Terms of service


WiscWeb is funded by campus and is available to UW-Madison Departments, Faculty, Researchers and Staff for the building of sites that fall under the core mission of the University. The service allows users with little to no knowledge of web programming to create and manage a website with relative ease.

WiscWeb is not intended for student websites, student organizational sites, or Emeriti historical records. Users of this service must have a valid NetID in order to edit their sites. Please see the WiscWeb Eligibility Policy for more information about account eligibility and access.

In order to maintain the integrity and high quality of the service, WiscWeb reserves the right to review sites that may need adjustments to adhere to the priorities and values stated below.

Service priorities

WiscWeb, as a University-funded service, holds the following items as high value priorities and will prioritize these items over all other requests:

  • Infrastructure performance and reliability
  • An easy and maintainable upgrade process for WordPress Core, Plugins and the UW Theme
  • Producing standards compliant code
  • Following industry standards and best practices
  • Adhering to campus branding
  • Training and supporting campus users
  • Fair and consistent customer experience to all users

Definition of roles

Website owner (AKA “primary administrator”)
Refers to both the functional owner(s) and technical contact(s) for a website using the WiscWeb service. This person(s) is ultimately responsible for the website’s content and ensures it adheres to Campus policy on data, privacy, copyright and accessibility.

Website administrators and editors
Refers to the users of the service that log in to the WiscWeb editing area and manage, craft and arrange the site’s content relative to the organization’s/department’s/group’s business case and its users’ needs.

WiscWeb service
Is the team that manages, supports, maintains and upgrades the infrastructure, CMS platform, associated vendor plugins, UW WordPress Theme, training programs and customer/partner communications.

Base level of services provided

As a service funded by the University, the WiscWeb Team will provide the services described in this section at no charge.

General system maintenance
Encompasses technology, software, hardware and process updates needed to keep the service platform sustainable and operating at an enterprise level.

Website setup
Any new site request should use the Request a New Site form to initiate the setup of a new website.

Courses related to the UW Theme and WordPress can be found on the site. The service also partners with other groups on campus to offer courses related to content strategy, including Google Analytics, Content Strategy, Accessibility, as well as others.

Office hours
Predefined times where site owners and administrators can drop in to get help and ask questions with assistance provided by members of the WiscWeb team.

Website launch assistance
When a site is ready to launch, the service has a defined process to follow. This process can be found on the Preparing to Launch page.

Customer/partner communications
Lunch and Learns and a mailing list are provided to keep customers/partners apprised of upcoming features, enhancements and changes to the service.

Customer/partner support documentation
KnowledgeBase documentation for end users of the service are available at the service’s KB site.

Customer/partner support
A combination of DoIT’s Help Desk and WiscWeb team members help answer questions that come in though the help@doit.wisc.edu.

Hours of Operation: M-F, 8:00AM – 4:30PM (excluding holidays).

WiscWeb hosts all sites in the cloud using Amazon Web Services (AWS). Hosting is included in the service offering.

Regular backups of the database and file system. More information located in our Backups Policy.

Responsible use

Customers using this service are required to:

Inappropriate use policy

We reserve the right to remove a website or application if the website or application compromises the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of University data or information systems; violates University policies or laws that govern the use of University data; or performs a function that is inappropriate for a non-restricted data environment (Web Hosting Service has a dedicated restricted hosting environment). Examples of inappropriate use of this service include, but are not limited to:

  • Security issues resulting from software flaws
  • Site neglect and failure to apply security patches
  • Spam or other inappropriate commercial activity
  • Publication or collection of information inappropriate for a public-facing web server such as credit card numbers, protected health information, social security numbers, or FERPA-protected information


  1. Notifications will be sent to the listed contacts on the account making them aware of the situation and a timeline to respond.
  2. A second notice will be sent and pursuant follow-up with departmental leadership and/or  UW-MIST contacts in these departments to advise.
  3. Violations can be referred to the Office of CyberSecurity for review and CSOC-based notifications and tracking.
  4. The site or environment will be suspended and eventually decommissioned from the service.

Unsupported/out of scope services and customizations

The WiscWeb service has identified the following items as out of scope of the base offering services.

Note: While the service does not regularly police sites in the WiscWeb environment, should a problem/issue come up that falls into any of the unsupported items below, the service team will not be able to troubleshoot. Also, depending on the severity or risk associated, the service may – at our discretion – decide to have the site removed from the standard WiscWeb offering and moved to a more appropriate hosting or other campus service.

Server access to website(s)
FTP Access to the servers or file systems is not available.

Testing instance of website(s)
A testing environment for content edits and page/post edits is not available.

Addition of new plugins
The ability to add additional plugins to a site or set of sites is not allowed by any other party except for the service.

3rd party code
Any 3rd party HTML, CSS or Javascript that is linked from a location outside of the WiscWeb environment is not supported. Additionally, you will not be able to include themes built by third party vendors or upload your own plugins.  You are able to use plugins from our library but will not be able to contribute your own plugin code.

In-line code and most embed code
In-line styles and Javascript are not supported.

Only certain embed code options are allowed. Please see our Embed Code Policy for more details.

Customer modifications to supported plugins
Any html, css, javascript or other computing language modification to plugins from any content editing block in the admin area of a site is not supported.

Vanity URLs/domains
The creation of domains for the purpose of redirecting to other URLs or pages of your WiscWeb site are not included in our service. Instead, we recommend using Go URLs for this purpose.

e-Commerce/payment processing
WiscWeb cannot support the processing of payments through the service and cannot customize integration with payment processing tools like PayPal and WooCommerce. Instead, users are encouraged to setup campus CashNet accounts and a charge.wisc.edu site using the steps provided in our Options for e-Commerce Transactions documentation. This site can be linked to from a WiscWeb site but will not be embedded or integrated within WordPress.

