Each department, center, and program has a public BC website in Adobe Experience Manager (AEM), a content management system. The BC Wiki offers restricted access to information (e.g., for information that should be visible only to the BC community).

Choosing the Right Web Solution

Official Public BC.edu Sites

Schools, departments, offices, and centers should use AEM to create and maintain their sites.

Log in to AEM

Student Organization Sites

BC Student Clubs are now required to develop and maintain their websites on the MyBC portal. Contact the Student Programs Office at 617-552-0050 or spo@bc.edu.

Contact Student Programs

Info for the BC Community Only

Teams, groups, and departments can collaborate using the BC Wiki or Google Drive. Each option allows you to set access restrictions.

Access the BC Wiki

Personal, Unofficial Sites

Most people will be best served by using Google Sites—an easy-to-use, free component of the BC G Suite for Education environment that requires no knowledge of HTML or specialized software.

Access Google Sites

Course Materials

BC uses Canvas to supplement the University's teaching and services.

More Info About Canvas

Personal Research or Lab Sites, Class Blogs

This service is available for personal research or lab websites and class blogs only—not departmental, office, center, or other official BC websites.

More Info About sites.bc.edu

Publishing on AEM

BC has centralized the web editing role—limiting most editing to communications and/or technical professionals—which reduces support and dramatically increases quality. Contact the OUC web team for more information on website governance at BC.

Web Security & BC Wiki

Security Guidelines

  • The vast majority of websites at Boston College are public.
  • You should assume that all content on your website is available to anyone on the internet, forever.
  • Before adding content to your website consider whether the information is for internal use only and perhaps inappropriate for a public website—even if it contains no confidential information.
  • All Boston College web contributors must agree to the terms of the Boston College Data Security Policy.
  • If you would like certain web content or web pages secured, please contact your Data Security Officer to learn about the policies and procedures.

BC Wiki

The BC Wiki provides an easy way for teams, groups, and departments to collaborate online. Information is stored in spaces, which are comprised of interconnected web pages and attachments. Navigation is automatically handled and can be adjusted by dragging and dropping (or moving pages). Access to spaces and pages can be granted to groups, individuals, a combination thereof, or all BC users. Wikis can be public or private so that only group members can view and access them. The administrator of a wiki also controls the permission levels of their group members to determine who is allowed to read or edit specific pages.

Accessibility

BC is committed to implementing a universal design for learning framework to ensure all members of the BC community—including individuals of varying abilities—are able to engage and derive benefit from all instructional and technological resources that BC offers.  

Creating Meaningful Page Titles

Creating an accurate and meaningful PageTitle is important because it is the first piece of information a screen reader or AT (Assisted Technology) user receives when accessing a web page. It allows them to orient themselves and check that they are on the page they want to be on. It also helps them naviagate through multiple tabs and pages in a browser session.

The Page Title can be checked by looking a the Title Bar of the page in the browser.

To change the Page Title, open the page in the CQ Editing window and click on the Page Properties icon at the top of the Side Kick. In the Browser Page Title field enter:

  • The name of the page
  • The name of the associated BC site
  • "Boston College" as an identifier


Example: Web Publishing - Information Technology Services - Boston College

Using Structurally Correct HTML Elements

Headings

  • Use section heads in correct order: h3, then h4, then h5. Using headings this way gives a web page a machine-readable structure that reveals the topics discussed on a page and how they are hierarchically related to one other. Properly used Section Heads enable a visually impaired user to quickly "scan" a page for specific content or relevant topics much like a sighted person would. The Section Head options are available in the "Format" drop down menu in the BC Text Component and the BC Text Image Component. 
  • Avoid misrepresenting the page structure by using headings out of place/order. This is extremely valuable when done correctly as  it makes the page easily navigatable by mark major sections.
  • Avoid misusing structural markup for formatting effects, such as using headings to change appearance of text; keep the page in a logical order and avoid using headings to achieve a visual style.


Lists

  • Use lists to identify a series of related items. Screen readers identify the number and type of items in a list and enable users to easily skip all or part of the list if desired.
  • Avoid using numbers and text to organize lists of information.
  • Lists options are located in top menu of Text and Text Image components.

Providing Alternate Text for Images

Alternative text is hidden text added to the metadata of an image to identify it to screen reader and other AT (assisted technology) devices.

The alt attribute should typically:

  • Be accurate and equivalent in presenting the same content and function of the image.
  • Be descriptive and succinct, use more than 7 characters and less than 81.
    This means the correct content (if there is content) and function (if there is a function) of the image should be presented as succinctly as is appropriate. Typically no more than a few words are necessary, though rarely a short sentence or two may be appropriate.
  • NOT be redundant or provide the same information as text within the context of the image.
  • NOT use the phrases "image of ..." or "graphic of ..." to describe the image. It usually apparent to the user that it is an image. And if the image is conveying content, it is typically not necessary that the user know that it is an image that is conveying the content, as opposed to text. If the fact that an image is a photograph or illustration, etc. is important content, it may be useful to include this in alternative text.


Alternative Text Usage in AEM

  • The most appropriate Alt text depends on the way in which the image is used in the page and communicates the purpose of the graphic, not its appearance.
  • Do not leave the Alt text out entirely because screen readers will try to guess what the image is by reading the path to the image on the server, which would be very confusing, very long string.
  • Do not use Alt text that repeats that added to the Title field or Caption.
  • The Alt text field can be accessed in the Text and Text Image Component by clicking on the Advanced tab. See image below.
  • The Alt Text is a required field.