Web Content Guidelines


The University of Delaware’s legal notices (at http://www.udel.edu/home/legal-notices/) specify that the university “targets WCAG 2.0 and ARIA 1.0 in order to allow Web content and assistive technologies to convey appropriate information to persons with disabilities.” As far as possible, the Lerner website and myLerner intranet will comply with these accessibility requirements.

  • Text should be written and formatted for web: use sequential headings, simple language, descriptive link text (rather than “click here”).
  • Text should be provided on page; images with text should be used sparingly. (Text in an image is also hidden from search engines.) If text is provided in an image, provide the text in the alt tag.
  • Non-text elements should use appropriate alt tags.
  • Audio and video files should be accompanied by a transcript.
Advertising and sponsorships
Advertisements may not appear on the Lerner website. Sponsors may be recognized with a brief text acknowledgement of the sponsorship and a link to the sponsor’s website if the association elevates the Lerner brand.
Contact information
  • List phone numbers with dashes; no parentheses.
    Ex. 302-831-1111
  • The link text for email addresses should be the email address, not a name.
    Ex. mbaservices@udel.edu
  • Identify fax numbers with “Fax:” and include “Phone:” if both a phone and fax number are given.
    Ex. Fax: 302-831-1111
    Ex. Fax: 302-831-1111 Phone: 302-831-1112
Content updates
Faculty/staff may request factual updates to the Lerner website by submitting a request via email to lernercomm@udel.edu. For extensive changes or new content, faculty/staff should submit a request that includes the intended audience and goals, so that the communications team can develop content. Faculty/staff should not develop new content and submit it to be posted to the website.

All content must be current. It is the responsibility of the staff, faculty and departments and centers to submit a detailed request to lernercomm@udel.edu when updates are needed.

Content that is not current may be removed without prior notice and at the discretion of the Lerner Communications Team.

Communications provides standard turnaround and usually fulfills requests within 7-10 business days (depending on the nature of the request and the information provided). If your request is urgent, please note that in your ticket. If a meeting is required, a communications team member will contact you.

The one exception is in updating academic information prior to the Spring and Fall semesters. We require the Content Managers/Subject Matter Experts responsible for these areas to submit their requests 6 months prior to the start of the new semester. This includes any updates approved in the Faculty/Senate approval process.

Copyright and legal considerations
All content appearing on the Lerner website and myLerner intranet is copyrighted by Lerner College and may not be reproduced elsewhere without written permission from the College. Requests to include copyrighted content from an outside source on the website must be accompanied by written permission from the copyright owner to do so.

Content must not violate federal, state or local laws or University of Delaware policies.

Course prefixes and numbers
  • In lists, format: Course prefix, all caps | space | course number | space | dash | space | course name, title case
    Ex. ACCT 804 – Database Design, Networks and Implementation
  • In text, no dash; format: Course prefix | space | course name, title case
    Ex. All students must take ACCT 804 Database Design, Networks and Implementation.
Headings and headlines


  • There is only one H1 per page. This is the page title, automatically assigned an H1 by WordPress.
  • H2, H3, H4 should be used hierarchically. All should be written in title case.
  • Do not use headings to affect a visual style.
  • Do not use formatted (bold, etc.) text to stand in place of a heading. Use an actual heading.
  • For parenthetical information included in a heading: sentence case. Ex: Required Courses (Choose three)

“Marketing” headlines on pages:

  • (div class=”intro-text”)
  • Full sentences, in sentence case, with punctuation.

Blog headlines:

  • Sentence case, without ending punctuation (may or may not be full sentences).
Images and documents

Images used on the Lerner website must be of professional quality. They should be used only if they enhance or support the message of the page. Images should not be used on forms.

  • If an uploaded file is replaced and the original one isn’t in use anywhere, delete it from the website’s uploaded files.
  • Images should have an alternative text unless the use of an alt tag is made redundant by the context of the image.

Uploaded documents should only be used if the content cannot be represented as web content or needs to be printable.

