The following checklist provides a summary of the information provided throughout the web guide. This can be used when developing a website to ensure that the website has met all of the recommendations outlined in the guide. To view the corresponding web guide section for each area of the checklist, click each section’s header.

Cross-Browser Compatibility

  • Ensure that your website works in the browsers used by 90% of your visitors
  • Use web analytics tools to analyze traffic statistics for your site

Favicons and Touch Icons

  • Provide favicons and touch icons

Graphic Identity

Viewport Dimensions

  • Employ responsive web design (RWD) to support a range of resolutions and devices
  • Make sure that your page content prints appropriately


  • Ensure that your page’s markup has a logical, semantic structure without styling
  • Use shorthand properties
  • Always use external stylesheets
  • Don’t use !important
  • Don’t use @import in plain CSS
  • Avoid browser-specific hacks
  • Use relative over absolute units
  • Don’t generate content with CSS
  • Use the “print” media query
  • Give selectors semantically meaningful names
  • Alphabetize properties in rules (except for vendor prefixes)
  • List vendor prefixes directly before their W3C form
  • Ensure color contrast
  • Include copyright statement
  • Include UCSB Terms of Use statement
  • If you collect personal information from visitors, include the UCSB Privacy Policy statement
  • Include statement about alternative, accessible content
  • Include a contact link
  • Use the “contentinfo” landmark role or “footer” element
  • Include the HTML5 doctype
  • Specify the document language (lang) attribute
  • Specify UTF-8 as the character encoding
  • Include a document title
  • Include a document description
  • Include a print stylesheet
  • If applicable, include IE-specific stylesheets
  • If applicable, include styling for users without JavaScript enabled


  • Use semantically-appropriate markup
  • Minimize markup
  • Validate markup with the W3C Validator
  • Avoid iframes
  • Never use frames
  • When using iframes, use the title attribute
  • Nest headings properly
  • Use descriptive link text
  • Use the same destination for the same link text
  • Provide “skip links”
  • Ensure “read more” links are accessible
  • Don’t use tables for layout
  • Use captions and summaries with tables
  • Use th to provide table headers
  • Provide a meaningful “alt” attribute for every image
  • Prefer text over images of text
  • Use responsive image techniques
  • Always use a label or accessible alternative for input fields
  • Don’t use placeholders as labels
  • Fit fields to content
  • Use fieldset and legend with checkboxes and radio buttons
  • Provide helpful feedback on errors
  • Ensure accessibility of icon fonts


  • Include JavaScript files right before the closing body tag
  • Leverage content delivery networks (CDNs)
  • Minify CSS and JavaScript files
  • Concatenate CSS and JavaScript files

E-mail Addresses

  • Use contact forms or e-mail aliases instead of e-mail addresses

Web Security

  • Ensure that your website is built with secure development practices


  • Use “friendly” URLs
  • Use persistent URLs

Search Engine Optimization

  • Include a robots.txt file in your site’s root directory
  • Include a sitemap.xml file in your site’s root directory

Web Accessibility

  • Ensure that your website is easy for your users to navigate
  • Design for device independence
  • Avoid time-sensitive content changes
  • Don’t use pop-up windows
  • Prefer HTML over non-HTML documents
  • Use a consistent page layout
  • Write content in clear, simple language
  • Don’t require the use of a plug-in
  • Use the CSS Speech properties to control how text on a web page is read
  • Ensure media is accessible
  • Always use a label or accessible alternative for input fields
  • Ensure accessibility of icon fonts
  • Nest headings properly
  • Ensure “Read More” links are accessible
  • Ensure that your website meets the WCAG 2.0 Level AA Success criteria for accessibility
  • Use ARIA attributes