The web is one of our most powerful communication tools and the Web & Digital team works hard to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of this platform.  To do this, we provide branded, mobile-friendly, accessible and secure web templates through our Content Management System, as well as a suite of other in-house developed web applications to support digital communications throughout our university.

The following MSU web guide is designed to give you the necessary information to understand the policies and procedures supported by MSU's Department of Web & Digital Communications.

Customer Support

Web & Digital Communications is responsible for providing the web infrastructure and tools that allow the creation and development of websites for Montana State University, Montana State University Billings, Montana State University Northern and Great Falls College within our Content Management System. 

In order to provide the best support experience to our customers, we ask that you direct all questions and requests through our customer support ticketing system accessed through our Submit a Request buttons located throughout our web pages. A member of our team will get back to you shortly, generally within 24 to 48 hours during open office hours.

To expedite this process please remember to include a detailed subject and description in your request, which includes your full name and the full website or application URL you are referencing.

Website Development

MSU uses a Content Management System (CMS) called OUCampus to deliver the universities' websites. The CMS enables all university schools, divisions and departments to easily create and update their sites and remain consistent with the MSU brand, while still allowing enough flexibility to express their unique identities.

While the members of Web & Digital Communications are responsible for establishing new university websites, it is up to individual content managers and members of the university faculty and staff to create, update and maintain the individual web pages that make up the website using the tools we engineer. 

We do not offer custom web design services, rather we focus on developing the tools and systems that allow all users to easily build web pages within our branded templates and take ownership of their own content.

Accessing the CMS

All faculty and staff members requesting a new website or requesting access to an existing university web page in the CMS must first attend a CMS Introductory Training session. This mandatory two-hour session covers day to day tasks such as how to edit web content and how to create new web content. For more information on the CMS Introductory Training sessions please visit Introduction to the CMS.

Once you have accessed the CMS for the first time through the CMS Introductory Training, you may login at any time. For help logging in please visit the CMS Help Center

Subdomains

All MSU web pages must be on the university domain and in the CMS. Subdomains are not offered – this means that your university-affiliated web pages will fall under the URL http://www.montana.edu/. By bringing the university web pages together under this single domain, we are able to tell the story of the university with one powerful voice.

Web Contractors

It is up to individual members of the university faculty and staff to update and maintain MSU's web pages. Should an occasion arise where an administrator hires an outside contractor to perform content management for a set of web pages, this contractor will need to be issued a netID (contact Human Resources / UIT for more information) which is used to provide access to our systems.

Before gaining access to a website, this contractor must also attend a CMS Introductory Training session, as is required of all faculty and staff as well. For more information on the CMS Introductory Training sessions please visit Introduction to the CMS

Outside contractors must adhere to this MSU Web Guide, as well as the MSU Brand Guide. Specifically, it is important to note that though our Content Management System allows the flexibility for advanced users to create their own custom HTML / CSS / JavaScript / PHP code, Web & Digital Communications does not provide any support for this.  For this reason, contractors are encouraged to operate within the provided CMS ecosystem.

Custom HTML Code

When creating a web page in the CMS, you have access to a variety of structured templates that include the MSU logo and blue header as well as the university footer, which contains important links and information. It is important to note that MSU's web standards (logo, layout, typography, color palette) are designed into the CMS templates. These templates have been developed to be mobile friendly, ADA compliant and accessible to assistive technologies.

If you do find it necessary to rework elements of a web page using custom HTML, CSS, JavaScript or PHP components, Web & Digital Communications cannot offer support for these web pages. Our efforts are focused on designing and building web creation tools that support the entire web domain, and this does not leave us time for consideration of custom code. Before using custom code, consider submitting a request to Web & Digital Communications in order talk about advanced in-system tools we offer. We may also be able to tell you about upcoming tools that would be of use.

If you decide to use custom code on your site, there are several important points of which to be aware. First, all web templates have been developed to be mobile friendly as well as web accessible. All custom code must also meet these standards. It is highly encouraged that you attend one of the CMS Web Accessibility trainings prior to writing custom code. For more on these advanced trainings please visit Web Accessibility Training.

Finally, custom code cannot be guaranteed to work when Web & Digital Communications performs template upgrades. This means that outside-of-scope functionality may break as we work to move our entire web domain forward at once during upgrade cycles.

If you have inherited a website with custom code and you are unable to maintain or manage the page, Web & Digital Communications can work with you to revert this website back to established standards. Please submit a request.

Branding

As a part of the MSU domain, all web pages will include the MSU logo and blue header as well as the university footer, which contains important links and information. It is important to note that MSU's web standards (logo, layout, typography, color palette) are designed into the CMS templates.

MSU colleges, departments, research centers and administrative units may not use logos other than the MSU logo.

All graphical development for web pages must be in accordance with the established Graphic Identity and Branding Guidelines, as well as the brand information found on the MSU Brand Guide. The web guidelines are an inherent part of the print guidelines, as all communications should be consistent across all mediums.

Please refer to the color palette below for color customization on the web.

Web Color Palette:

  • blue

    #003f7f

  • dodgerblue

    #1a80c9

  • heathergrey

    #585858

  • lightblue

    #00aeef

  • skyblue

    #6dcff6

  • gold

    #ffcb05

  • brightgold

    #f5c037

  • orange

    #f7941e

  • lightyellow

    #f6d06c

  • yellowgreen

    #d7df21

  • linkblue

    #09589a

 

For more information about the CMS please visit Web Content Management System.

For more information on styling your pages within the CMS see the MSU Content Management System Help Center.