Required Elements & Standards

The following requirements apply to all webpages that provide official information about New Mexico State University to the public. Personal pages and pages that are intended primarily for restricted, internal audiences are excluded from these requirements. However, all pages must also conform to the Acceptable Use Policy (Policy 2.35).


NMSU Identity

The web is one of the key ways that NMSU presents itself to the public. In many cases, our webpages form a reader’s first impression about our University. To present a consistent, professional image, it is crucial that all NMSU webpages clearly establish their relationship with the university.

  • The NMSU logotype must appear in the top left corner of every webpage. 
  • The university tagline—All About Discovery!—must appear on every webpage.
  • No university trademarks may be altered or manipulated in any way or merged with or placed directly against any other logo.
  • External vendor applications registered with Web Governance board must make an effort minimally brand applications with the NMSU logo, the name of the university, and the university tagline, “All About Discovery!” For assistance in logo set ups for external vendor applications, please contact Web Communications for assistance.

Required Links & Standards

  • The NMSU Identity in the top left corner of every webpages should link back to http://nmsu.edu 
    • For external vendor applications, when the identity mark cannot be used, it is acceptable to include a link back to http://nmsu.edu in a visible location on the page or application screen.
  • Each site’s main webpage must include a link to Search NMSU at http://nmsu.edu/search.html. If the website uses WordPress, there is an option to link your search field to the main NMSU search page.  If you choose to create a custom search for your website or use the default WordPress search page, you can opt to include a text link somewhere on your website that links to the Search NMSU page as indicated above. This link can appear on the search results page or the 404 (page not found) page.
  • Top-level pages must include complete contact information for the unit (address, phone, and email) or a clearly visible link to that information.
  • All websites must include contact information for person or group responsible for maintaining the site – such as the web developer, site manager, or webspace owner –  somewhere on the site.   For sites that are developed by third-party contractors, vendors, current students or former students, contact information must include both the site developer and the site owner/manager. Including a web contact form is an acceptable practice to meet this requirement.
  • Page Titles:  Include site name/page title before the pipe character and the text “New Mexico State University” <title>WordPress Training | New Mexico State University</title>Page titles are an important on-page SEO element and is the first element a screen reader renders to a user if using assistive technology.  The page title should accurately describe the page content first, including important keywords, and then list the name of the university.

Links to Non-NMSU websites

Links to external commercial vendors on NMSU websites and pages are permitted, but should be to the entity’s home page or other non-promotional page. Text that includes live links should not imply an endorsement of any kind and must adhere to regents policy 3.20.37 Sales and Solicitations. When a website or pages have been developed by a non-NMSU entity, a text credit may be used (for example: This site was created by ABC Company).

Copyright

All sites must abide by copyright law and respect the intellectual property of others. For details, see the Copyright Essentials page on the NMSU Libraries website.

Information Accuracy and Timeliness

Site information must be accurate and up-to-date. Make sure it is reviewed regularly. Out-of-date names, dates, and other facts do not help users and reflect poorly on you, your department, and the university. All pages must be free of spelling errors. In addition to using a spell-checker, proofread material carefully and have a “second set of eyes” review it, too.

Link Integrity

Make sure that all links are accurate and working. Test each link manually or use a link checker such as Site Improve to test the entire page. Recheck links regularly to make sure they are still operating.

Accessibility

Users with disabilities should have equal access and equal opportunity to browse your website. This is the accessibility of a website. University Policy 2.80 requires webpages and websites to be accessible.

Web Application Log-in Screens

  • Passwords and other authentication information should be protected at the same level as the data that they control.
  • Any application dealing with standard university passwords (those associated with myNMSU, or with accounts on the Information and Communication Technology administrative or general-access campus systems) must protect transmission of the passwords using secure sockets layer (SSL) or an equivalent technology.
  • Applications that capture and transmit “nonpublic” information—such as name, address, social security number (SSN), credit card number, and birth date—should also use SSL.
  • Do not use the social security number for authentication. No new applications may be written using the SSN for authentication, and existing applications must be transitioned. While the document states that myNMSU usernames must be used, this does not apply to internal departmental applications, where the department has its own usernames. However, even departmental applications may not use the SSN for authentication.