Support of non-DoIT built campus plugins
We are not taking requests for adding plugins to our service that were built by non-DoIT campus developers. This type of request would require significant reworking of our current workflows and support models and we are not able to accommodate them at this time.

Protected sites or pages
WiscWeb content is, by default, publicly accessible.

Non-wisc.edu domains
WiscWeb is no longer able to publish directly to non-wisc.edu (.org, .com, .coop, etc) domains. Instead, we recommend that you redirect your non-wisc.edu domain to a regular wisc.edu domain upon site launch.

Proxy server support
We currently do not support proxy server setups for WiscWeb sites. See Restrictions with Proxy Servers for more information.

Font or other licensing
We do not cover costs/procedures/etc for fonts purchased for user websites. We require all sites to use the campus branded fonts.

Supported customizations

There may be circumstances where a desired user experience requires customizations to the site. Please see our Customization page and our Customizations Policy for more information about how your site can be customized and how to request a customization.

UW Theme use

The WiscWeb Service uses the UW-Madison Theme for all sites. Individuals using this service are required to adhere to the UW WordPress Theme Guidelines.

Web accessibility statement

All new or revised Web pages and other Web Resources published, hosted or otherwise provided by the University must comply with the UW-Madison World Wide Web Accessibility Policy. For more information on how to make your site accessible, please see the campus Web Accessibility Guidelines as well as our Accessibility Resources.


WiscWeb is not suitable for hosting protected health information (PHI), or anything considered sensitive or restricted under UW System’s data classification model.

We reserve the right to decline a request of hosting a website or application if the data processed by the website or application are determined to be PHI (subject to HIPAA Privacy Rule), sensitive, or restricted data.

For more information, please see WiscWeb’s sensitive/restricted data policy.

Maintenance window

A majority of our maintenance occurs during off-peak hours, however, there are times where we need to deploy updates at other times. When those occasions occur, WiscWeb will notify users of the service of any potential impacts to them and their sites.

Archive policy

If a WiscWeb project has received no edits in 2+ years and contains no content, it will be archived.

If a WiscWeb project contains no editors or administrators, it will be archived.

If a faculty member has transitioned to Emeriti status, their website will be archived.

If a WiscWeb project contains content but has not been updated in 2+ years, we will attempt to connect with the Primary Administrator/site owner to inquire about the site status. If we do not hear back after 4 weeks, we will send an email letting the user know that the site has been archived.

Archived sites are automatically deleted after 90 days. After this point, content cannot be recovered. Within the 90 days, content can be unarchived, if needed.


Additional rules

In addition to the terms for computer usage that you agreed to when you activated your NetID, there are some additional rules specific to usage within WiscWeb.

  • By default, all WiscWeb content will be publicly accessible.
  • No sensitive or restricted data may be stored in WiscWeb. Please refer to the campus Data Classification Policy, Data Elements Allowed in Public Cloud Platform, and the WiscWeb Policy for more information.
  • The WiscWeb service assumes no responsibility for the content of sites within our hosting environment. The Site Owner takes on full accountability of the site and its content.
  • Individuals using this service are required to:
  • All requests for features, plugins, and design changes are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Design changes require additional approval by University Marketing to ensure brand compliance. There may be times that a request needs further insight or understanding. In these instances, the WiscWeb team will work with the member making the request and, if different, the website owner to establish a path forward. These efforts may require a time and materials cost to the site owner.
  • Turnaround time for all requests are subject to team member availability and current backlog items. All non-urgent requests are prioritized based on campus needs and in the order in which they are received.
  • Website owners are responsible for the accessibility of content and media. Accessibility guidelines can be found on the it.wisc.edu website.
  • Emeriti and students cannot be site owners/primary administrators. They can only edit websites as normal administrators or editors. A site must have a full time faculty or staff member as the site owner. We do not host historical records for Emeriti.
  • Commenting is turned off in WiscWeb by default to limit spam and hacking of the multisite. If commenting is turned on for your site but your comments are unmoderated, they will be deleted and comments will be turned off site-wide. If you need commenting to be turned on, we require you to use the Akismet plugin for limiting spam and potentially damaging or inappropriate content. For this, please submit a support request via our Support Request Form.
  • Any requested redirects will be automatically decommissioned after one year. Groups are encouraged to communicate with their users when a site is moving to a different URL and request that they update their bookmarks.
  • Periodically, University Communications calls on us to remove contact information from a website in situations where the user is being stalked/bullied/harassed/etc. In these events, we will take the content down from the site immediately without communication to the site owner. Our priority is to protect the safety of the individual.

Privacy statement

UW-Madison respects the legitimate privacy interests of WiscWeb Users within appropriate limits for educational, ethical and legal reasons.

  • WiscWeb administrators routinely monitor the volume of WiscWeb traffic for system management purposes.
  • Usage may also be subject to security testing and monitoring.
  • If the University receives a credible report that a violation has occurred, or if, in the course of managing the service, discovers evidence of a violation, then the matter will be referred for investigation, University disciplinary action, and/or criminal prosecution.
  • Complaints that specific material violates the law or University policy should be reported to the Office of Cybersecurity via their Reporting an Issue to the Office of Cybersecurity Form or abuse@wisc.edu.

If you are employed by the University, you should be aware that any documents that you save or publish in WiscWeb may be subject to the Wisconsin Open Records Act. For more information on the Records Management, please go to Legal Requirements for University Records.