Website Style Guidelines and Instructions





-Any of the formatting options in the top row of the editor may be used in moderation when creating content. To alter the font-size, you can choose from the styles drop-down, which defaults to Paragraph. The ‘heading’ styles (2-6) within this drop-down should be used to increase the size of text for titles, headings, section names, etc. Heading 1 should never be used, since it is reserved for the title of the content. It is important to remember (for accessibility purposes) that heading styles are to be nested, and should not be skipped. For example, it is not appropriate to skip from Heading 3 to Heading 5 without a Heading 4.


-The default font for the website is Arial, and web pages hosted at should not attempt to alter this. Other fonts may be used in images and PDFs, but Serif fonts should be avoided. Font sizes and colors should not be modified in normal text content. To avoid unwanted formatting, it is advisable to click the ‘Remove Format’ button when pasting text from another program, such as Microsoft Word.


-If possible, all text content should be displayed as an HTML web page. PDF’s should be used sparingly, and other file formats such as Microsoft formats (.doc, .xls, .ppt, etc.) should not be used. The preferred image format is for photographic style images is JPG. Logos and images with a small number of colors should generally use the PNG format. When you upload images to the website, it will create several resized version for you which are appropriately sized for display within our website. Additionally, ensure that all images have ‘alt’ text specified to comply with ADA guidelines.


-Do not use the ‘target’ attribute to open a link in a new window. Do not change the color of links, and do not use red or blue for normal text to avoid confusing visitors about what is a click-able link, and what is not. When inserting a link, you can search through all the content on the website via the pop-up dialog that appears.

Do not:

  • Use gimmicky features like scrolling marquees, blinking text, and visible “hit” counters.
  • Use bold, italic and colored type in excess.
  • Use “centered” text for paragraphs. Limit its use to headings. Even for headings, the choice of centering should be made judiciously, as it can affect readability.
  • Create pages with large blocks of unbroken text. Try not to have more than 10 lines wrap without a paragraph break (blank line).
  • Use terms like “click here.” Instead, make the link text descriptive of the action that is being performed.

Additional guidelines

-For all grammatical rules, please consult the AP Stylebook. Here are some common rules:

Academic Degrees

Use an apostrophe in bachelor’s degree but there is no possessive in bachelor of arts (note lowercase) or associate of arts.

Academic Departments

Department names are lowercase unless they are a proper noun. Example: The English and history departments are holding a joint meeting.

Advisor (not Adviser)

And and ampersand (&)

In text, spell out the word and. Use the ampersand (&) only when space is limited.




Do not capitalize room after the name for a building. Example: The seminar will be held in the Ullman Center, room 102.

Catalog (College Catalog)

Use college catalog to refer to the document outlining the college’s programs and other information.

Comma in a series

Follow AP Stylebook. In a series of three, use only one comma. Example: There are nursing, welding and law enforcement students in the hallway.


Follow AP Stylebook. For example, always use lower case and the $ sign in all except casual references or amounts without a figure. Example: The book costs $4. For amounts more than $1 million, use the $ and numerals up to two decimal places. Example: It is worth $4.35 million.

Doctor (Dr.)

Dr. may be used to signify a person has earned a doctoral level degree (Ph.D., Ed.D.) in the context of college information. Do not use Dr. for honorary degrees.


Always hyphenated and is a noun. To describe the action, one would say, “send an e-mail.” Never include a Dawson e-mail address in an article, instead link to /users/username/contact (replacing username with the real username excluding underscores).


Instructor (Community College)

An instructor is a college teacher who does not have tenure.


Always use a person’s first and last name the first time they are mentioned. Use last names only on second reference. Do not use Mr., Mrs., Miss or Ms. unless they are part of a quote, or to differentiate between people with the same last name.


The numerical figures are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 0. In general, these figures are spelled out in text. Arabic numbers ten and greater are used in numerical form: 24, 69 and 2,437 except at the beginning of a sentence.

Professor (Community College)

A professor is a college teacher who has tenure.