  • Uploaded documents must be in PDF form. Links to PDFs should include “(PDF)” at the end of the link text to indicate to the user that the link will open a file, not a webpage.
    Ex.: M.S. in Accounting Planning Sheet (PDF)
  • If an uploaded document is replaced and the original one isn’t in use anywhere, delete it from the website’s uploaded files.
  • Link text should be meaningful, to provide ease of use and accessibility for all users. Do not use “click here” or “learn more.”
  • Links to PDFs include “(PDF)” at the end to indicate to the user that the link will open a file, not a webpage.
  • All internal links will open in the same window.
  • All external links will open in a new window.
  • Link attribute selection and usage will be left to the discretion of the Lerner Communications Team.
News and events

To display on the Lerner website or myLerner intranet, upcoming events must be in the UD Events system and properly tagged. Departments/centers may request editing access to the UD Events system from the Lerner Communications Team for one faculty or staff member.

To request a news story for the website, submit a ticket to the Lerner Communications Team. Approved stories will be written or edited and published to the website for display on the news and other relevant pages.

To add a news feed to a webpage:

  • The story must be posted to the blog.
  • Limit 5 stories per feed.
  • Format for including the news feed:
    [display-posts category="" posts_per_page="5" include_date="true" order="DESC" orderby="date"]
Profile photo guidelines
  • We highly recommend having your photo taken with UD Photo Services, contact Cheryl Cunningham at ccunning@udel.edu. Please mention Julie Morin’s name when making the appointment so the images are forwarded to us.
  • Your profile picture should be professionally photographed in business headshot style. This style helps maintain a standard look and feel among all Lerner faculty. The person’s appearance is professional, refined and the photo looks composed. The picture is vertical, and the image includes the face, head and shoulders, a plain background, and is not cropped too closely to the head. The picture should be in color, in focus, have proper lighting, good composition and expert color correction and retouching.
  • Images that do not fit the standards above can potentially be used for other purposes, but will not be used as a profile picture.
  • Our team will resize the image for use on the website. The dimensions are 250 x 375 pixels, 72 DPI, saved as jpeg.
  • If no photo is provided then the default “silhouette.jpg” will be used.
  • Examples:
    • Photographs taken with a cell phone in general are not usable.
    • Images of people backed up against a wall, horizontal images, and images that have been cropped too closely to the subject’s head do not fit the standards for this style of headshot.
    • Photographs of people at a party, giving a talk, in a meeting, on the phone, sitting at a desk, or in general doing anything other than looking at the camera and posing do not fit this style.
Text: Style, format and readability
Web and intranet copy follows the UD brand style guides and Lerner guidelines. Where not specified, it follows AP style.

Copy submitted to the communications team for inclusion on the website will be edited as necessary to meet style, form, accessibility and readability guidelines.

Readability of web copy:

  • Web copy should be easily understood. Direct, clear writing provides maximum access to the most users (including non-native speakers, those using assistive technologies) on the most devices.
  • Target readability scores of grade 12 for the general/undergraduate audience up to grade 14 for the graduate audience.
  • Use the Hemingway tool to check and edit text. http://www.hemingwayapp.com/

Correct web copy form:

  • Paragraphs are very short to make reading and scanning easier (no more than 100 words).
  • Headings are used to identify sections of text.
  • Lists are formatted with bullets (not in paragraph form).
  • Link text (and the preceding heading) accurately describes the target of the link.
Video which enhances the message of a page is encouraged. See the University of Delaware Video Branding Guidelines for instructions on creating video.

Acceptable videos:

  • Promotional/marketing style
  • Professionally produced and edited
  • Produced by Lerner or the University of Delaware
  • Under 2 minutes in length*

*This requirement is based on research on the optimal video length on websites: viewership of videos over 2 minutes in length drops significantly due mainly to short attention spans wistia.com/blog/optimal-video-length

Adding video to the website:

  • Videos are added to the blog. Create a blog post with the video first on the page.
  • Wrap all video elements in <div class=”responsive-video-wrap”> to preserve the responsive theme. After the video, include a short description of the video beginning, “In this video, …”
  • Include a transcript on the page with the heading “Video Transcript.” Bold the speaker’s name and follow with a colon. Do not use quotation marks.
    Ex. Georgia Smith: I chose Lerner…
  • Format for including the video on a webpage:
    [lerner-router-row title="" external_link="" image=""]In this video, etc.[/lerner-router-row]