Site Policy

"The seal is the exclusive property of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is registered in the U.S. Copyright Office. This seal may not be used or reproduced without the prior written permission of the Office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202."
    (draft 1; modified 14 Feb 01)
  1. The purpose of the PPC(USA) web site is to support the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ as expressed through the governing bodies of the Church, and to provide services and resources that meet the needs and desires of PPC(USA) members and others who come to use it, In particular, we want to offer resources, information, and services that people want, organized into categories that are intuitive, with a navigation structure that is easy for them to use.

  2. Program areas are encouraged to target their primary efforts on web page development toward specific needs of those visiting the site, and less priority on pages that build up the identity of a particular program. Pages "featured" in primary menus and indices will be those that meet such needs. There is definitely a place for things such as organizational structure, pictures of staff or officers and other humanizing touches, and "identity" graphics or paragraphs. We encourage links from primary pages to them, or small icons identifying the program area that developed a resource, or links to a photo/biography of author/leader/staff.

  3. The webmaster will act as the "steward" of the web site on behalf of the whole church, and as the primary coordinator for the site, with advice from other staff.

  4. The Web site will ordinarily be available for any pages authored by program areas of the church. Such pages may or may not be featured in top-level menus and "teasers".

  5. The top level menus will have as their purpose to be a welcoming and usable way for visitors to the site to find what they are looking for among all the pages created by all governing bodies. It will feature "departments" and "descriptions" to help people learn what we have to offer and find it quickly. We hope to include rotating "teasers" (phrases or sentences inviting people to visit other pages on our site) and news headlines from the church office linked to longer articles. All of us will benefit from maximizing the traffic through these top level pages, since it will build traffic for the whole site. Individual program areas are encouraged to advertise the primary entry to their pages through these top-level menus, and to include links to the top-level menus from their pages. Individual program areas may request "shortcut" web addresses that will take people directly to their particular pages, but we ask that their promotion include the primary web address,

  6. Those who create web pages are encouraged to make sure the document title and "meta" information for "description" and "keywords" are as clear and concise as possible, since this information is used by both the local and WWW indexing "robots" or "spiders". (These read your page and index it based on the content; the Title, Description, and Keywords are given high priority in how the pages show up when searched.) This is particularly important if information is presented via graphical images, since indexing only includes regular text, not text inside a graphic image. (Netscape Gold and other Web editors have dialog boxes for entering this information, but they are frequently overlooked or their value discounted.)

  7. Those developing web pages are encouraged to keep graphical elements small, use them sparingly, and choose a single "palette" for all images on a page. This makes the pages more useful to the vast number of people visiting the site, who won't wait around for large graphics to load, and who probably have a video system capable of showing only a few colors at a time.

  8. Those developing web pages are encouraged to design them so they will look good on a typical 640x480 video screen, as well as larger screens. (Actually, WebTV users have an even smaller screen, something like 520 pixels wide.)

  9. Those developing Web pages are encouraged to design them so they will work with the vast majority of "browser" software available, rather than taking advantage of the latest and greatest features of a particular browser.

  10. Those who have visual disabilities frequently use "text only" browsers to access the web, using vocalizers or other adaptive technology. This technology frequently has difficulty with frames and graphical images on web pages, particularly navigation buttons. It is an easy matter, once you realize the need, to design pages so those who must use a text-only browser can still read them. These alternatives include using ALT text to accompany graphic images, NOFRAMES sections that say more than "Go get yourself a browser that supports frames", and possibly separate alternative pages optimized for text only browsers. (Some outside designers and consultants concentrate on creative graphical design and haven't yet learned these basic text-oriented skills.)

  11. To avoid a "commercial" look, references to a particular software or other product should be avoided, particularly those that say things like "this page optimized for Navigator" or "best viewed with Internet Explorer". If you believe that visitors to your site need assistance finding software, list several alternative ways to accomplish the same thing, e.g. list both Acrobat and Envoy references, or "download now" buttons for all of the major browsers. (There is no policy yet on accepting paid advertising; this paragraph mainly applies to unpaid advertising. Proposals that involve donations of money or in-kind gifts, in exchange for acknowledgement or mention on the Web, will be handled on a case-by-case basis until the need can be assessed and a policy developed.) The best scenario is that your page work well with most web browsers on 640x480 low res graphical adapters (screens), and that advanced functions such as javascript and frames be set up so persons without them are still able to find and benefit most of the content of your site. That way you won't have to imitate all those other pages with their "This page works best ..." warnings.

  12. Avoid using trademark names in ways that the owners would not approve. The classic example is to use the term "Kleenex" without also saying "brand facial tissue". Better still, say just "facial tissue" or "facial tissue such as Kleenex brand". If you have questions about copyright (©) or trademark (™) use in your pages, please consult with the webmaster before you post them.

  13. Be very clear about permission to use both text and graphics. Assume something is copyrighted, even if it does not say so. License to publish something on paper does not automatically include license to publish it electronically. If you use a graphic developed by someone else, give credit, even if you do have permission. Music can be particularly hard to license, because some owners consider web usage "public performance", which is a different licensing or permission than simply copying music or words.

  14. Where appropriate, place a "copyright" notice on all your pages, even if you want people to copy them. Say something like "Copyright 2001 Pullman Presbyterian Church. All rights reserved. You have permission to copy this document, provided you give attribution."

  15. Even if you do not use a copyright statement, place "owner" information on each page. This could include the team or work group or committee or division that sponsors the page, as well as ways to contact the owning group or contact person. This would be a good place to put a link to your team or program area's page. A "mailto" link is an alternative.

  16. Use lots of links. If text refers to another entity or group that has a web page, turn the reference into a link. If you want someone to finish reading your page before following the link, put the links at the end of your page or document. Let their owners know when you make a link to pages, and be prepared to remove the link if they would prefer to forego the extra traffic. Remember, the purpose of links is provide convenience and service to those viewing our pages. (Make a disclaimer to the effect that external sites referenced via links are not under the control of your program areas or PPC.)

  17. If you have graphics or clip art that you are making available to others, make sure you include versions that work with most software. A common format that is supported by both Mac and PCs is TIFF. A good size for most bulletins or newsletters is around 200 pixels in its longest dimension. Other formats that people find useful are GIF, JPG, EPS, and WMF, as well as larger and smaller sizes -- but remember that each of these has specific rather than general uses, so if you are trying to make something useful for the most people, start with TIFF. If you are having art work designed by someone outside, specify that it be made available to you in both EPS and TIF, as well as in the original page layout format (e.g. Adobe Photoshop). Many graphical artists use high end hardware and software, and have no idea how "common folk" deal with graphics. If they have questions, they could contact the webmaster.

  18. Don't write your web pages the way this is written. Use a modern style of short concise statements, with bulletted lists and such. In fact, we could all benefit from learning a less academic, densely written style, one that is more in line with other modern media and a younger generation. (This may be inappropriate for certain academic essays, but does apply to almost everything else we do.)

Contact the webmaster for more information.