Information Technology

Web Development Standards


This document is intended to clarify the standards used by CSU, Chico's CMT Web Services in producing web pages within the Cascade Web Content Management System and domain.

Code Development and Security

Web Services adheres to development standards defined in the CSU, Chico Application Code Development Standards document where applicable. The following guidelines regarding site content must also be considered when producing pages:

  • Level 1 data must not be stored in campus websites or Cascade folders.
  • Web Services must be consulted prior to embedding forms, feeds, or other code.
  • Links to non-CSU, Chico sites should be limited and checked carefully.

Secure coding guidelines such as those published by the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) should be followed where applicable.


As federally funded institutions, all CSU campuses are legally required to adhere to standards defined in Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 Level AA. In order to ensure compliance, thorough testing, both manual and automatic, must be performed on all code, content, and markup meant for production.

Automatic Testing

For automatic testing of the domain, Web Services uses Siteimprove to scan all publicly accessible web pages monthly. In addition to a web interface, Siteimprove provides browser extensions that allow for instant scanning of the page currently being viewed.

Global changes (such as those to the primary template) and all pages which have been modified in such a way as to possibly affect accessibility, must be evaluated for compliance prior to being moved to production. This is usually accomplished by publishing changes to the development server and using the Siteimprove browser extension to detect accessibility issues. In instances where scanning content on the development server is not an option, the relevant pages in production must be immediately scanned and any issues quickly corrected.

Manual Testing

Not all aspects of web accessibility can be checked automatically; however, Siteimprove will provide reminders to review common manual-check accessibility issues. Additionally, the following manual checks should be performed every six months on the domain's most popular pages to identify major accessibility issues in the University's templates.