Welcome to the WiscWeb Service. We are excited to be able to offer you this service, and hope that you will find it beneficial for your UW Madison website(s). WiscWeb is funded by campus and is available to UW-Madison Departments, Faculty, Researchers and Staff that have a NetID. WiscWeb sites are not intended for personal use, self promotion, or for auto-biographical purposes.
The service allows users with little to no knowledge of web programming to create and manage a website with relative ease. 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.
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
- Produce standards compliant code
- Follow industry standards and best practices
- Adhere to campus branding
- Train and support campus users
- Fair, consistent and impartial customer experience to all users
Definition of Roles
- Website Owner: 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 & Editors: Refers to the users of the 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 WiscWeb 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.
- Training – 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.
- Open Labs – 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 – Brown Bags and a mailing list are provided to keep customers/partners apprised of upcoming features, enhancements and changes to the service.
- Customer/Partner Support Documentation – Knowledge Base 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 email@example.com email channel.
Unsupported/Out of Scope Services and Customizations
The WiscWeb service has identified the following items as out of scope of the base offering services. 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. Again, one of our goals is to offer users with little knowledge of web programming languages or markup languages the ability to create and manage their site’s content with relative ease.
Please note: this list is subject to change as the service grows, industry standards and best practices evolve and technologies change.
- Server Access to Website(s) – FTP Access to the servers or file systems is not available. For additional information, please see our FAQ page: https://wiscweb.wisc.edu/faq/#ftp
- Testing Instance of Website(s) – A testing environment for content edits and page/post edits is not available. For additional information, please see our FAQ page: https://wiscweb.wisc.edu/faq/#testsite
- 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. https://wiscweb.wisc.edu/faq/#addplugins
- 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.
There may be circumstances where a desired user experience requires customizations to the site. In these instances, we ask site owners to attend an open lab to discuss the customization requirements with a WiscWeb team member.
Customizations are not part of the campus funded service and are subject to team member availability. If approved, WiscWeb will provide a time and materials estimate to the site owner for approval based on the requirements of their customization. Current estimates are calculated with blended rate of $85/hour.
Please note: We are currently freezing all customization requests as this process is being enhanced and will be updated in upcoming months. If you have specific questions, please attend an Open Lab or send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A majority of our maintenance happens on Sundays from 5am to 8am, 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.
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. Requests to limit viewing audience will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
- No sensitive or restricted data may be stored in WiscWeb. Please refer to the campus Data Classification 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 it’s 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.
- Site owners are responsible for the accessibility of content and media. Accessibility guidelines can be found here: https://it.wisc.edu/guides/accessible-content-tech/
- 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 send an email to email@example.com to request that the plugin be activated.
UW WordPress 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.
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 Web Accessibility Guidelines.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.