Why have web standards & guidelines?

As a diverse, urban university, the many schools and departments within Virginia Commonwealth University offer unique cultures and perspectives. Each individual department and school reflects that variation. The web publishing guidelines have been established to accommodate the individuality of each unit's websites, while sustaining a consistent university environment with standard visual elements and an accessible experience throughout the VCU domain.

Adhering to the VCU web standards & guidelines for your website will help:

  • create a strong and unified identity for Virginia Commonwealth University and identify your organization as a member of the university community,
  • provide a good experience for visitors by making your site more accessible, quicker and easier to use, and more secure,
  • and establish consistency among the many unique school and departmental websites.

The web standards and guidelines laid out on the following pages are a good starting point for making your sites more usable and accessible to visitors. This site only brushes the surface on many of the best practices covered - see the additional resources to delve deeper.

These guidelines are continually updated to stay current with the developing technology landscape. New additions and edits are first discussed in the Web Users Group and recorded on the History page.

What standards must my website meet?

Organizational websites

All VCU Organizational Websites must adhere to the Organizational Websites, Management & Hosting policy and comply with all items in the Web Standards & Guidelines checklist.

Personal websites

Personal websites for faculty, staff, and students must comply with all general and security regulations in addition to the guidelines for personal websites. Compliance with accessibility is suggested but not required.

Student organization websites

Student organization websites must comply with all general and security regulations in addition to the guidelines for student organization websites. Compliance with accessibility guidelines is suggested but not required.