Applying the Brand on the Web

A UW–Madison web experience that is usable, accessible, and consistently designed reinforces our institutional reputation and elevates the UW brand. In this guide, you will find web requirements, resources, and tools and templates.

Build your website in WiscWeb

University Marketing recommends the WiscWeb WordPress Service for your website-creation needs. The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) provides the service free to campus. With WiscWeb, units can build and customize their own accessible, branded, and mobile-friendly websites.

All WiscWeb sites use the official UW WordPress Theme and leverage the UW brand. The theme offers access to pre-built components, colors, layouts, and more. While we currently use the classic editor, we plan to transition to the block editor (Gutenberg). Learn more about the transition.

To meet minimum web requirements, we recommend the UW Theme on WiscWeb for most UW–Madison websites.

Start building in WiscWeb today

What’s included in WiscWeb

  • WordPress platform
  • UW branding
  • Accessibility
  • Training, support, and how-to instructions
  • Managed updates
  • Plugins

See all the benefits of WiscWeb

Optimize your web experience

Make it accessible

Use the UW Theme to start building an accessible website. While we offer accessible templates and components, as you add and update content, you’ll need to maintain accessibility. The UW Center for User Experience offers self-service guides on digital accessibility, as well as free accessibility evaluations.

Make it usable

To build a meaningful and usable web experience, identify the needs, goals, and challenges of your users. The Nielsen Norman Group offers a wealth of guidance and research on building usable websites. The UW Center for User Experience also offers UX consultations to campus units.

Make it look good

Photos, icons, and graphics can help people scan your web pages more easily and add visual interest. The UW Photo Library offers an array of photos for free campus use. All use of photos must comply with our photography policy. We also offer branded icons and illustrations for web use.

Resources for developers

WordPress self-hosting

For developers hosting WordPress sites outside of WiscWeb, we offer a standards-compliant, UW-branded WordPress theme.

Get the UW WordPress Theme

Non-WordPress self-hosting

For developers working on platforms other than WordPress, we offer complete UW-branded HTML/CSS templates.

Get the HTML/CSS templates

For websites that require customization via a UW Theme child theme or an altogether different platform from WordPress, it is the responsibility of the unit that develops the custom design to maintain it from that point forward, and to ensure continued compliance with minimum web standards.

All UW–Madison web experiences must meet these minimum requirements:

  • The words “University of Wisconsin–Madison” linked to in the top banner area
  • The UW–Madison logo linked to in the footer area
  • The following standard footer information:
    • The email address of the person responsible for maintaining the page or responding to user feedback: “Feedback, questions or accessibility issues:”
    • “Privacy and copyright statement: Privacy Notice | © [current year] The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System”
  • Compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requirements
  • Compliance with UW–Madison’s Digital Accessibility Policy

Mockup of the homepage footer on an iPhone showing the UW logo and accessibility and copyright statements