Publicly accessible web pages presenting college information must be hosted within the college's content management system.


This policy, approved by the College of Agricultural Sciences Dean's group, establishes a central web hosting policy for all faculty and staff within the college. The benefits of hosting all college web pages in a single content management system include:

  • Search engine optimization
  • Mobile-friendly experience
    Our sites are optimized to be easily viewed on any device including mobile.
  • A strategic, college-wide information architecture
  • Standard college branding (including compliance with Penn State policy AD-54)
  • Accessibility compliance for users with disabilities (per Penn State policy AD-69)
  • Required privacy and legal statements
  • Site-wide Google Analytics
    We are able to analyze web traffic for all college websites and use the data to make improvements.
  • Ability to quickly make site-wide improvements or changes
    If changes need to be made to comply with best practices or University policy, we can quickly implement them across the site.

As a result, we are able to increase our search rankings and visits to our websites, and provide a consistent user experience. Additionally, the college web and communications team is able to provide support, all software and hardware upgrades, compliance with University policies, writing and photography as necessary, and consulting on best web practices.


All publicly accessible web pages presenting college information must adhere to the policy below. This includes all pages containing information sanctioned by the College of Agricultural Sciences and directly related to college business or activities including, but not limited to:

  • Academic programs
  • Departments and units
  • Research labs, projects, and Centers
  • Facilities
  • Penn State Extension programs


All web pages within the above scope must be published within the college's Plone content management system (CMS) under one of the following domains:

  • One of the nine academic department domains

Web pages presenting college information should never be hosted outside of the college CMS or under domains that are not (such as .org or .com) unless approved as an exception by the Dean's group after consultation with the Communications and Marketing unit and the requester. Additionally, approval from the Penn State Office of Strategic Communications may be required.


Exceptions to this policy may include web applications that are not able to run in Plone or content that is shared with other colleges, institutes, or organizations. Requests for exceptions must be submitted through the Communications and Marketing Project Request Form.

If an exception is granted, the website or application must still adhere to University policies regarding accessibility and design. The following resources explain the requirements for hosting websites and applications that represent Penn State University: