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Website guidelines

Version - 1.3 last updated 7 April 2017
Contact - For general enquiries


This document is a reference / information source for all staff and style guidelines for editors and reviewers, of our website.

It does not cover how to use the Content Management System and writing for the web—this is covered by an online course—contact the Web Manager for further information on both CMS training and the online web writing course.

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UOW website strategy

Our website’s goals are threefold:

  1. To promote the UOW brand
  2. To market our teaching, research, and community expertise
  3. To market our postgraduate and undergraduate programmes

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Website management and website roles

The Website management has three defined roles: Manager, Reviewers, and Editors.

Our website is managed by the Web Manager who has responsibility for:

Web Manager

  1. Content outside of the departments and research groups
  2. Arranges for training for editors and/or reviewers
  3. Provides advice
  4. Formats and uploads any non HTML files (PDF, Word, PowerPoint, images, and podcasts)
  5. Adds and deletes editors and reviewers as required
  6. Adds new websites to as required


Usually one per department or research group and usually the HOD or their nominee. A reviewer checks content and approves it before it goes live. Reviewers cannot edit pages unless they are an editor too.


An editor edits web pages and ensures content is up to date. Editors put web pages into workflow for their Reviewer to give approval to go live on the website.

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Who to contact

Please email for the following types or work requests:

  • Requesting a new website
  • Changes to your account (including adding / removing of editors and reviewers)
  • Adding new sections to the website
  • Amendments to the main navigation
  • Adding an event
  • Optimisation and uploading of files (usually Word, Excel, PDF, and image files)

To contact the Web Manager for any general enquires or to organise CMS training, please email

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Website content guidelines including style guides, images, events and copyright information

General good practice

Duplicating of information files or images should be avoided. Reuse existing information where possible.

See the shared website resources
further down this document, for commonly used logos, a Google map, and other information.

Layout and style guides

  • Left align all text and headings—it is easier to scan and read
  • Right align any images you add to the page
  • Use sentence case in all situations, including headings
  • Do not use italics or ALL CAPS—they are hard to read
  • Do not underline text unless it is a link (web users expect underlined text to be a link)
  • Use full titles, eg Professor, Associate Professor, postgraduate (all one word), undergraduate (all one word)
    • Exceptions are Mr, Ms, Mrs, and Dr; Tel and Mob
  • Write qualifications in full as exactly as they appear on the Otago website and in the University Calendar
  • Date format: 3 September 1965
  • Tel 64 4 123 4567
  • Email
  • Fax 64 4 123 4567
  • Mob 64 21 123 4567 or 64 21 1234 5678

Please refer to the Health Sciences Style Guide guide for full information on website styles:

Required fields

Please note the following fields are required fields and you will not be able to save any changes until they are completed. You can tell a required field by the red dot on the right hand side of the field.

  • Meta keywords – a list of words that someone might put into a search engine in order to find your page. List up to ten, comma-separated generic terms or phrases.
  • Meta description – used as the 'snippet' in search engine results. Snippets tell people what is on a page, so you should use this to clearly and concisely outline the information contained on your page. Use no more than 160 characters so as not to exceed search engine snippet display limits.
  • H1 Title – This is the first heading that appears at the top of the page and can be shorter than the actual title which appears in your browser title field.

Non-HTML files (usually Powerpoints, Word, Excel, PDF, and image files)

Please send these files to the Web Manager for formatting and uploading. Also see the Copyright section below regarding authorisation.
Apart from podcasts and videos, all files should be 5 MB or under.


These should be professionally taken especially head and shoulder shots for profile pages. The person should be facing the camera and be clearly recognizable.

Contact for Michael to take photos.

If the person is off campus, for example a visiting lecturer, please ask that the photo be sent as a high resolution file (JJPEG, TIFF, or PNG). The person should be face on to the camera with a clear shot of their face and shoulders and with a neutral background. Send to the Web Manager for uploading to the website.

For stock photos please see Stock Photos please see the University of Otago image database:


Contact if you would like a lecture podcasted.

Please ask the guest lecturer to give approval for their lecture to be podcasted on our website by downloading and filling in this form on the Otago website and then sending to the Web Manager.

Authorisation for Marketing and Distribution Recording of Special Events

Note also the information for University Staff regarding lectures:

Also see the copyright information and link below.

Up-to-date content

It is important to keep content up to date including staff member contact details within your department or research group.

Remember to also let the know of any updates to your department or research group's contact pages on the website.

For any qualifications changes please let Publications Admissions and Enrolment – – know.


Usually, only UOW or wider University of Otago events will be advertised on our website. Please send to the Web Manager for inclusion in the Events Calendar.


CMS Editors Toolkit:

This is a useful resource covering everything from logging into the CMS to editing and archiving pages. It is updated with new information periodically. It can also be accessed when you are logged in to the CMS, from the left navigation panel towards the bottom of your screen.


Ensure you ask non-University (guest) lecturers to give their approval for all of their material to be uploaded on our website (not just podcasts):
The form : Authorisation for Marketing and Distribution Recording of Special Events should be completed and sent to the Web Manager:

Remember to specify the format of the file(s) to be uploaded to the website.

Further information on copyright can be found on the University of Otago Copyright page:

Web writing

Peoples' attention on website is notoriously short. Ten seconds to grab someone’s attention is about right (Jacob Neilson;

Think of the purpose of your web page and what you want users to do after they have scanned the page (the call to action) This could be to email a contact person in your department for further information, downloading an application form or clicking on a link to another page in your website.

  • A summary at the top of every page of 1–3 lines should be a clear and simple guide to what is on the page.
  • Less is more—15–20 words per sentence and 60 words per paragraph break up text with headings.
  • Use descriptive page headings
  • Use a descriptive text link to link to a document or have a brief 1–3-line summary of the document you are linking to, directly under the link (This ensures users have enough information to know whether they should open the link or not). eg Download the current Undergraduate Medical Student Handbook
  • Spell check and ensure content is up-to-date.
  • Email links should look like emails: – not Firstname Lastname, as users will think this links to a document or profile rather than coming up with an email box.
  • Consider completing the online web writing course; see the Web Manager for details. This course is paid for by Central Services.
  • Also see the Web Services online resources for writing for the web:

Web page statistics

Statistics that show (describe) can be delivered to you in the form of a weekly or monthly report using Google Analytics. Contact the Web Manager to set this up.

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Training and support for editors and reviewers

We run Content Management System (CMS) training in Wellington – approximately twice a year. In addition, there is a booklet that covers the training and is useful as a reference for web editors and reviewers.

There is also a CMS Editors' Toolkit link. You can see this when you are logged into the CMS (on the left navigation).

Please fee free to email with any queries you have.

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Procedure for website uploads when Web Manager is on leave

The website manager will send out an email to all editors and reviewers giving the dates of the leave and advising who to contact for urgent website work during this period. (this will usually be done by Technology Services at UOW via a email request).

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Shared resources to be reused on our website

Google Map of UOW campus

This map is on the Contact us page:

copy this code and paste into your page (do this in the "source" mode in the content box). You will only be able to view it when you save the page.

<p><iframe height="550" width="425" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src=";source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=University+of+Otago,+Wellington,+23A+Mein+Street,+Wellington&amp;aq=0&amp;sll=-41.244772,172.617188&amp;sspn=51.398007,135.263672&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=University+of+Otago,&amp;hnear=23+Mein+St,+Newtown,+Wellington+6021,+Wellington&amp;t=m&amp;cid=3774841410972135403&amp;ll=-41.303828,174.78055&amp;spn=0.017731,0.018282&amp;z=15&amp;iwloc=A&amp;output=embed" marginwidth="0" marginheight="0"></iframe><br />
<small><a style="color:#0000FF;text-align:left" href=";source=embed&amp;hl=en&amp;geocode=&amp;q=University+of+Otago,+Wellington,+23A+Mein+Street,+Wellington&amp;aq=0&amp;sll=-41.244772,172.617188&amp;sspn=51.398007,135.263672&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;hq=University+of+Otago,&amp;hnear=23+Mein+St,+Newtown,+Wellington+6021,+Wellington&amp;t=m&amp;cid=3774841410972135403&amp;ll=-41.303828,174.78055&amp;spn=0.017731,0.018282&amp;z=15&amp;iwloc=A">View Larger Map</a></small></p>

Frequently-used logos

(to use these: in edit mode in the CMS, search for the otago123456 file name)

  • Hutt Valley Health DHB: otago024652
  • ALAC: otago020005
  • Ministry of Health: otago019862
  • Cancer Society: otago020042
  • Statistics NZ: otago020007
  • ACC: otago020043
  • Health Research Council: otago019861

Information for all students web page

Information for all students page – otago016635
This is a page requested by students that contains useful (non academic) information for them. This can be added to if you get any further requests from students or you want something added.

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Definition of terms used in this document and useful links

CMS – Oracle content management system. This is the mechanism we use to maintain our website and is accessed from and then clicking Control Shift and F5 together).

Workflow – is when a page is saved by an Editor and is then in the Content Management System waiting for their Reviewer to approve it.

University of Otago website –– this is the main university website

University of Otago, Wellington website – – this is the University of Otago, Wellington’s website.

Users – people who visit our website

Reviewers – staff who have access to the CMS to review (check) website pages before they are able to go live. Reviewers are usually the Head of the Department or Research Group or their nominee.

Editors – staff who edit content on the website.

Non-HTML files – these are usually Word or PDF documents, PowerPoints, and Photos

Other information including links to forms mentioned in this document

University of Otago Web Policy (2011)

University of Otago Web Guidelines

Copyright information

CMS editors website

Web Services online resources for writing for the web

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