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Handbook of Operating Procedures
Chapter 11 - Information Technology
Previous Publication Date: August 2, 2022
Publication Date: October 12, 2022
Policy Reviewed Date: November 27, 2023
Policy Owner: VP for Information Technology

11.09 Website Criteria and Requirements


The University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) websites are public-facing resources that shall be current, consistent, brand-aligned, secure, accessible, and compliant with all federal and state laws and the policies of The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and The University of Texas System (UT System).


Official UTSA websites must adhere to consistent standards that reflect the strategic priorities of UTSA, reinforce the institutional brand, ensure security, and maximize resources. This policy sets forth a framework for information architecture, cohesive design, content management, hosting parameters, accessibility, and general oversight of UTSA’s web properties.


This policy applies to all UTSA employees and vendors responsible for developing, maintaining, or overseeing UTSA websites.



  1. Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 United States Code Chapter 16, Subchapter V, Section 794d, as amended
  2. UT System 122 Guidelines for Web Site Solicitations
  3. UTSA: Internet Privacy and Security Statement
  4. UTSA: Guidelines for the Operations of University Standing Committees
  5. UTSA: Visual Identity and Web Style Guides


If you have any questions about HOP policy 11.09, website criteria and requirements, contact the following office:

University Marketing Web Team 


  1. UTSA Official Website
    1. A website or web application that is owned, funded, or operated by or for UTSA. Official Websites include pages related to Vice President units, departments, divisions, offices, programs, services, and courses.
  2. UTSA Official Websites include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Home Page: This is the main web page always shown first when visiting UTSA.EDU. UTSA.EDU is the official domain of UTSA and is the official home page of the UTSA website.
    2. Faculty Profile Page: A professional profile page representing an individual faculty member in their capacity as an employee of UTSA. Faculty profile pages must be linked from their academic department website and/or a research page (defined below) and must be hosted on a UTSA server. Faculty profile pages are overseen by their respective college, and any official university information posted to their page—i.e., any statement presented as an official fact about UTSA—is subject to review and approval by their respective department/college and the Website Steering Committee. A page containing personal or professional information that is not administered by a UTSA college or research entity is considered a Personal Faculty Website (see definition below).
    3. Organizational Page: A page representing an official university organization, including sponsored student organizations. Only official university organizations are eligible to host organizational pages on UTSA servers and link to a UTSA parent page. Organizations that do not meet the criteria for official recognition will not be linked from a UTSA official website. Official student organization pages are hosted on RowdyLink and must adhere to certain guidelines.
    4. Research Page: A page representing a UTSA lab, center, institute, research proposal, and/or award. Research pages include websites for any research entity funded through UTSA or led by a faculty member who received a research award/grant in their capacity as a UTSA employee. These pages must be hosted on a UTSA server. Lab, center, and institute sites should be linked from another UTSA official website (a division, departmental, or faculty profile page). Unless specifically prohibited by the conditions of the sponsored program or award, Research Pages should adhere to all UTSA site requirements as outlined in Section IX.  If the research entity represents a collaboration involving multiple institutions where the collaborating entities have an equal or greater role to UTSA, it is considered a UTSA Affiliated Website.
  3. UTSA Affiliated Website
    1. A website representing an entity or program in which UTSA is a partner or co-sponsor, and all collaborating entities have an equal or greater role to UTSA. Affiliated Websites do not utilize the UTSA.EDU domain and may or may not use UTSA Website Global Elements depending on the business case. Some UTSA Affiliated Websites are administered and hosted by UTSA (i.e. Texas Small Business Development Center and the Cybersecurity Manufacturing Innovation Institute), while others are administered and hosted by external entities (i.e. San Antonio Partnership for Precision Therapeutics).
  4. Third-Party Web Application/Site
    1. An application or website that is built—and sometimes also maintained—by a third party. These applications/sites are intended to offer a particular service or functionality to the UTSA community. In some cases, these applications/sites represent services provided to the university by an external entity (i.e. Wellness 360 at UTSA, Campus Dish Dining Services, Rowdy Campus Store, Campus Technology Store) and in other cases, they represent software-as-service applications purchased by the university (i.e. UTSA Scholarship Hub,UTSA Online Application, RowdyLink). These applications/sites typically do not utilize the UTSA.EDU domain and have varying degrees of customization available. Third-party applications/sites are encouraged to use UTSA Website Global Elements and follow the university’s visual identity standards to the extent possible given the technical limitations of the platform.
  5. Personal Faculty Website
    1. A website representing an individual UTSA faculty member that may contain professional and/or personal profile information. A Personal Faculty Website may be linked from an official UTSA Faculty Profile Page as long as it meets the following criteria:
      1.1 The site contains profile information that has some relevancy to the faculty member’s scholarship, research activities, or professional interests
      1.2 The site does not sell products or services or generate revenue
    2. Personal Faculty Websites may be hosted on a UTSA server at the discretion of their college/department. UTSA reserves the right to unlink a Personal Faculty Website from the official Faculty Profile Page at the university’s sole discretion.
  6. UTSA Subdomain
    1. Any subdomain of UTSA.EDU such as,,, etc.
  7. Content Management System
    1. UTSA offers centralized support to UTSA websites using the official UTSA Content Management System (CMS).
  8. Google Search Console
    1. A tool intended to monitor, maintain and troubleshoot a site’s presence in Google search results. UTSA’s Web Services Team oversees the management of the university’s Google Search Console.
  9. Google Tag Manager
    1. UTSA utilizes Google Tag Manager to add and update website tags, enabling conversion tracking, site analytics, and remarketing across the university web domains.


