USC Website Resources and Guidelines
This information is provided to guide USC faculty, staff and research groups on the website related services provided by the University, the University web policies and other non University web resources.
Sites at USC (Faculty and Staff)
Sites at USC is a high-quality, self-service option for building, hosting, and maintaining public websites at no cost.
- Custom websites and blogs (No coding required!)
- Three USC graphic identity-compliant website themes
- Easy-to-edit site templates that include commonly used pages and best practices
- WordPress CMS 24/7 email support and extensive support knowledgebase
All current USC faculty and staff can request sites, students can be added to sites as editors.
Please note that websites created through Sites at USC are public sites and not approved for storing or transferring legally regulated or high-risk information. For a list of these prohibited categories of information, see the Data Security page.
To access Sites at USC:
- Go to sites.usc.edu log in and click Get started to check your eligibility.
- Once you have confirmed your eligibility, click Request a website! to request your site.
- Your request will be reviewed within three business days, and if approved, you will be able to access and begin editing.
- Learn more about this service at sites.usc.edu.
- Get general help with using the USC themes at sites.usc.edu/get-help.
- Get complete platform documentation at edublogs.edu/support.
- General WordPress training is available at lynda.com. See
- sites.usc.edu/lynda for suggested learning paths.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions
This is a free service.
(USC login required: Select Full Service Catalog and then Web Publishing in the ITS Services Catalog menu)
Web Publishing services include web publishing tools, portal administration, fee based website design and development, and USC URL requests. USC schools and units can engage ITS Web Services to design web strategies and build cutting-edge websites.
Website Consulting Services Provided by the School
The Web Strategy team at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work provides all current faculty, staff and related school centers, complementary consulting on website projects and social media strategy related to the school. Contact us by email for guidance on website branding, design, technical issues, web marketing and social media. For larger web projects we offer in-person consultation to help prepare your team and recommend USC approved vendors for your project.
Third Party Website Hosting and Development Providers
Selecting an outside vendor for your website hosting and or development needs may provide more flexibility and platform options than websites hosted inside the USC / ITS Infrastructure. Numerous providers offer low cost monthly hosting and maintenance packages for HTML, Wordpress, Drupal and other website platforms.
Hosting and web development provider examples:
- Rackspace – Website hosting (HTML, Wordpress, Drupal and others), Design - Approved USC vendor
- WPEngine – Managed Wordpress website hosting
- Godaddy – Website hosting (HTML, Wordpress, Drupal and others), Design, Domains
- Godaddy Pro Connect Directory. Resource of Web Design companies and individual web designers.
- Acquia – Cloud based Drupal website hosting - Approved USC vendor
- Pantheon - Drupal and Wordpress hosting - Approved USC vendor
- Urban Insight – Website development (Drupal, Drupal, Mobile and Web apps) - Approved USC vendor
Website Creation Tips
- Website goals
- 25 Web design tips
- 100 Questions to ask when developing a website
- How to make a website - step-by-step guides
- 9 Step website redesign checklist
- 10 Tips for web writing
- Web designers’ guide to photo selection
- Top 5 WordPress Security Vulnerabilities and Prevention
USC Web Site Checklist
General guidelines for developing Web sites at USC. Designers should check with schools for department-specific requirements.
- A link to the USC home page (www.usc.edu)
- Contact information (e.g., email or Web form)
- An official USC logo (in adherence to USC Graphic Identity Program Guidelines)
USC Website Policy and Privacy Requirement
- General Policies
- Privacy of Personal Information
Website Branding Policy
HTTPS - Website Encryption
We recommend all websites are build with HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure). This is the secure version of HTTP, the protocol over which data is sent between your browser and the website you connect to. The 'S' at the end of HTTPS stands for 'Secure'. It means all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. Here are four primary reasons to use HTTPS.
- SEO: Google recommends HTTPS and will give a SEO ranking boost to secure sites.
- SECURITY: SSL protects your site data from hackers and improves the privacy of your visitors. It encrypts all the data transferred over the web including form submissions and credit card transactions.
- COMMENCE: For websites that take payments or collected sensitive data, SSL is non-negotiable.
- AFFORDABILITY: At one time SSL certificates could be expensive, but now switching to SSL (HTTPS) is both practical and affordable.
USC websites are hosted on many different servers, both inside and outside of the USC network. In order to request that a specific usc.edu website address be directed to a specific server. Websites must comply with all USC policies and implement USC’s web branding guidelines.
School of Social Work Qualtrics All Faculty and students are entitled to a Qualtrics Survey Software account. Do not use the Qualtrics survey tool to collect personally identifiable information, such as health information, social security number, drivers licenses, or credit card numbers. If you have questions, please call the USC Information Security Office at (213) 821-2614.
No endorsement is expressed or implied for any vendors or services listed.