the rules (see section above), achieving its goals, and is efficient in its processes. Each page should be reviewed regularly to answer three questions:
- Is this page following the rules?
- Is this page achieving its objective?
- Are all individuals who have a role with the page fulfilling their responsibilities?
Two tools have been developed to help you in the review process. The Web Governance Plan Template allows you to define roles and a regular review schedule for all pages. The Webpage Review Log provides a checklist and system to document the review of your pages.
The review schedule for each page will depend on the content. If a page includes dates, events, course schedules, or other timely information, it may need to be reviewed more often. When setting your review schedule, keep in mind when users will need important information like application deadlines. It is recommended that all pages are reviewed at least once annually.