States and Cities

When a state stands alone, spell it out. When the name of a city and state are together, abbreviate the state (except Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Ohio, Texas, and Utah). Use these abbreviations, not the two-letter ZIP code versions: Ala., Ariz., Ark., Calif., Colo., Conn., Del., Fla., Ga., Ill., Ind., Kan., Ky., La., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., Mont., Neb., Nev., N.H., N.J., N.M., N.Y., N.C., N.D., Okla., Ore., Pa., R.I., S.C., S.D., Tenn., Vt., Va., Wash., W.Va., Wis. and Wyo.


Use figures, but spell out noon and midnight. Use a colon to separate hours from minutes, but do not use :00. Examples: 1 p.m., 3:30 a.m.

Web page



World Wide Web

Abbreviated to Web (note capitalization)


All of these instructions assume you have gone to the Employee Resources page and logged in with your standard DCC login already. Once you have logged in, you will note a black bar that appears across the top of the page with “Dawson Community College” on the left, and a greeting on the right hand side. This is called the “admin bar.”


All employees are assigned standard permissions by default. If you need additional permissions, or the ability to edit a particular page, please submit a helpdesk request.


-all employees must fill in their employee profile

  1. On the “admin bar” at the top hover over the greeting (where it says “Howdy Employee Name”). Then click Edit My Profile.
  2. Fill it out (provide a lovely picture if you like), and click the Update Profile button.


-any employee may submit a news item. You may ask Frank Rojas to promote it to the front page.

  1. Hover over “New” on the “admin bar”
  2. Choose Post from the drop-down menu
  3. Create a short and concise title
  4. Enter your content in the large empty box down below the title and editing toolbar. See the Guidelines to ensure compliance with approved styles and formatting.
  5. You may choose a specific date for the post to appear on the website by clicking Edit where it says “Publish immediately” in the top right box labeled “Publish”.
  6. When you are done, Publish it.
  7. To insert images or pdf documents, see Media below


-any employee may also create a page, but depending on where you want to link from, you may need additional permissions or assistance from Computer Services

  1. Hover over “New” on the “admin bar”
  2. Choose Page from the drop-down menu
  3. Enter the page title (keep it short)
  4. Enter your content in the large empty box down below the title and editing toolbar. See the Guidelines to ensure compliance with approved styles and formatting. The editing toolbar has a toggle button towards the right-hand side that will enable additional functionality.
  5. Depending on the purpose of the page, you may want to assign a “Parent” page on the right-hand side as well. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the list, check with Computer Services.
  6. When you are done, Publish it. Once it has been published, you may then link to the page from any other location on the website. All new pages are automatically included in the Site Map, but visitors to our website will not be able to find your page unless it has been linked to from another existing page on the website.


*NEVER upload anything besides an image or pdf unless you have checked with Computer Services for approval. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Publisher, Powerpoint) documents should NOT be published directly to the website. Choose File->Export to save a pdf version of your document for upload to the website. Other software may have similar export capability. If not, PDF Creator is supported software that Computer Services can install for you to create pdf versions of any document.


  1. When editing a post/page, find the Add Media button directly above the editing toolbar, and below the Title text box (and click it)
  2. Existing images will be displayed, and near the top you will see that the Media Library tab is active. To upload a new image, click Upload Files
  3. You can drag ‘n’ drop an image onto the upload window, or click Select Files to open a file browser dialog box to find the file(s) you want to upload. When dragging images into the upload window, the upload area will turn blue and the screen will say “Drop files to upload”
  4. After upload, the file(s) you uploaded will be selected (note the checkmark and highlight around selected items). On the right hand side, you must put in a short description in the Alt Text field, and you may fill in any others as you wish.
  5. Near the bottom, you should choose an Alignment (generally right or left is best).
  6. Also choose whether you want to insert the full size image, or one of the other generated sizes. It is preferable to use Medium or Thumbnail unless you have already edited the image. Note that thumbnails are square, whereas the other size(s) will preserve the original image proportions.
  7. You may optionally choose to have the image link to another website or web page where it says Link To.
  8. Lastly, near the top right (by the image thumbnail) you will see an Edit Image link that will allow you to perform some basic edits on the image if you are not satisfied with the image as it is. When you are satisfied with the settings you have chosen, click Insert into page in the bottom-right corner.
  9. To edit the image settings after it has been inserted, click the image, then you can either change the alignment, or click the pencil icon to edit other settings.

