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Web Design Standards

Important Notice
These standards apply to content posted prior to January 18, 2018 that has not been subsequently edited or updated. Visit the main CDE Web Standards for the current standards.

The California Department of Education (CDE) Web Design Standards provide Web Page Creators, Web Application Developers, Web Coordinators, Web Content Providers, and CDE Contractors with guidance and standards for the creation of all Web products for the California Department of Education's public Web site and internal Intranet site.

Built upon the CDE Web Accessibility Standards, these Web Design Standards also help ensure that there is accessible, aesthetic (look and feel), usable, and functional consistency across all CDE Web sites.

These Web Design Standards apply to any Web site with "cde" in the URL, such as, or; and/or to any Web site with the "CDE Look and Feel." Any site that is meant to appear to be an official CDE Web site by using the CDE logo and/or style elements that are intentionally similar to those on the main CDE Web site is considered a Web site with the CDE Look and Feel.

These standards do not apply to contracted Web sites that do not have "cde" in the URL and have a look and feel that is unique and different from that of the CDE's Web sites. Use the CDE Web Standards to determine which standards apply to a particular Web product.


  1. Titles
  2. Keywords
  3. Descriptions
  4. File Names
  5. Text Styles
  6. Headings
  7. Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar
  8. Layout and Formatting
  9. Color
  10. Tables
  11. Hyperlinks
  12. Link Notations
  13. Images
  14. Special Characters
  15. Web Documents
  16. Web Document Metadata
  17. Accessible Alternative Versions
  18. Questions Line
  19. State Board Web Pages and Documents
  20. Miscellaneous
  21. Elements Particular to Web Applications
  22. CMD Parental Notification Documents
  23. Division Content Areas (Intranet)
  24. Audience Portals
  25. Exceptions
Questions:   Web Services Office |
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, January 4, 2022
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