Web Development at Austin Community College

Terms of Use

WordPress is an open source content management system that is used for building and maintaining database driven websites. Users are not required to know HTML code to build and maintain a website.

WordPress can be used for:

  • Academic Departments
  • Instructional Topic – Subject to review
  • Special topic websites – Subject to review
  • Faculty Websites – Subject to review. Primary option is to use Google Sites.

WordPress cannot be used for:

  • Top level public-facing administrative content. This content is integrated into the main CMS.
  • Internal Administrative Office Websites – This content is Integrated into the main CMS

All internal administrative office websites will reside under the main website, but a WordPress website can be used in conjunction with these main websites. Please contact ACC Web Team for more information.

By submitting the request form to have a WordPress website created, the following applies:

Websites will adhere to the college’s legal notices, FERPA regulations, and all other administrative rules regarding the publishing content on the ACC website.

Websites will not host advertisements, link exchanges, links to content that violate ACC’s general electronic equipment terms of use, links to content that violate any previous ACC policy or guideline, any profit generating technique, any sexual or discriminatory content not being used in an instructional capacity. Violations to this rule will result in immediate website removal without prior notice.

The ACC Web Team reserves the right to remove or disable a website without prior notice if the website violates any of the above.

Ownership and Maintenance

Upon request, the website will be assigned an technical administrator. This person will be regarded as the websites owner, regardless of the nature of the content or whoever may be managing content. The management and maintenance of the website will be the responsibility of the website’s owner.

Additionally, the website will be assigned a content manager email. This email will be regarded as the the website’s content manager.

Both of these fields will be required on the WordPress Website Request form.

WordPress will always be updated to the most recent version in a timely matter regardless of theme or plugin compatibility. Website owners will be notified when upgrades or other changes to the system are scheduled to take place.
Note: If a website loses functionality or is not displaying properly due to an upgrade in the system, it is the website owner’s responsibility to correct. Otherwise the website will be disabled and removed.

WordPress Website Owner Guidelines

WordPress websites will be hosted on ACC’s WordPress server at sites.austincc.edu. Vanity URL’s will be available if not in conflict with current websites.

Example:
http://www.austincc.edu/wordpress redirects to http://sites.austincc.edu .

Website owners will not have FTP access to core WordPress system files or the WordPress database. Do not request access or changes to core files or database structures.

Websites will adhere to ACC’s Web Style Guide.

A standard ACC WordPress template will be available upon site creation. Do not remove or change features that come standard with the ACC WordPress theme if in use.

Recommendations

Website owners are encouraged to use “Plain Language” in developing content suitable for websites.

Don’t work from inside of Microsoft Word (or other text editing software) and paste directly into the WordPress Visual Editor. If you do decide to use Word, use the “paste as plain text” button from the toolbar.

Do work from inside of WordPress’s Visual Editor.

Don’t use HTML to change or overwrite default stylings. For example, do not change the fonts, font colors, background colors, or font size on the ACC WordPress Theme.

Don’t use all caps when writing, especially titles and navigation items.

Link to common content on the main ACC website.
Ex: Do not recreate the enrollment and registration steps.

Themes and Plugins

Custom WordPress Themes

If a custom WordPress theme is requested to be made available on the college’s WordPress server it must be submitted for review. The person submitting the theme for review will be regarded as the “theme owner” regardless of who developed it.

Custom WordPress themes must meet the criteria set forth in ACC Web Style guide.

ACC does not provide a theme development environment. Any theme development must occur off-site or on your local machine.

Website owners consent that once a theme is approved it will be activated for the entire network , meaning other WordPress at ACC users will have the option to use the theme as well. Questions regarding theme use and functionality will be directed to the theme owner.

If there is an issue with a theme’s functionality or display, the “theme owner” will be required to address any and all issues regarding the theme. If the issues cannot be resolved in a timely manner, the theme will be deactivated from the network level.

Themes will be updated when upgrades are made available.

The ACC Web Team reserves the right to refuse the installation of any theme as well as the deactivation of any theme.

Plugins

There will be a standard set of plugins that will be made available upon site creation. These plugins center around safety and security and less on display and functionality.
Note: These plugins are not activated initially, but must be enabled and configured by the site owner. It is the responsibility of the website owner to determine what plugins are enabled and how they are configured.

If a plugin is requested to be made available on the college’s WordPress server it must be submitted for review. The person submitting the plugin for review will be regarded as the “plugin owner” regardless of who developed it.

ACC does not provide a plugin development environment. Any plugin development must occur off-site or on your local machine.

Website owners consent that once a plugin is approved it will be activated for the entire network , meaning other WordPress at ACC users will have the option to use the plugin as well. Questions regarding plugin use and functionality will be directed to the plugin owner.

If there is an issue with a plugin’s functionality or display, the “plugin owner” will be required to address any and all issues regarding the plugin. If the issues cannot be resolved in a timely manner, the plugin will be deactivated from the network level.

Plugins will be updated when such upgrades are made available.

Requesting a plugin.

Plugins must be:

  • GPL-compatible – We can only install plugins on our server that are compatible with the GNU General Public License. This ensures we have the legal right to modify the plugin if it breaks, and make it available to all members of our community.
  • Regularly updated and well-rated – The plugin has been updated in the last 6 months or so by its author. WordPress adds new features regularly, so it’s necessary the developer keep the plugin compatible with the latest version.
  • Ranked well – The plugin has a positive usage rating on WordPress.com’s plugin review site.

The ACC Web Team reserves the right to refuse the installation of any plugin as well as the deactivation of any plugin.

Notifications

Website owners, theme owners, and plugin owners will be added to a Google group. This group will be notified when upgrades to the WordPress network, custom WordPress themes, and plugins are made.

The WordPress network will always be upgraded regardless of theme and plugin compatibility.

Questions regarding WordPress at ACC can be submitted to the ACC Web Team at webteam@austincc.edu.

Requirements and Violations

The ACC Web Team reserves the right to refuse the creation of a website at any point if the nature of content or design is in question.

Only ACC related content will be hosted and maintained at sites.austincc.edu. If non-ACC related content is discovered or reported, the website will be disabled.

Aside from necessary files to custom themes and plugins, only image files will be uploaded to the sites.austincc.edu server by content managers. All other files and file types are subject for removal.

Any theme or plugin with malicious code, advertisements, links to content that violate ACC’s general electronic equipment terms of use, links to content that violate any previous ACC policy or guideline, any profit generating technique, any sexual or discriminatory content not being used in an instructional capacity will be immediately deactivated without prior notice.