Documents (PDF files)

  1. When editing a post/page, enter the text that you want to have link to the pdf document. It is generally best to form the text as a descriptive title (e.g. 2015 Scholarship Application), unless the link text is part of a sentence (e.g. “fill out this application”).
  2. Select the text, and then Copy it (right-click and Copy, or Ctrl+C on your keyboard).
  3. Find the Add Media button directly above the editing toolbar, and below the Title text box (and click it while the aforementioned text is still selected)
  4. Existing documents/images will be displayed, and near the top you will see that the Media Library tab is active. To upload a new pdf document, click Upload Files
  5. You can drag ‘n’ drop a document onto the upload window, or click Select Files to open a file browser dialog box to find the file you want to upload. When dragging a file into the upload window, the upload area will turn blue and the screen will say “Drop files to upload”
  6. After upload, the file you uploaded will be selected (note the checkmark and highlight around the selected item). On the right hand side, you will now Paste the text that you copied earlier in the Title field. You may fill in any others as you wish. The text that you paste will “replace” the existing text that was selected (but they should be the same anyway, since you copied and pasted it).
  7. Click Insert into page in the bottom-right corner. You will now see that your selected text has become a link (it should be blue and underlined).

Photo Galleries

  1. Click Dawson Community College on the “admin bar” to browse to the dark side of the website
  2. On the left-hand menu go to Gallery->Add Gallery/Images.
  3. Look for the box that says “Create a new gallery” and then enter a title for this gallery in the box next to that. If you are adding images to an existing gallery, you can select that from the drop-down list.
  4. To add images, drag them into the box (where it says “Drag image and ZIP files here”) or click the Add Files button near the top. If you have chosen many images, it may take a while for the uploader to show the files that you have chosen, just wait a minute before you start clicking anything else.
  5. Once you have added all the image you want in this gallery, click Start Upload.
  6. Once completed (you’ll see a notification in the top-right corner when it is done), the left-hand menu will allow you to navigate to Gallery->Manage Galleries so that you can modify Alt Text and Descriptions for individual images if you would like. You will see a list of ALL galleries on this screen, but only the ones you uploaded will have a click-able title to allow you to manage them.
  7. Now that you’ve create a gallery, you need to give it a home:
    1. If this is a standalone gallery, and you don’t plan to upload other related galleries in the future, you should create a new Post. You can give it the same title, but no need to put any content in the post.
    2. You will see a green button on the right side of the editing toolbar that allows you to insert Galleries into Posts/Pages. Click it!
    3. The first thing you will see in the next screen is the display type. Nextgen Pro Thumbnail Grid or Nextgen Pro Masonry are recommended, although you may experiment with the others as you wish. It should be noted that whatever layout you choose, when a visitor clicks an image in your gallery, it will take them to a full-screen slideshow, so the slideshow options are somewhat redundant.
    4. The next thing you need to enter is “What would you like to display?” Leave Sources set to Galleries, then click in the Galleries field and choose the gallery that you just uploaded. Then click Save.
    5. Almost done, now click Publish to finish.
  8. Galleries can also be grouped into Albums, and we generally publish Albums in a Page instead of a Post.
    1. In the left-hand menu go to Gallery->Manage Albums.
    2. To create a new album, enter a title for this collection of Galleries where it says “Add new album” then click the Add button.
    3. For existing albums, select the album from the drop down near the top
    4. Drag a gallery from the column where it says “Select gallery” to the left-side where it has the name of the album. You will see a placeholder appear as you drag it over. You can also drag galleries up or down in the left column to re-arrange them.
    5. When you’re done with the album, click the Update button near the top of the page. If this is a new album, keep going. Otherwise, you are done, as your Album should already have a home.
    6. Create a new Page, and give it the same title as the Album or something suitable.
    7. Click the green button on the right side of the editing toolbar which lets you insert Galleries/Albums.
    8. From the display types, choose Nextgen Pro Grid Album (the very last option.
    9. Under “What would you like to display?”, choose Albums from the Sources list, and then click in the Albums field below that to select your new album. Then click Save.
    10. Lastly, Publish your page (button in the top-right block) and see step #6 from Pages above.