Best Practices

Web Communications Best Practices

Are you considering a website redesign, or planning a new site? Follow these policies and best practices to craft the best experience that meets university standards.

Follow Web Policy

Campus policy 310-70 states you must include basic content, including the UC Davis logo, contact information and Regents copyright, on departmental and official websites. The policy also contains technical requirements.

Example policy requirements

Use the wordmark correctly

The UC Davis wordmark should be wrapped in a link to the university home page.

Don’t leave out contact information

  • You can link “Questions or comments?” to your own contact form or person if desired.
  • “Sitemap” should link to the sitemap for the specific site on which the contact information is located.
  • The phone number should be replaced with the desired contact of the organization.
  • For more information, please refer to the website standards for contact information and copyright notice in UC Davis Policy 310 -70.

Beyond the basics, use these best practices to help guide your design and web strategy.

Other Technical topics

Make it fast

It is worth the effort to optimize the performance of your sites, because even seemingly insignificant delays in page loading (e.g., a couple of seconds) lead to fewer page views, and page loading speed is now a ranking factor for Google. If you are using SiteFarm, only the first two suggestions need concern you. If not, you will probably need to rely on your technical staff for implementation.

  • Optimize imagery for likely display size and keep file sizes small.
  • Be thoughtful of the performance cost rich media could take on your landing page or website (especially videos hosted locally and not on robust services such as YouTube and Vimeo).
  • Pick one JavaScript library/framework when possible. Modern JS frameworks are very full-featured, and it shouldn’t be necessary to rely on more than one.
  • Load images and other assets needed to display the top, visible part of pages first, and load Lazy-load downpage assets after the top has loaded as much as possible.
  • If using a CMS such as WordPress or Drupal, use caching to speed delivery of previously requested assets.
  • Minify code as much as possible. This means removing code comments, line breaks and unnecessary spaces. Servers and/or CMS can be configured to do this automatically.
  • Load CSS in the Head section and JavaScript at the end of the body section of the HTML document.

Make it secure

  • Deliver your sites with HTTPS.
  • Use SiteFarm or the Wordpress for faculty platforms to reduce security vulnerabilities.
  • If you are managing your own website, ensure that your server and CMS are patched and maintained with proper security measures and firewalls.