Web policies and procedures
The Murray State website is a strategic asset that carries significant influence with multiple audiences and provides global access to all aspects of the University. As a campus community, we must maintain www.murraystate.edu and all of its subsites according to best practices and at the highest standard possible.
Web governance refers to people, policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines that govern the creation and maintenance of our official website.
Goals for the Murray State website
- Accessible. The website must meet all applicable state and federal expectations regarding user accessibility.
- Accurate. Information presented on the website will be factually accurate and as current as possible.
- Relevant. Content presented on the website will be intended for specific audiences (students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors).
- Simple. The information on the website will be concise and understandable to the intended audience.
- Consistent. The Murray State website will have a singular visual and writing style that adheres to the Branding Guidelines.
As part of our commitment to serve our community regardless of disability, Murray State University has a responsibility to post information in formats that reduce barriers to accessibility. Murray State complies with policies and regulations governing the behavior of public institutions related to the provisions of Section 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Content for the web must follow 508C compliance guidelines. Each page will be validated through a W3C and will not be able to be published until compliant. All content must be optimized for all reasonable consumption situations, i.e. tablets, smartphones, mobile devices, modern browsers, and various connectivity speeds.
Common accessibility issues
- Images should not be used to display text.
- Every image must have a description.
- Link text should be descriptive.
- PDFs must be accessible.
Murray State uses a Quality Assurance service to scan the website weekly and identify accessibility issues. The service also identifies broken links, misspelled words, opportunities for SEO improvements, uses of MSU instead of Murray State and some formatting issues.
Reported errors may be sent to the Omni CMS user responsible for the pages. In some cases, the Web Management department will fix the issues.
Hosting and site creation
All sites hosted on a murraystate.edu server are operated and owned by Murray State University and should be created and managed, with limited exceptions, through the Content Management System. Contracting with third-party design firms or individuals to design a website or page is not allowed.
Omni CMS users / Web contributors
Web contributors or Omni CMS users are responsible for their section’s pages and content. The office of web management will work with departmental supervisors and chairs to ensure an appropriate Web Contributor has been identified and an appropriate workflow is in place.
Areas or departments that only need occasional updates should work with Web Management to update their pages rather than requesting a Omni CMS user account.
- Omni CMS users should be faculty or staff members.
- Students may be permitted to access Omni CMS under certain circumstances.
- Web contributors must have an @murraystate.edu email address.
- Omni CMS accounts are limited to one per department.
- Failure to adhere to the Murray State Web Governance policy or Omni CMS User Guidelines will result in the suspension of all editing privileges.
Roles and Permissions
Our content management system (CMS), Omni CMS, provides varying levels of access and approvals.
General control of content is delegated to those best positioned to ensure it is timely and accurate. Changes to site structure, filenames, page titles, and creation of new pages will be handled by Web Management.
Contributor Level 2 (Content Editor)
- Gathers, creates and organizes content in their designated section.
- A section of the site may have multiple Level 2 users but administrative/academic departments are limited to one user at one time.
- Participates in and completes Omni CMS training.
- Understands accessibility requirements.
- Adheres to web governance standards.
- Approved student users will be Level 2.
Contributor Level 3 (Content Approver)
- Reviews and approves work of Level 2 users in a specific area.
- Authorized to post content live to site.
Administrators - Web management team.
- Responsible for the overall look and feel of the site.
- Final authority on all content posted to the website.
- Work with content contributors to ensure best practices are followed.
Quality Control & Workflow
Have a second person review content before it is published or sent for approval. Use Omni CMS tools to check for spelling and accessibility errors.
If problems with the accuracy and quality of content persist, Web Management will relay concerns to the supervisor of the area and suspend editing privileges until the issues are resolved.
Creating new pages and sections or changing the names of existing pages and sections will require assistance from Web Management. Page and sections names and page titles will be formatted per best practice for SEO and usability.
Requests for new pages will be reviewed and approved based on the following criteria:
- The content does not exist anywhere else on the site.
- The content is intended for an approved audience (prospective students, current students, faculty, staff, families of students, alumni, donors)
- The content adheres to web best practices.
Please note, a new page created for an event will be scheduled to delete one week after the event has passed.
Consistency & Maintenance
- All website content including imagery and layout elements should adhere to the Murray State branding guidelines.
- Content contributors will be notified if content is outdated, inaccurate, redundant, trivial, or inconsistent with brand guidelines. If the content issues are not corrected by the contributor, Web Management may remove the content.
- Content contributors should audit content and files often and at least once per semester. PDFs, images, and files not in use should be deleted.
Departments should review their content annually.
- Web Management will audit user accounts at the beginning and end of each semester (August, December, January, May).
- Accounts that have not been accessed in the prior 6 months will be deleted.
- Users who need an account reinstated will need to go through the standard account approval process.
Due to the complexity of ensuring documents (PDF, Word documents) are accessible, Web Management strongly recommends information be posted as content on web pages.
- Documents that must be posted to the website for download should be in PDF format and accessible.
- Word documents should be converted to accessible PDFs when possible.
- PDF forms should be converted to electronic forms when possible. Web Management can assist, if needed.
- Powerpoint presentations must be saved as an accessible PDF or converted to video. Please note, all videos must be captioned.
PDFs and other documents must be posted in ways that address PDF Techniques for WCAG 2.0, unless in very limited circumstances where time sensitivity, audience impact, or legal obligations of the University dictate the temporary posting of an inaccessible document until a compliant version of document is available.
Omni CMS and the Murray State website are not meant to serve as record management or retention tools.
In most cases, certain documents will be allowed for five years only. Documents from prior years will be removed.
General web retention guidelines include:
- 5 years: Meeting agendas, meeting minutes, award notifications, memos, publications, blog entries, departmental news, presentations, event publications, images, and newsletters.*
- 10 years: annual plans and annual reports, student statistic reports.*
* Exceptions must be approved the Web Management Department.
Departments are encouraged to indicate on websites when there are more archives available, and include the contact information for how to obtain documents archived within the department. In order to maintain content that meets this policy, all content should be reviewed by content editors and stakeholders annually. Outdated content will need to be removed and archived.
Please contact the Records Retention Center for help and guidance on internal (departmental) processes for storing and archiving documents and files, including those featured on websites.
All Omni CMS users are required to go through training at least once per year. Training and resources are available via Canvas.
Subject to Change
Web policies and procedures are subject to change.