Style Requirements

Who should I ask about the content contained on my Web pages?

If you are providing information representing Cal Poly programs and policies, consult the offices you would normally consult for approval of published material such as: department chair persons, unit managers, the Academic Affairs office if appropriate, or Cal Poly Public Affairs.

Style Requirements and Best Practices

Cal Poly, while acknowledging the value in its diversity, is also committed to its existence and image as "one university." It is important that official Cal Poly Web pages, despite their diverse origins, clearly convey a relationship to the whole University.

As a CSU campus, Cal Poly's web sites are required to, at a minimum, conform to baseline accessibility standards as defined in Section 508 and must follow best practice guidelines as established by the Accessible Technology Initiative Task Force. This includes conforming to XHTML 1.0 Strict or Transitional and CSS 2.0 or better.

It is also important that such Web sites adhere to standards of quality and professionalism appropriate for an institution of higher education. Finally, attention to user-friendliness is critical to effectively carrying out the University's missions. The following requirements, recommendations, and resources are intended to promote those results.

University Identity and Communication Elements


Minimal required elements for official Cal Poly Web pages that assist our users with readily identifying pages as belonging to the University as well as providing consistent communication methods for assisting our users with global navigation tools regardless of their location within Cal Poly's official Web structure, determining department contact information, and content (page) currency.

Web Accessibility


Making official Cal Poly web pages accessible to individuals with physical limitations is required by law. Your web pages must be accessible by those with physical impairments such as motor, visual, auditory, cognitive deficits and seizure disorders. It is a very simple matter to make your pages accessible.

Hosting Academic Programs within CALPOLY.EDU


Web sites which represent Cal Poly academic programs must be addressed within the CALPOLY.EDU Web domain. This is Cal Poly's current practice and a specific written policy for this is being drafted.

Technical Best Practice


Technical best practices are outlined on theĀ Web Accessibility site.


University templates are provided for use by programs that would like to ensure that their official Cal Poly Web pages have a unified institutional identity. In addition, the templates incorporate all of the requirements outlined on this page. If the templates are not used, official Cal Poly Web pages must implement the minimum requirements described in the "University Identity and Communication Elements Required for Official Cal Poly Web pages".

Content Ownership Guidelines

For official Cal Poly Web pages, individual departments are responsible for creating and maintaining their own content, not duplicating content that is owned by another department, responding to inquiries about their content, updating their content as necessary, and adhering to Copyright and Fair Use policy provisions. Content includes, but is not limited to text, images, PDFs, forms, links, audio, and video. See the Content Ownership section for guidelines.

Alert Icon Symbol Selection Click for more information on alert icon usageBetter yet, go here to the same place to get information on the Alert IconsDo you really want more information on the Alert Icons? Click here.

Standardized Alert Icons have been designed to provide for consistent symbol usage that assists with alerting or informing users of the state of a campus Web application or product (e.g. a course) or of their ability to access a product or service. The symbols are intended primarily for use in My Cal Poly portal applications though other uses may fit.

Style Guide for WARC

Related Content