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University Website Requirements

All University sites should be reviewed before launch to ensure that they follow University branding requirements and usability best practices and have been made accessible to assistive devices

General requirements are detailed below. A shorter list of requirements applies to student sites.

Required elements

  • Link to the University’s home page from your site’s home page.
  • If you use the Princeton University logotype and/or shield, you must use an approved treatment with proper fonts and colors. You can request the University logotype and/or shield from the Office of Communications by emailing
  • Link to either the University’s search or a site-specific search from your site’s home page. If you choose to link to a site-specific search, you must include a link to the University’s search from your site-specific search page. See the ODUS site for an example.
  • Provide the University’s copyright notice, including the current year — “© 20xx The Trustees of Princeton University” — on your site’s home page.
  • Provide contacts for site owners somewhere within your site.
  • Provide a page modification date on your site’s home page.
  • Provide critical information in a format that does not require a plug-in (third-party software) for viewing.
  • Provide tags containing alternative text for all of your site graphics and photos (part of the University's accessibility standards and guidelines).
  • Be sure to have permission to post each photo or other visual elements before loading them on your site. If you are not sure about the copyright issues for a specific image, do not use it.
  • Be sure that your office has permission to reuse any copyrighted text that appears in your site.
  • Include photo credits.
  • Grammar, spelling and punctuation must follow a style guide and be used consistently on all pages. The University recommends the Web Editorial Style Guide which is based on the Associated Press Stylebook.
  • Language should conform with the University’s Equal Opportunity Policy and Nondiscrimination Statement. If in doubt, contact the Office of the General Council or the Vice Provost for Institutional Equity and Diversity.
  • Do not advertise, endorse, link to or include logos for external corporations, or other commercial ventures anywhere on your site — such actions are prohibited by the University. There are limited exceptions to this rule. You may credit an external entity for copyright purposes, but such credits must be factual and not advertising. For example, to credit a photo from, following their guidelines and ours, use: “© [insert current year] JupiterImages Corporation” near the photo or on a credit page. For clarification, please contact Daniel Day, acting director of communications.
  • “Rights, Rules, Responsibilities” applies to the Web, and University entities are responsible for making sure their Web content follows these guidelines.
  • Make sure that your site represents Princeton University well.

Highly recommended features

  • Your site title is placed prominently on every page.
  • Your site has a logical naming convention for Web addresses, menu labels and page headers.
  • Your navigation uses straightforward wording, in one- to three-word phrases.
  • Your navigation is grouped in clusters of six or fewer items.
  • Your navigation does not link to pages outside of your site, downloadable documents or e-mail addresses.
  • Every page in your site can be accessed from some level of your navigation.
  • Interactive elements in your site behave consistently, so that users can predict what will happen when they click on an item.
  • When making hotlinks, use descriptive two- or- three-word phrases.
  • All links to pages within your own site open up in the same window.
  • Your site uses a consistent practice for opening up new windows for links that take the user outside of your site.
  • Proper names are used correctly.