Site Approval Requirements

To request approval and site launch, the site owner must verify compliance with the following requirements.

In addition to the requirements below, please also see Site Approval Recommendations

-0/-1 Page URLs – Present/Need to Be Updated
  • Sites should not have published pages that have -0 or -1 appended due to page redundancy.
Accessible PDFs/Documents
  • All documents and PDFs hosted on the site are accessible (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, etc.).
  • To be considered accessible for KU CMS sites, PDFs must have no issues via Adobe Acrobat’s Accessibility Checker tools, including manually checking logical reading order and color contrast.
CMS Guide: Inaccessible PDFs/Documents
Accordions Set to H3
  • Accordion headers are set to be H3 in the "Style Options" tab of the accordion section.
Alternative Text – Needs Improvement/Best Practices
  • All images use quality alternative text to describe the image for accessibility compliance.
  • Alt text on profile images should be first and last name only.
  • There is no need to state that the image is a photo. The screen reader will announce it.
  • Exception: If the image is a link, the alternative text must describe where the user will go - not the image.
Color Contrast Sufficient
  • All elements on the site must pass WCAG 2.0 AA accessibility standards for sufficient contrast.
CMS Guide: Color Contrast
Contact Page Present (Academic sites)
  • Academic sites (i.e., those with degrees/certificates) must have a contact page.
    • H1 header and page title should be "Contact" or "Contact Us"
    • Strongly recommend including the page in the main menu structure
CMS Guide: Contact Page
Footer – Defaults Updated/Removed
  • Placeholder departmental links in site footer are removed if not in use.
Footer – Includes Contact Info
  • The site has contact information in the footer.
  • Email and phone are required.
  • Address is strongly recommended.
Footer – KU Global Footer Links Not Removed
  • The required Global KU Footer Links (right-hand column) have not been removed.
  • Destination URLs may be updated as needed, but standard link titles are not changed.
Headers – No Additional Bolding Added to Sunflower Headers Styles
  • Headers do not have additional bolding applied.
  • All KU headers are already bold.
Headers – No Empty Headers
  • There are no empty headers.
  • Empty headers are typically the result of carriage returns to add white space.
Headers – Present and Optimized for Search
  • Headers are used to provide organizational hierarchy.
  • Headers are written concisely using keywords to ensure best search results.
Headers – Proper Order/Nesting
  • Pages use correct header order H1, H2, H3 etc. (e.g., H3 cannot occur before an H2; H4 is properly nested under an H3).
  • There can only be one H1 header on any page.
Headers – Proper Use - Not Used for Aesthetics
  • HTML headers are used for hierarchical organization and searchability.
  • Headers are not chosen for the way they look.
Images - Missing Alternative Text
  • All images must have alternative text.
Images/Videos – Quality of file not acceptable
  • Images and videos must be high-quality and high-resolution.
CMS Guide: Images and Video — Quality
Images as Text – Sufficient Explanation Present for Screen Reader Users
  • When possible, images and graphics should not contain text. Sufficient alt text is required for all images.
CMS Guide: Images — Avoid Text in Images

Linking to Inaccessible Content on KU Sites

  • There are no links to inaccessible content on other KU-owned websites (e.g., documents, videos, websites, etc.)
CMS Guide: Links – Linking to Inaccessible Content on KU Sites
Links - Absolute URLs to Internal Pages
  • Links to internal pages are relative URLs (e.g., /yourpagename).
  • There are no absolute URLs (i.e., full URL with the .cms-dev aspect of the domain), which will break as soon as the site goes live.
Links - Broken Links
  • All links work correctly.
CMS Guide: Broken Links
Links - Email Links Formatted Correctly
  • Email links in paragraphs are formatted with the email address as the link title (e.g.,
  • Button-style email links include the word "email" in link title.
Links - File Type Not in Document Link Titles
  • Links to documents include the file type in the link title (e.g., pdf, docx, ppt)
Links - Full URLs as Link Titles
  • Link titles must be descriptive.
  • URLs cannot be used as link titles
  • Exception: Properly formatted bibliographic citations.
Links - Drupal 7 Links
  • There are no links to pages or content (e.g., images, documents, etc.) on your Drupal 7 site.
Links - Non-Descriptive Link Titles
  • Link titles must be descriptive - meaning the link title tells users what they will find if they follow the link.
Links – Open in Same Window
  • All links open in the same window.
  • Optional exception - We strongly recommend opening all links in the same window, but links outside the KU domain may open in a new window (Note - behavior for non-KU links must be consistent sitewide).
Links - Phone Numbers Linked for Direct Call
  • All phone numbers are links - so users can call directly from devices, especially smartphones.
Main Menu (academic sites only) – Degree/Application Info Structured Using Approved Option
  • Academic unit and department sites (i.e., school- and department-level sites that award degrees) are required to provide degree and application information in one of two structural options at level-one of the main menu.
CMS Guide: Menu — Requirements for Academic Sites
Page Titles – Properly Written and Optimized for Search
  • Page titles are written concisely using key terms to ensure best search results. 
  • Page titles are not full sentences (e.g., taglines).
CMS Guide: Page Titles vs. Header 1
Person Profiles – Profiles Use Default Content Type (i.e., not custom profile)
  • Person profiles for faculty and staff must use the Person Profile content type.
  • Custom profile views are allowed.
CMS Guide: Person Profiles — Use Default Content Type
Tables – Include Table Headers
  • Tables must have proper table headers either in a column header or row header.
  • Table headers cannot be empty.
CMS Guide: Tables Used Correctly with Table Headers
Videos – Captions Present, Including Videos w/Little or No Talking
  • Embedded videos and linked videos hosted on other KU sites must include captions - including videos with little or no talking.
CMS Guide: Videos — Captioning
Videos – Captions Accurate
  • Captions must be human-edited for accuracy (i.e., correctly transcribed including punctuation, lined up accurately with the video, and free of misspellings).
CMS Guide: Videos — Captioning
Videos – Captions Include Audio Descriptions as Needed
  • Audio descriptions provided in the captions for auditory content (e.g., upbeat music, car horn, etc.).
CMS Guide: Videos — Transcripts for Videos with Little or No Talking
Webforms – Form Using Unapproved Form Service
  • Webforms collecting data on behalf of KU must use KU Qualtrics, KU qForms, or other approved solution -or- have received an official exception from KU IT Security Office.
CMS Guide: Webforms — Use an Approved Form Service
Webforms – Forms Collecting “Critical” Data Approved by ITSO
  • Webforms collecting "Critical" data per KU policy have been approved by the KU IT Security Office.
CMS Guide: Webforms — Critical Data
Web Writing
  • Text content follows modern web writing guidelines and best practices.
CMS Guide: Web Writing

Site Maintenance Plan

Prior to launch, all sites must have a site maintenance plan that includes at minimum two site-wide reviews per year to address out of date content, broken links, and new opportunities to improve the user experience.

For more information, see Site Maintenance