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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.

This page is part of the California Department of Education (CDE) Web Design Standards, which only applies to specific CDE Web sites. Visit the CDE Web Standards to determine if these standards apply to a specific Web product (Web site, Web page, Web document, or Web application) that has been developed by or for the CDE.

Most Web pages (not including Web applications) on all CDE Web sites are created using Adobe's Contribute software templates. WebNETS, which is a custom software application that was created by CDE staff, is also necessary in order to create and process most Web pages on the CDE's public Internet site. Portions of these standards, where noted, apply only to CDE users of Contribute or WebNETS software; or to Web application developers.

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Phone Number Format

Include the area code and divide with hyphens (e.g. 916-555-1234).

Graphics of Signatures

The use of signatures on Web documents carries with it a degree of risk. These signature graphics can be easily copied and pasted into other documents, possibly leading to forgery or misrepresentation. For this reason, signatures should not be used on documents residing on the CDE Web site. When documents that have been created and signed in hard copy must be placed on the Web, the signature must be removed. At the option of the posting division, the following text may be used in place of a signature:

Original signed by <name of signer>.  A hard copy of the signed document is available by contacting <name of program office and phone number>.


Bullets must utilize standard Web functionality for lists. Custom images should not be created in place of regular bullets. Also, symbols, such as "-", or "*", for example, should likewise not be used in place of standards bullets.

Bullets for Contribute Users

Bullets that are pasted into a Contribute page from Microsoft Word may cause the page to not validate. As a general rule, bullets should either be created from within Contribute, or if pasted in from Word, must be replaced with Contribute bullets.

Bullets for Web Application Developers

Use the Department's standard Cascading Style Sheet. Do not create custom bullet styles.

Linking to a Listserv

When creating a Web page that invites visitors to join a Listserv, provide a “Join” e-mail link to the actual listserv.

  1. Type the listserv e-mail address: or where "listservname" is the name of the listserv. Be sure to include hyphens (-) if they are present in the listserv name.
  2. Highlight the listserv e-mail address and create an e-mail hyperlink to the listserv e-mail address.
  3. Provide instructions on how to join or leave the list similar to the following sample text:

    If you would like to receive SACS updates via e-mail notification, subscribe to the SACS Update listserv by sending a "blank" message to

    If you would like to unsubscribe from the SACS Update listserv, send a "blank" message to

Linking to a Listserv for Web Page Contributors

In past the Web Services Office assisted Web Page Contributors in creating custom fields in a Web page for joining Lyris Listservs. Due to security and maintenance issues this service is no longer provided.

iCalendar (.iCal) Files

iCalendar files may be uploaded to CDE Web sites. They may only be linked from Web pages. iCalendar files and associated links to them must be removed from Web pages when the iCalendar file is for a past event.

Retention of Approval Documents

Web approval documentation (e.g., WEB-001 forms, EXE-001 forms) must be kept on file for at least 12 months from the original posting date of the content. CDE Division Web Coordinators may maintain these records for longer periods to meet specific document retention records, per division guidelines, or at their own discretion.

For the Internet

Use of the CDE Web Page ID

Do not use the CDE internal Web Page ID as content on Web pages and documents. The CDE internal Web Page ID should never be used in published format.

Topic, Sub-topic, and Sub-sub-topic Pages

To maintain the information structure of the primary CDE Web site, topic index.asp Web pages must link to all subordinate sub-topic Web pages. Sub-topic index.asp Web pages must link to all subordinate sub-sub-topic Web pages.

For Contribute Users

Important Notice

A shared asset is available that will place an Important Notice box within a Contribute Web page. If this shared asset is used, the following conditions must be met:

  • Only one Important Notice may be used on a Web page.
  • The Important Notice must be placed as the first item in the body of the page at the top of the content area.
  • The title, ‘Important Notice’ must be left intact without any modifications.
  • The border and background color of the box must not be changed.

For Web Applications

Pop-ups (new browser windows) are allowed as long as its metadata page title describes the page.

Questions:   Web Services Office |
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Related Content
  • Exceptions
    The Exceptions section of the California Department of Education's Web Design Standards.
  • Text Styles
    The Text Styles section of the California Department of Education's Web Design Standards.
  • Web Documents
    This is the Web Documents Section of the California Department of Education's Web Design Standards.
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