Web Design Guidelines

These guidelines provide information to campus web designers and developers and external agencies involved in the creation of official University of Guelph web pages. Web sites developed for colleges, departments or other units of the university are considered official web sites. Web publishers are responsible for the content of the pages they publish and are expected to abide by the highest standards of quality, consistency and responsibility.


The University of Guelph is committed to ensuring that our website is accessible for all users, regardless of any disability they may have or the technology they use. Official University of Guelph websites must conform with the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation (IASR) under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Under Section 14 of the IASR, all University of Guelph internet websites and web content are expected to conform with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0), initially at Level A by January 1, 2014 and increasing to Level AA by January 1, 2021. This standard applies to all websites and web content created or edited after January 1, 2012.

The University has developed guidelines for procedures and practices for website developers and web content creators that will ensure that they meet our AODA obligations.

The University has developed a Web Template to assist campus web designers and developers in meeting our AODA requirements.


New official websites bearing the University of Guelph Identifier should be approved in principle before design work begins. Contact Web Management with proposals.

Contact Information

Each page should include either a contact email, or a link to a contact information page for the person maintaining the site or the person responsible for the site's information. Providing both contacts may be necessary depending on the nature of the website. A contact phone number should be included on all main pages.

Sponsor & Donor Recognition

Any web based sponsor or donor recognition must receive written approval from the relevant department and Communications and Public Affairs and include no links to the sponsor or donor's website.

Domain Names & URLs

Requests for new domain names or web server addresses are submitted to the University's Web Management who, after reviewing our domain name policy will forward approved names to the appropriate staff in Computing and Communications Services for implementation.

Title & Meta Tags

  • The "title" tag is required on all webpages and should generally follow the format
    <title>Page Title | College/Department Name</title>
    • Tip: This title will become the link to the webpage when it is found through a search engine such as Google. Using text such as "Welcome to..." or "...Homepage" is not necessary.
  • Identification meta tags including description, keywords and author are also recommended
    • The "author" meta tag for official University of Guelph webpages should be
      <meta name="author" content="The University of Guelph" />

Web Template

The University of Guelph has created a webpage template to assist web designers and developers on campus in meeting our accessibility and content requirements.

Questions or comments about these guidelines should be directed to the University of Guelph's Web Management.