Requesting a new web page or external website

If you need to create a new web page or want to set up a new website for the University, such as for a research or professional services project, there are a few things you need to consider.

Why we follow a process

For each new piece of web content created for the University, we carefully follow a process to ensure:

  • the content is GDPR and DPA compliant
  • the University's writing style and branding guidelines are met
  • the content meets legal requirements and professional usability standards such as Web Accessibility.
  • users are able to find our content in search engines
  • the content is consistent with the rest of the University's web presence
  • the new content is integrated with other website functionality
  • cyber security and server support is maintained

New external websites

Creating an external website is not the University's default approach for any new web content, as it is almost always more beneficial for the content to sit on the main website, both for the content owner, and the users who may wish to view the content.

As such, wherever possible the Web Editing and Digital Media Team will aim to give your content a presence on the main University website. This means you'll only need a new web page rather than a website.

In some cases, it may be necessary for an external website to be created. Where this is the case, your requirements will be carefully considered, and if agreed, approval will be given by the Head of Web and Digital Media.

It is important that all new website discussions are had with the Web and Digital Media Team, and teams do not create websites themselves without this step to prevent risk to the University.

New web pages

The Web Editing and Digital Media Team will help you devise, plan and create your web page. We'll work with you to define your objectives for the page and your users' needs so that the content is as effective as possible.

Making a request

Please take some time to answer the following questions to help us assess your request:

  1. Your name
  2. Your School or Department
  3. The reason for your request
  4. Your target audience and why they will visit your content and how they will use it
  5. Proposed title and brief outline of proposed content
  6. Date required
  7. Expected lifespan of the web page/website
  8. Contact person for content population (if different)

Who to send your request to

For academic departments, please contact your Faculty Web and Promotion Assistant:

For Professional Services, please contact Ed Harris, Head of Web and Digital Media.

Processing your request

After we have received your information, we will review your request. We may ask for more detail before we can confirm whether the web page or website can be created. We may also consult with other teams such as ITS if necessary.

In our review we'll be looking to assess whether:

  • the information (or similar) already exists elsewhere
  • suitability and relevance for Essex audiences and users
  • another platform might be more appropriate for your content
  • there is sufficient resource to create and maintain your web page/website
  • the functionality you require

Creating your web page

We'll work with you on finding the best place to host your content on the website. We'll then set up a draft structure for you to review. Once that is accepted, we'll work with you to agree on how the page is to be populated with your content and who will be responsible for it.

You'll have opportunities to review the draft and send us any amends. Once we are all in agreement that the content is ready and complete, we'll be able to make it live. 

Creating your website

If your request is accepted, then we'll work with you and colleagues in Digital Innovation and Technology Services (DITS) to provide you with the necessary guidance to set the website up and manage it appropriately. 

All websites must comply with the following:

Registration, domain names and hosting

Registration and domain names

All websites much be properly authorised and registered. URL naming recommendations will be provided by the Web Editing and Digital Marketing Team (WEDM) to maximise search engine optimisation.

Websites for which the University has only partial responsibility (ie non-University sites) should not use an URL. If your website is a partnership project, the relevant marketing team will assess ownership and an appropriate URL during application.

Domains for sites must be acquired by ITS to ensure they are properly registered. Instances where domains are not acquired in this way may first need to be transferred to University control at extra cost.

Web hosting

It is not permissible, without prior permission, to:

  • host any departmental or corporate page on a server outside
  • to use any URL or DNS entry with in it on servers outside the campus network.

Please contact WEDM in the first instance. If approved, permission for such use will be granted by WEDM.

Unauthorised websites will be issued with takedown notices to the relevant service providers.

Web hosting applications and domain name registrations are processed by ITS.


It is not permitted to redirect names to University websites without prior permission. Please contact WEDM at if you need clarification.


The University is covered by the UK directive on public sector website accessibility. All new websites need to meet the international accessibility standard WCAG 2.1 AA. The legislation covers websites, the content of websites and systems accessed through browsers. It applies to websites built by the University and also any websites or systems purchased by the University.


Commercial or third-party advertising is not permitted on any website that:

  • is owned or operated by the University
  • uses the University name and/or branding regardless of where it is hosted
  • is held on the University network.

It is permissible to advertise under the following conditions and for the following purposes:

  • advertising events, courses, conferences, facilities, services etc. offered by or organised by the University
  • advertising our involvement in schemes (for example Fairtrade).

All adverts must be approved in advance. Please contact

Data collection

Where personal data is gathered or presented in a website, permission for its use must be sought in advance with the relevant marketing team or service.

Depending on the nature of data gathered, you may also need permission from your school or faculty ethics committee in advance.

Copyrighted material

You must have permission to use any material (including photographs etc) on your website unless you can show that the material is in the public domain.

Please be aware that a copyright license may specify the media which can be used so you must ensure you have permission to use the material on the web. You will need to be able to prove you have permission so please keep a record of this.

Information security

In providing a website or a web server you are bound by the University’s information security policies. You are also bound by UK law including copyright and defamation laws.

It is not permitted under any circumstances to pass users AD credentials in clear text. Where you have a website which requires users to enter the AD credentials (ie their University [ISS] userID and password), these must be passed via SSL. This means any web server which requires this information must be SSL-enabled (ie https://) and properly certified.

Credit card details must not be accepted or processed by systems within the University except where authorised in advance.

Personal pages and staff profiles

Personal web pages are not supported or hosted by the University. Our staff profile pages provide a media-rich, secure platform for content.

In no case may a website for a department or any other group be held within a set of independently produced personal web pages. This means that under no circumstances may a personal website be used to support a group of people.

Personal, private web pages do not require formal authorisation. Authors of personal pages are personally responsible for the content of their sites.

Web pages which are purely personal in nature must not contain any departmental or corporate information. Such pages must not use the University logo or any form of corporate branding.

Please remember, any personal pages are about you and must not be used for any other purpose. To illustrate; a lecturer might hold pages of personal lecture notes, but it would not be appropriate to hold a page detailing the work of a research group, as that should have a properly authorised and hosted website.

Google analytics and search engine optimisation

Google analytics

All websites should be configured with Google Analytics codes.

Search engine optimisation

Website owners should optimise all content (ie text, images etc) for search engines (ie Google, Bing). Support in this area is provided in our search engine optimisation guidance and the Writing for the Web training course.

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Contact us
Web Editing and Digital Media
Telephone: 01206 873410