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Web Design

Every Stanford website is recommended having a global header and footer, please review brand compliance for additional information.

Creating a Stanford Site

Building a website can be a complicated process, and Stanford offers more than one service depending on your needs. Stanford faculty, staff, and students with a full-service SUNet ID are eligible to use the Stanford Sites Drupal Platform, a free, self-service content management system available to build and manage websites for university work. 

Stanford website policies URL name assignments

Stanford University owns the Stanford.EDU Internet domain and assigns URLs to benefit the academic, research, and other University activities and interests. For information about rules that apply to Stanford.EDU domain names, please consult the Stanford.EDU URL Assignment Policy.

See the Stanford.EDU URL Assignment Policy

Online accessibility

All Stanford academic and administrative units that create and maintain websites and web‐based applications used in the programs and activities of the university will make them accessible to its students, faculty, staff, and participants in the university’s programs and activities who have disabilities. All personnel involved in the procurement, preparation, and maintenance of university websites and web‐based applications should follow this policy. Dedicated campus resources are available for supporting web accessibility. For details on scope and implementation, please refer to:

See the Stanford University Online Accessibility Policy

Use of Stanford’s name and emblems

Guidelines regarding the use of Stanford’s name and emblems in endorsements and non-Stanford promotional materials

See Name Use Guidelines

Web design do’s and don’ts


  • Leverage the Stanford Identity Guidelines and use them appropriately. This covers everything from our name and logos, department branding, color, and typography, to medium-specific applications.
  • Be recognizably “Stanford”. While we don’t want every site to look the same, all our websites should retain a clear visual connection to Stanford. Our website brand guidelines make the Stanford web experience consistent while providing the flexibility needed to communicate unique messages.
  • Incorporate the essential elements. Make sure you add the Identity Bar and Global Footer to your websites. This improves user experience and connects individual sites to the broader Stanford context.
  • Accessibility is a requirement. Not only is this a legal imperative, but it’s also the right thing to do. Please refer to the Online Accessibility Policy for details.
  • Design for all sized screens. We can no longer assume what device a person will use to visit us on the web, so our websites should be developed for all screen sizes – from mobile to desktop.
  • Make websites intuitive and easy to use. We want to make it as easy and intuitive as possible for people to interact with us online. Be clear. Simplify.


  • Don’t treat accessibility as an add-on. Many accessibility concerns affect every step of the design process. Waiting until implementation starts will be too late.
  • Don’t forget to check for enough contrast on color and type. A good rule of thumb is 50% contrast between elements. Pay extra attention to this for text overlaid on images. For more specific guidelines, check out the Office of Digital Accessibility.