The Division of Student Life uses the content management system WordPress for public-facing websites. Under no circumstances should sensitive data be displayed or collected through our public sites.

Departmental Access

Departmental staff can be granted access to manage content through WordPress by submitting a work request to the web team. Please include the email address and myBama ID of the staff member. As staff changes occur, the department must submit work requests to modify access when appropriate.

While a couple of staff members may serve as content administrators, one person must be designated as the primary contact. Please note we do not permit student worker access to the department websites.


New departmental content administrators for WordPress must attend training with the Student Life web team and will be given access to a web-based training site that demonstrates many of the technical aspects of this policy. Additionally, departmental training with the web team can be scheduled on an as-needed basis.

Work Request

Work requests should be submitted by the department’s primary content administrator.

Project Cycle

The timeline for a project can vary greatly, so it is vital to contact the web team as early as possible. There are many tasks within our web presence that may require collaborating with other entities on campus who may not be immediately available.

The typical project cycle includes the following steps:

  • Initial meeting and/or request
  • Requirement gathering
  • Internal development
  • Internal testing
  • Implementation into the production environment
  • Contact OIT depending on project needs


Google Analytics is used to help evaluate and govern our sites. Departments wanting access to collected information can be provided reports upon request.

Annual Review

To help with accessibility compliance the division has created a yearly review schedule. The bulk of the work will be handled by the web team. The process involves both automated and manual testing of your site. Minor changes, such as heading order or wrong list type, will be corrected for you. Anything that requires knowledge of the content in order to correct will require your feedback either through email or a meeting. This might include alt text, restructuring a page to use headings or certain types of tables.

Content administrators can access the review schedule on the WP Demo Departmental Reviews page.

WordPress Theme

The Division of Student Life uses a custom theme based on the official UA WordPress theme provided by the Division of Strategic Communications.

Required Pages

All sites are expected to have the following pages:

  • Home Page
  • About
  • Contact Us
  • Meet the Staff

Home Page

The page template “Home Page – 3” must be used by all departments. Widgets (see below) must be visually balanced. This text will be created in conjunction with the communications team.


About text will also be created in conjunction with the communications team.

Meet the Staff (Staff Directory)

The theme has built-in options to help set up a staff directory.


Only the Main Menu should be modified by departmental content administrators. All other menus are dedicated for divisional use. Within the Main Menu all departments must include one tab for “About.” This will include general information such as:

  • Calendar
  • Contact Us
  • Meet the Staff
  • Mission and Purpose (if not included in About Us)


Departments can add widgets throughout the site as needed, if visually appropriate. On the home page, you are expected to keep the number of widgets balanced to prevent empty space. Within the functional footer, column 3 is dedicated for Student Life and the other two columns are for departmental use.

For more detailed information, content administrators can access the WP Demo Widgets page.


In order to optimize the user experience, it is important to standardize the dimensions of image files. Image dimensions are given in width by height, and should be 72 dpi.

  • Widget Image Box (Promo) – 720 by 430 pixels
  • Staff Images – 300 by 300 pixels
  • Home Page Hero Image – 1382 by 400 pixels
  • Hero Images – 2000 by 300 pixels
  • Gallery Images – No wider than 800 pixels
  • Embedded Page Images – No wider than 800 pixels

Images in a departmental directory must be taken by a professional photographer and must have a consistent background.

All home page images and hero images must be submitted for approval to the communications team through the marketing request form to ensure consistency and allow for proper editing.


WordPress allows the use of plugins to add additional functionality. However, there are tradeoffs with the addition of each new plugin. As such, requests to install additional plugins will be decided on a per-item basis. If costs are associated with the plugin, the department may be responsible for the purchase if the plugin is solely for the department’s use.

Content Management Strategy

Content should always be listed in a single location, then referred to in other areas of the site if needed. An example of this is contact information. Instead of listing specific contact information on every page, refer the user to a specific location on your Contact Us page. This simplifies future updates and ensures consistency.

This approach works when referring to content among divisional sites. There is never a situation where one department should duplicate information located on another site.

When linking to external sources (outside of your own site), avoid linking directly to a file. Instead link to the page that includes the file. This will help prevent broken links if the file name changes on the external site. External sources must be linked from a page within your site. External sources should not be linked directly from the main navigation.

Departmental content administrators should be the first line of contact regarding content changes on their respective sites.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of writing content in a way that search engines can easily find relevant information. Major portions include details such as keywords, page name, order of content, content organization (readability), how content is written (usability) as well as overall accessibility.

For more detailed information, content administrators can access the WP Demo Search Engine Optimization page.