  1. Website Steering Committee: UTSA’s Website Steering Committee stewards the direction and policies for all official, affiliated, and third-party websites and applications—as well as the university’s web operating environment—based on established policies, standards, procedures, and best practices. The committee makes recommendations to UTSA’s Senior Leadership Team regarding overall directional strategies and website investments, as well as significant policy changes or compliance issues. As an internal administrative committee with oversight responsibilities regarding website governance, the Website Steering Committee:
    1. Regularly reviews this HOP policy and submits proposed modifications as needed;
    2. Regularly reviews established website standards and procedures, modifying as needed;
    3. Reviews requests for new UTSA websites, subdomains, hosting, and website outsourcing to ensure alignment with established website policies and standards;
    4. Reviews requests for exceptions to established website policies and standards, and makes recommendations to the Senior Leadership Team for final decision;
    5. Prioritizes, seeks resources, and makes recommendations on major web projects and tool/platform investments (in tandem with Technology Advisory Group where appropriate); and
    6. Resolves non-compliance issues.
  2. Vice President Web Leads: Division Vice President Web Leads are designees from each Vice-Presidential division and other key areas who are responsible for the strategic direction of the sites that fall under their area. Vice President Web Leads to ensure that Site Owners are identified for all sites within their division and are ultimately responsible for ensuring those sites adhere to UTSA’s website criteria and requirements. Vice President Web Leads serve on the Website Steering Committee.
  3. Site Owners: Site Owners provide general oversight of UTSA websites in their areas, manage who has access to those sites, and have immediate responsibility for the information maintained on their sites. They ensure that information conveyed about UTSA and its programs and services are timely and accurate, and that security controls are in place.
  4. Web Services Team: The Web Services Team within University Relations oversees the management of UTSA’s Content Management System and Google Search Console. This team also develops, maintains, and assesses UTSA.EDU top-level pages, manages subdomain registration, and keeps a global directory of UTSA’s web properties.
  5. University Technology Solutions: University Technology Solutions provides oversight, management, and technical support for UTSA servers housing UTSA Official Websites.

See the UTSA’s Website Standard: Oversight & Collectives for information on additional oversight bodies.


