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Web Standards

As one of the primary information gateways to and about the university, the website is critical in extending and enforcing the university brand in online spaces.

Vanderbilt’s web style guide exists to facilitate consistency and usability and to promote standardized University branding across websites University-wide.


Identity: University branding allows visitors to recognize immediately a web page’s affiliation with Vanderbilt University.

Usability: Sites must be made as usable and accessible (that is, quick and easy to use, navigate, and understand) as possible for the widest audience.

Consistency: Consistency simplifies navigation of pages for end users of Vanderbilt’s web pages. Vanderbilt is committed to maintaining a high level of consistency across web pages in different areas of the University’s website.

Accuracy: Pages must be accurate and up-to-date.


Any web document that represents Vanderbilt University or its official units, programs, departments, or schools is expected to follow this web style guide.

Color Palette

Primary Palette
Dark Gray:
Secondary Palette
Light Gold:
Light Blue:
Light Gray:
Light Green:

Content Management Systems

Request help from Digital Strategy and Development

Content Guidelines

  • We’ve written up some basic guidelines for content strategy.  Check them out!
  • You must a have link back to the Vanderbilt homepage on your site. Any Vanderbilt wordmark should also link to the Vanderbilt homepage. (An easy way to include the Vanderbilt logo and required links is by using the Vanderbilt Brand Bar.)
  • Your homepage should include a contact e-mail address as well as the department’s U.S. mail address and phone number with area code. Please note: do not use as your site’s contact information.
  • You should also include a link back to your department’s homepage on each screen of your website. This is important because people can enter your website without first going to your homepage.
  • Every office is encouraged to update or refresh the content of its site at least three times a year.
  • In general, information must be suitable for distribution to both internal (campus) audiences and to external audiences. Though you may be posting it for a small internal audience, unless it is password protected, it is available for viewing by the world. Review our content strategy guide for more information.
  • Information should be accurate, use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. Time-sensitive information should be kept current. Periodicals must be kept up to date.
  • Your department name should be in the title of your page — this will help the search engine find your site.
  • Photos should be recent and of good quality.

Spelling, Capitalization and Style

Please refer to the Division of Public Affairs Style Manual for information on content and style. It is updated regularly.

Social Media

Vanderbilt University supports the use of social media by employees to connect with students, fellow faculty and staff, alumni, fans, colleagues and more. The Social Media Handbook provides guidance on how to do so effectively, safely and within university guidelines.

Appropriate Use Guidelines

The content of all Web pages placed on any university-owned server or delivered over the university network must comply with all Vanderbilt policies and procedures, as well as local, state and federal laws. Information providers and their sponsors are responsible for ensuring that Web pages are consistent with Vanderbilt standards and conform to existing computer-usage policies.

Registering Domain Names



Vanderbilt computing resources should be used in a manner that is protective of the use privileges and property rights of others. Users must therefore:

  • Abide by all local, state and federal laws, including copyright laws.
  • Abide by all applicable software license agreements.
  • Use only the accounts, access codes or network identification numbers assigned to them.
  • Access only those files or data which they are authorized to use.

Computer Privileges and Responsibilities

Please refer to the Vanderbilt Acceptable Use Policy for the full policy statement.