Web Hosting Standard

World Wide Web services at University of North Texas World provide critical information and services to members of the UNT World community, prospective students, and the general public, playing a vital role in helping the UNT World fulfill its mission. Consequently, the information architecture, ease of use, accuracy, and security of the UNT World’s web presence are of paramount importance to the UNT World community. This standard governs the means by which units may publish information to the web.

All managed web hosting services, including those not managed directly by Information Technology Shared Services (ITSS), are the property of the institution under which domain they reside. Use of these resources constitutes an explicit binding agreement to abide by relevant policies, standards and applicable laws. Unauthorized use of managed web hosting services is prohibited.

Application

This standard applies to all entities that publish UNT World related information on all new and updated web sites owned by UNT System and its institutions. UNT World web sites approved to be hosted by non-ITSS providers must comply with the terms of this standard.

Definitions

  • Information Manager. An "information manager" may be designated from among the department heads, deans, or directors that report to an information owner. An information manager is permitted to change the web site content.
  • Information Owner. An "information owner" is an individual with operational authority for specified information and who is responsible for authorizing the controls for generation, collection, processing, access, dissemination, and disposal of that information. The appropriate senior administrator (Vice President, President, Provost, or Chancellor) is the information owner for all web sites publishing official information created or maintained by his or her area of responsibility.
  • Official Information. "Official information" refers to the governing or authoritative documents of UNT World or information that is published as part of the normal course of UNT World business.
  • Personal Publishers. "Personal publishers" are individuals publishing web content unrelated to those individuals' official work role for UNT World. Examples of such information include student pages, faculty members' vitas that are published independently of departmental faculty information, and staff members' pages that represent personal information such as hobbies.
  • Unit. A "unit" is any individual, college, department, administrative unit, research group, or other organization formally associated with UNT World.
  • Managed Web Hosting Service. A "managed web hosting service" is a web hosting service maintained by a designated custodian employed full time by The System and its institutions.
  • Web Hosting Service. A "web hosting service" is a collection of server software providing remote storage and delivery of web site content.
  • Web Site. A "web site" is a collection of web pages containing information, forms, or interactive tools related to a particular unit and/or service, having its own home page (index page), unique web address, distinct business function, or a navigational structure that differs from its parent site (such as an academic department's web site that is part of a college or school parent site).
  • Web Site Builder. A "web site builder" is the individual, or representative of a group of individuals, who builds and develops a web site, including architecture, functionality, and other components which are maintained by a web site custodian. The web site builder is designated by the web site custodian, and may be the same individual.
  • Certified Web Site Builder. A "Certified Web Site Builder" is an individual who has passed our rigorous evaluations. This encompasses all the responsibilities of a "Web Site Builder" and these individuals have shown extensive knowledge in the following criteria: Git, PHP, HTML, CSS, MySQL, and Drupal. Once an individual is certified, they assume full responsibility for web site updates, installing Drupal modules, configuration of Drupal subthemes, and web site functionality and uptime.
  • Web Site Building Tool. A "web site building tool" is a software application intended, at least in part, to facilitate the development and maintenance work involved in publishing a web site, enabling the web site maintainer to perform day-to-day content management tasks without extensive technical training or experience.
  • Web Site Custodian. A "web site custodian" is the full-time staff member assigned by the information owner or information manager to oversee the development and maintenance of a web site.
  • Web Site Maintainer. A "web site maintainer" is the individual responsible for day-to-day content management and maintenance duties necessary for a particular web site, as determined by the web site custodian. The web site maintainer is designated by the web site custodian, and may be the same individual.

Procedures and Responsibilities

1. Web Site Responsibilities

All individuals responsible for a web site (information owner, custodian, maintainer, and builder) must  provide their names, the site(s) for which they are responsible, and contact information to ITSS Central Web Services.

The information owner, information manager, and web site custodian must be full-time staff members. The web site maintainer must be a staff member or student employee. Units should consult with ITSS Central Web Services before hiring individuals to fill these roles, in order to ensure that positions are posted with the proper qualifications. Web site builders in particular have specific responsibilities that require careful consideration. Contact ITSS Central Web Services for more information.

