website guidelines

Themes and Plugins

Themes

UConn currently has four central themes as well as a number of custom themes and child themes created for specific UConn sites.

Plugins

To ensure the security and stability of Aurora, plugins are limited to set number determined by the Aurora Governance Committee. Plugins do get added regularly, but must be thoroughly tested and reviewed for compatibility with existing plugins.

Custom Themes and Plugins

Custom development is allowed for the Aurora WordPress server, but each plugin and theme, as well as any update, will have to go through Code Audit before being allowed in the system. Contact webdev@uconn.edu if you're interested in starting a custom project to get a development environment, and to be added to the developer contact lists. You may also want to look at our Live Sites with Custom/Child Themes.

Additional Links

Domain Name Guidelines

Purpose

The Domain Name System (DNS) is an Internet-wide distributed database of names translating Internet Protocol (IP) addresses into easily memorable names. Domain names are part of the identity of the university and communicate the university’s image and reputation to the public. Consistent domain usage may also be a tool for users to better locate services, so domains should be assigned in an easily recognizable and predictable structure.

To ensure that domain names are assigned and used appropriately and in alignment with institutional goals, the university has established some guidelines for governing third level domain name registrations. Examples of third-level domains names would be in the form of unitname.uconn.edu.

Scope

This policy covers all academic and administrative units, university affiliates, and academic and administrative staff seeking to register a domain name.

Guidelines

  1. Requests for all third-level domain names must be made by a college or administrative division that serves the entire university community and the requested third-level domain name must be approved before use.
  2. All official university web sites shall use domain names within the uconn.edu namespace.
  3. Requested third-level domain names must meet the following requirements in order to be approved:
    1. The requested name should accurately describe the activity or program to which it refers and be easily recognized as word(s) or abbreviation(s).
    2. The requested name represents the unit or service used by the entire university community.
    3. The unit must expect to provide these services on an ongoing basis.
    4. Third-level domain names may be revoked if the name is needed by the university.
  4. Officially recognized centers and institutes may request a fourth-level domain under one of the following third-level domains: center.uconn.edu or institute.uconn.edu.
  5. Officially recognized academic programs involving more than one college may request a fourth-level domain under: program.uconn.edu

Definitions

Third-level Domain Name

These names consist of a single word placed before the uconn.edu part of the domain name.

Examples:

  • business.uconn.edu
  • hartford.uconn.edu
  • eeb.uconn.edu
  • uits.uconn.edu

Fourth-level Domain Name

These names reflect their affiliation with an academic or administrative unit, such as program.department.uconn.edu or server.department.uconn.edu.

Examples:

  • graduates.business.uconn.edu
  • parking.hartford.uconn.edu
  • algae.eeb.uconn.edu
  • uits.uconn.edu

Accessibility

All University websites are required to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 508 (specifically Subpart B, 1194.22 Web-based intranet and internet information and applications).

While Aurora’s central themes are tested and kept accessible by UITS web developers, individual webmasters are responsible for keeping the content of their pages and sites accessible as well.

Quick Tips to Keep Your Pages Accessible

Use Good Alt Tags

Alt tags for images help make a site more accessible. WordPress will use the file name of an image as the Alt tag, but this is likely not going to be good enough to pass an accessibility review. A good alt tag briefly describes the content of an image.

No Table Layouts

Layouts of rows and columns should be done with Bootstrap code, not HTML Tables. Besides being inaccessible, HTML tables will also break your pages in mobile views! Tables should only be used when the content in a cell is defined by what row and column it belongs to.

Avoid ‘Click Here’ Links

Avoid ‘Click Here’ and similar phrases for links. Instead, have the link text describe the link destination. In addition to being more accessible, it will help with your Google search rankings. For example, “For more information about our admissions process click here” could be better as “More information about our admissions process“.

Use Headings

Use headings to organize your page content. For example, this page uses Heading 2 (h2) and Heading 3 (h3) tags. “Quick Tips to Keep Your Pages Accessible” is a Heading 2, and “Use Headings” is a Heading 3. Besides bringing in a larger font and adding white space, these headings are great for accessibility. They allow impaired users to skip through the heading tags the same way you would visually scan a page for headlines. Heading 3 would be a subsection within an Heading 2 section. You can add headings to a by going to Format > Formats > Headings or by using the keyboard shortcut (Control + 2, Control + 3, etc. on Windows, Command + 2, Command + 3, etc. on Mac). Headings help your site to look great, be more accessible, and they will really help your search engine rankings.

Watch Color Contrast

Be careful with color contrast. You will be able to change the color of your page text or upload images with text. Remember that users may have forms of color blindness or weaker eyesight. In the Resources section below, there are ways to measure the contrast levels with some websites or apps. In general, don’t put red text on a green background, or yellow text on a white background. Make sure your text is clearly legible.

Contact Information

Be sure to have contact information clearly visible on the website (homepage, main navigation, or footer), providing the ability to request alternate versions of inaccessible material to viewers with disabilities.

Resources

Please note that while these tools will help issues, many aspects of web accessibility require a degree of judgement. For example, a tool can detect if you're missing an Alt tag for an image, but it won't be able to figure out if an Alt tag accurately describes the image.

Tool Description Instructions
WAVE A website that scans a single page of your site. After scanning, click the Flag icon, then change the filter to Section 508.
Web Accessibility Toolbar A browser extension for Internet Explorer that allows you to quickly run scans on any webpage.  
Accessibility Evaluation Toolbar A browser extension for Firefox that allows you to quickly run scans on any webpage.