- VCU Homepage Link
- Parent Unit Link
- Contact Information
- Last Updated Date
- Postal Box
- Inclusion Links
- 404 Page
- Course Information
- Third Party iFrames
5.1 VCU Homepage Link
Websites must include a link to the VCU homepage.
Details & Example
The VCU homepage link must go to “https://www.vcu.edu” and have “Virginia Commonwealth University” spelled out. This is typically included in the website’s footer alongside other contact information. Inclusion of the VCU branding bar does not fulfill this requirement.
<a href="https://www.vcu.edu" title="VCU homepage">Virginia Commonwealth University</a>
Please ensure the href value is "https://www.vcu.edu" as "https://vcu.edu" is a 301 redirect.
5.2 Parent Unit Link
Websites for a unit of the university that has a parent unit must provide a link to the parent unit on every page.
Importance & Implementation
A link to a parent unit provides visitors context to the university’s organizational structure as well as ease of navigability to similar resources. This link is typically included in the website’s footer contact information.
5.3 Contact Information
Websites must provide contact information (e.g. address, phone, email) on every page.
The following contact information is required on every page of a website:
- A physical address or mailing address
- A phone number
- An email address
Importance & Implementation
Providing contact information provides visitors the ability to get additional information by alternative methods. This information is typically included in the website’s footer, but can alternatively be linked to a dedicated contact page.
5.4 Last Updated Date
Websites must provide a date of when the site or its pages were last updated or reviewed on every page.
Importance & Implementation
A last updated date informs visitors on how up-to-date the content is. The following guidelines and suggestions should be referenced when implementing a last updated date:
- The date should be specific to the individual page and not the overall website.
- The terms “Last updated”, “Updated”, or “Last reviewed” may be used.
- This information is typically included in the website’s footer.
Websites are required to be updated or reviewed every 12 months. Therefore, the last updated date on any page should be less than 12 months old.
5.5 Postal Box
Websites must not use the phrase "PO Box ####" on any page.
United States Postal Services Trademark
Due to a trademark by the United States Postal Services, websites are not allowed to use the phrase “PO Box ###”. Instead, use “Box ####” when referring to a postal box.
5.6 Inclusion Links
Websites must include links to the required inclusion resources.
Required Inclusion Links
The following are the required inclusion resources every website must link to. These links are typically included in the website’s footer.
To better provide inclusive access to VCU’s resources, all websites must include a link to VCU’s Accessibility Resources page on every page.
<a href="https://accessibility.vcu.edu/" title="Accessibility at VCU" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Accessibility</a>
Technical Support (Webmaster) Link
To better provide centralized technical support for university websites, all websites must include a mailto link to the VCU Webmaster on every page. This email is monitored by the Technology Services IT Support Center who route messages to the responsible party. Additional methods for technical assistance may be linked alongside the VCU Webmaster mailto link.
<a href="mailto:email@example.com" title="Contact the VCU webmaster">Webmaster</a>
<a href="https://www.vcu.edu/privacy-statement/" title="VCU privacy statement" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Privacy</a>
5.7 404 Page
Websites must provide a helpful 404 error page.
The Importance of a Helpful 404 Page
Helpful 404 pages guide users when they stumble across a resource that no longer exists or has moved. These pages should be relevant and tailored specifically for the website.
Implementation & Example
Configuration of a 404 page depends on the platform the website is hosted on. Please contact Web Services if technical assistance in implementing a 404 page is required. A good example of a helpful 404 page is the VCU homepage 404.
Websites must include an input field to the VCU search tool.
If a website provides its own equivalent search functionality, or is a single page site, the inclusion of an input to the VCU search tool is not required.
To learn more on how to include an input to the VCU search tool on a website, visit the article on adding a basic VCU search box to your site at the VCU Technology Services website.
5.9 Course Information
Websites must not contain duplicate information from the VCU Bulletin.
If course information must be provided on a website, this information should only supplement and link to the corresponding VCU Bulletin page.
The VCU Bulletin is the main resource for course information. Course information that duplicates a VCU Bulletin page, instead of supplementing and linking to a VCU Bulletin page, can cause confusion for students when outdated content is found or information between both locations do not match.
5.10 Third Party iFrames
Websites cannot deliver primary content via an iframe.
Use of iframes to display content should only be used for supplemental content. Websites should refrain from delivering primary content via an iframe, but if for technical reasons iframes must be used for primary content then contact information and instructions on how to obtain the content in alternate formats must be provided.