Only the owners of information, or their designated information managers, custodians, or maintainers may change the content of the information that they manage. Owners must routinely review the official information placed on the web by their staff to ensure its timeliness and accuracy.

2. Use of the University System Web Hosting Service

ITSS provides a centrally-managed web hosting service to ensure that reliable, cost-effective web hosting is available throughout UNT World. All units and individuals publishing web sites must use ITSS-approved web site building tools to do so, and must host their web sites on ITSS's centrally-managed web hosting service, provided that they are eligible under the terms of its Service Level Agreement. Use of non-ITSS web hosting services and use of unauthorized web site building tools must be approved by ITSS.

ITSS is responsible for approving, distributing, and, as necessary, developing appropriate web site building tools as well as updating and patching the centrally-managed web hosting service as required. Appropriate use of this web hosting service is governed by the Service Level Agreement, published by ITSS.

3. Web Site Creation and Maintenance

New web site requests will be subject to an initial consultation and review process by ITSS Central Web Services and other institutional authorities. If the request is approved, the web site will be assigned an appropriate location in the UNT World information architecture.

Before its initial launch and periodically thereafter, each web site will be reviewed by ITSS to ensure that it is a beneficial part of the UNT World’s overall web presence and conforms to all relevant policies, standards, and applicable laws.

Web sites may be taken offline, either temporarily or permanently, when deemed necessary by ITSS, institutional authorities, or the designated information owner. Reasons for taking a web site offline may include but are not limited to: security issues, intellectual property claims, violations of policy, or a violation of the terms of the Service Level Agreement.

When a web site is taken offline, the web hosting service on which the web site is hosted must be configured to redirect future requests for that web site elsewhere as appropriate, in order to avoid breaking inbound links.

4. Web Site Registration

To ensure that UNT World web sites are developed and maintained in conformity with relevant regulations, policies, and standards, each web site must be registered on an annual basis with ITSS Central Web Services.

New web sites that have not registered or that do not meet institutional regulations, policies, or standards may be declared ineligible for use of managed web hosting services and have their public launch suspended.

5. Privacy

All individuals responsible for developing and maintaining institutional websites must comply with institutional regulations, policies, and standards, and applicable laws concerning privacy.

Security of Private Information

Each web site will assure site visitors of the integrity of their information, in transit and in storage. This assurance should include whether the transmission of their data is secured and by what means, the positions or employees that will be able to access the information, and under what conditions that information will be accessed.

6. Security of University Web Sites

All web sites should conform to the relevant regulations, policies, standards, and applicable laws concerning information security. At a minimum, web sites that require an individual to enter information in a web-based electronic form must use an SSL session or equivalent technology to encrypt the data.

7. Legal and Intellectual Property Responsibility

Persons responsible for web development are required to adhere to all relevant policies, standards, and applicable laws associated with security, risk measures, and copyright compliance. Permission from the copyright owner must be obtained in advanced before publishing copyrighted material on UNT World web sites and notification of copyright should be shown on pages containing those materials.

8. Responsibility for Official Information

Because official information represents UNT World to a worldwide community, it must be timely, accurate, and consistent with relevant policies and standards. Official information published on UNT World web sites must conform to institutional policies and standards. Failure to conform to relevant policies and standards is grounds for taking a web site offline.

9. Responsibilities for Personal Publishers

Personal publishers are responsible for the content of the pages they create. The views and opinions expressed in such content are strictly those of the author and do not represent UNT World. Personal publishers must comply with all relevant policies, standards, and applicable laws concerning appropriate use of institutional resources.

10. Commercial Sales, Solicitations and Advertisements

The use of University web hosting resources for commercial gain is strictly prohibited in accordance with relevant policies and standards unless authorized by institutional authorities.

11. Web Hosting Authority

The Central Web Services team in ITSS is the administrative owner of the official ITSS managed web hosting service. The members of this team have the authority to intervene in cases that include but are not limited to service abuse and security breaches, as these situations might impact UNT World business or compromise the protected information of the UNT World’s employees and/or students.

While Central Web Services is not the owner of all managed web hosting services, it has the authority to work with the owning department, the ITSS Information Security Team, and/or the ITSS Data Communications Department to mitigate or minimize the impact that may result from any web hosting service abuse.

References and Cross-references

 

Revised: 5/19/2021