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Smith Website and Content Management User Policy

The development of the Smith website has been an extensive undertaking and major investment for the college. As a strategic asset for Smith, and one of the most visible, showcases the college’s best qualities and projects a consistent, high-quality, positive image to all visitors.

The website is the sole property of Smith College. While faculty and staff will have access to edit and create content, the site and all its subsites remain the property of the college. All departments and offices that use the college’s content management system for public websites must adhere to Smith’s user policy and style guidelines. The web communications group, part of the Office of College Relations, reserves the right to edit content for clarity, accessibility, grammar, spelling, usage, style and compliance with Smith’s naming conventions and branding. We reserve the right to revise or delete content that does not meet acceptable use guidelines or standards for quality.

Leadership and Governance

The Office of College Relations:

  • Oversees and sets strategic direction for
  • Establishes policies and procedures to govern current and future website standards
  • Determines navigation and content structure, hierarchy and placement
  • Establishes taxonomy, branding, styling and so on, as needed
  • Ensures compliance with legal and regulatory standards, including accessibility, security, protection of privacy
  • Ensures site quality and content integrity
  • Resolves website-related issues and problems

Use of the Content Management System

Departmental and office users are expected to maintain the content of their respective sites. A designated departmental contact—usually a full-time staff or faculty member—is recommended as a single liaison to the web group. Student interns or temporary workers may be helpful in short-term assignments but should not be designated as the primary departmental contact. If there is an expected interruption in support for a site, the department or office should make arrangements to transition website maintenance duties to ensure that the content on their pages remains current.

To support a consistent visitor experience and simplify training and support, Smith offices and departments are expected to use the college’s Drupal content management system for their public web content. While all Smith online content should follow best practices and official brand and visual identity standards, some specialized needs and publishing requirements (e.g., the athletics department) may be served by other platforms.

Maintaining Pages

Web liaisons are responsible for keeping their designated web pages updated and accurate and for complying with the Smith Style Guide. See Website Guidelines & Best Practices.

Creating New Pages

To maintain the visual and navigational integrity of the website, additional or new web pages within a departmental or office site should be created in consultation with college relations.

External vs. Internal Audiences

All content authors should use discretion over the content made available on Remember that most pages on the site can be accessed by anyone, at any time, once they are published. To restrict access, move the content to platforms such as Moodle and Google Apps, and do not post it on the public website.

Style and Tone

All Smith content, web and print, must comply with the Smith Style Guide. For additional guidelines for website content, please see Website Guidelines & Best Practices.

Photography, Video and Other Multimedia

Video, photography, graphics and other multimedia elements should be handled by the web group. Poor execution of these elements can detract from the message, create problems or interfere with the visual integrity or functionality of the site.


Please contact the Office of College Relations webteam with suggestions, questions and concerns.