Best practices



Make sure that all content in your site — text, images, videos, etc. — is content that you have the right to use.

508 Compliance (accessibility)

  • Images need alt text
  • Audio and video can not be embedded without an accompanying transcript
  • If you don’t have a transcript for a video, we recommend putting the video on YouTube and linking to it
  • Links must be descriptive

Common image problems

  • Images can not include overly small or illegible text
  • Images should not appear pixelated
  • Image files should be in JPG format (for photographs) or PNG format (for illustrations, logos, and charts) and less than 1MB in file size.
  • Logos, charts and graphs are common offenders
    • Simple charts and graphs can often be replaced with HTML table containing the same data
    • Complex charts and graphs are best replaced with a downloadable PDF file
  • Image-based text should be kept to a minimum, and must be high contrast enough and large enough to read easily
  • Imaged-based charts and graphs are extremely difficult or impossible to make Section 508 compliant

Banner images

  • Banner images should not include text
  • Banner images are 900 x 300 pixels.  Strong horizontal images work best
  • Images smaller than 900 x 300 pixels cannot be used as banner image
  • Cropping a banner from a vertical image usually cuts off the image’s important content.  We strongly advise using a horizontal image

Good page layout

  • Avoid creating very long pages — consider using subpages instead
  • If a page needs to be long, use anchors to make the page more navigable
  • Avoid having more than 8–12 sidebar links
  • Avoid having more than 1–2 sidebar widgets
  • Minimizing sidebar content creates a more attractive web presence

Regular site reviews

  • Check for broken links
  • Check for missing images
  • Check for outdated content
  • Eliminate redundant content
  • Don’t orphan pages — if you remove a page from the site by not providing any links to it, either delete the page or put it in a draft

When to link to information

  • Your site is for information that you control and provide
  • Do not replicate information from other offices or departments — link to it instead
  • Examples: tuition and fees, academic calendar, faculty from other departments

Information and help

  • For basic WordPress questions, see the WordPress User Guide on the Digital Communications site
  • If you have questions about Section 508 compliance, see the accessibility section on the Digital Communications site
  • If you email a question to Digital Communications, please include links and detailed information to help us help you