  1. Ownership
    1. UTSA Official Websites are the sole property of UTSA. While certain faculty and staff may request the creation of subdomains and other web pages, employees will only have permission to access and/or edit portions of UTSA Official Websites, create new content, and/or remove old content. At all times, Official University Websites remain the property of UTSA.
  2. Hosting
    1. All UTSA Official Websites must be hosted on a secure and high-performing UTSA server to ensure they have controlled access, experience minimal outages, and are protected from cyber-attacks. The Website Steering Committee must authorize requests to host UTSA Official Websites on non-UTSA-managed servers. Any existing external hosting agreements may be reviewed and amended or renegotiated, as necessary. See UTSA’s Website Standard: Hosting for more information.
  3. Website Lifecycle
    1. The lifecycle of a UTSA website follows different stages from initial website request, development, launch, and ongoing maintenance to eventual retirement and archival. All UTSA Official Websites will undergo an annual review process. Websites unable to follow security and maintenance processes or meet annual review requirements will be subject to archival and removal by UTSA. See UTSA’s Website Standard: Website Lifecycle for specific requirements.
  4. Accessibility
    1. All UTSA Official Websites and digital content must adhere to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. See the latest version of the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and HOP Policy 11.10: Accessibility for more information.
  5. Domains
    1. UTSA Official Websites are required to utilize the UTSA.EDU domain, with certain exceptions as noted below.
      1.1 Primary domain:
      1.1.1 All UTSA Official Websites—including the Home Page, Department Pages, College Pages, Faculty Profile Pages, Organizational Pages, and Research Pages—must be hosted within the UTSA.EDU domain.
      1.2 Subdomains:
      1.2.1 Subdomain websites (for example, and may be established to recognize particular organizational entities, audiences, initiatives, or campaigns where there is a need for a distinct URL identity. Requests for new subdomains will be reviewed by the Website Steering Committee to ensure they meet at least one of the following criteria: 
      1. The entity is an official UTSA center or institute (for example,;
      2. The site caters to a distinct target audience with specific marketing needs (for example,;
      3. The site is for a specific marketing campaign or initiative finite in nature (for example,;
      4. The site is an application for internal audiences and hosted by a third party (for example,; or
      5. The site is an application for internal audiences and developed by University Technology Services (for example,

      1.3 Non-UTSA.EDU domains:
      1.3.1 Requests for non-UTSA.EDU domains (such as .org, .com, .net, .live, etc.) must be reviewed and approved by the Website Steering Committee. Non-UTSA.EDU domains may be granted if the entity represented is supported by both a UTSA department/office as well as organization(s) external to UTSA. Examples include:
      1. Joint professional/academic conferences or initiative websites where UTSA is not the primary host entity;
      2. Research collaboration websites involving multiple institutions where the collaborating entities have an equal or greater role to UTSA;
      3. Industry collaboration websites with private-sector partners where the collaborating entities have an equal or greater role to UTSA; and
      4. Athletics-related sites intended to generate advertising revenue.
      1.3.2 Once approved by the Web Steering Committee, non-UTSA.EDU domain names must be acquired and managed by the Web Services Team if they meet one or more of the following criteria:
      1. UTSA funds are being used to purchase the domain name;
      2. The domain is for a site that will be administered by UTSA; or
      3. The domain is for a site that will be hosted on a UTSA server.
  6. Site Requirements & Global Elements
    1. UTSA Official Websites are required to incorporate certain global elements to align with the university’s brand, ensure consistent user experience, and promote search engine optimization.
      1.1 Header/footer – The vast majority of UTSA Official Websites are required to use global UTSA headers and footers. See UTSA’s Website Standard: Global Elements for specific requirements.
      1.2 Required links – UTSA’s official website footer must contain certain links and elements as required by federal and state laws, UT System, and UTSA policy. See UTSA’s Website Standard: Global Elements for current required link information.
      1.3 Branding – The vast majority of UTSA Official Websites must adhere to UTSA’s brand identity standards. See the university’s visual Identity guidelines for specific requirements.
      1.4Google Tag Manager – UTSA Official Websites must include the UTSA Google Tag Manager code on all pages. See UTSA’s Website Standard: Global Elements for specific requirements.
  7. Outsourced Website Development
    1. External vendors developing websites on behalf of UTSA must adhere to all site requirements and standards as outlined in this policy. See UTSA’s Website Standard: Outsourced Website Development for more information.
  8. Linking
    1. UTSA makes no representations, guarantees, or warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, currency, or suitability for any purpose of the information provided on external websites linked to or from UTSA websites. UTSA also makes no effort to independently verify, and does not exert editorial control over, information on pages outside of its official and affiliated websites. Linking from a UTSA website to another entity’s website does not constitute UTSA’s or the State of Texas’ endorsement of the content, viewpoint, accuracy, opinions, policies, products, services, or accessibility of that entity’s site. UTSA sites must also adhere to UT System 122 Guidelines for Web Site Solicitations.


UTSA websites that do not comply with this policy (and that existed prior to this policy’s adoption) will be allowed to continue but will be subject to annual review as outlined in UTSA’s Website Standard: Website Lifecycle. Sites identified as not in compliance with this policy will be given a timeframe within which they will be required to come into compliance. Any new or redeveloped sites that are activated as of 08-02-2022 must meet the criteria as outlined in this policy.


  1. UTSA Website Standards
  2. UTSA Website Procedures



XIII. Dates Approved/Amended

10-12-2022 (Hyperlinks update)