About Sites.brown.edu

While www.brown.edu is Brown University’s domain for hosting official websites for Brown’s academic and administrative units and their programs, members of the Brown community often have an interest in maintaining a web presence for their individual or small-group activities affiliated with Brown. Sites.brown.edu is a self-service platform for Brown faculty and staff who wish to host individual, lab, conference or other non-departmental or non-administrative organization websites on the brown.edu domain. Sites.brown.edu facilitates the creation of accessible, secure websites within the Brown web environment.

Every site on sites.brown.edu is based on WordPress, which simplifies website creation and maintenance.

Eligibility for sites.brown.edu

Sites.brown.edu cannot be used to host the primary website of any division, school, department, office, program, center, institute or other official University unit or initiative. These sites are hosted on www.brown.edu. Learn more about sites hosted on www.brown.edu.

These are the acceptable uses for a website on sites.brown.edu:

  • Individual faculty and staff websites (sites must be professionally focused)
  • Labs and research studies
  • Conferences and workshops
  • Publications and journals associated with Brown
  • Organizations, partnerships, alliances, scholarly societies, etc. housed at Brown

Every user with access to a website on sites.brown.edu is bound by the University’s Code of Conduct, administrative policies, and all other applicable policies across the University. These include, but are not limited to, policies limiting political campaigning and activity; governing use of the Brown University name, logo, marks and likeness; establishing permissions for image use and adherence to copyright; and limiting release of personal or academic information governed by privacy statutes, among other policies.

Sites.brown.edu cannot be used to host websites for individual students or student organizations. Students are encouraged to use third-party services such as SquareSpace, Wix or WordPress.com for building and hosting websites.

Themes and Plugins

Sites.brown.edu offers a predefined set of design themes and plugins. To ensure the security and accessibility of websites hosted on the brown.edu domain, the website platform does not allow users to install themes or plugins.

If you would like to request the installation of a specific theme or plugin, please email web@brown.edu.

Custom Development on sites.brown.edu

Custom web development is not permitted on sites.brown.edu. The installation of custom web applications is not permitted on sites.brown.edu, and the platform does not support this functionality.

Digital Accessibility

Websites hosted on sites.brown.edu must follow the University’s standards and policies related to digital accessibility, which ensure Brown remains in compliance with federal standards. The themes and templates provided on sites.brown.edu are accessible “out of the box,” but each web content editor is responsible for the accessibility of content added to their site.

Websites hosted on sites.brown.edu must not return any material errors when checked with a web accessibility evaluation tool. Sites that do not comply with Brown’s digital accessibility policies will be removed from sites.brown.edu. Site owners will be contacted before their site is decommissioned.

Removal of Outdated Websites

Websites hosted on sites.brown.edu are checked for regular content updates and activity. Sites that don’t receive at least one annual content update will be removed from sites.brown.edu. Site owners will be contacted before their site is decommissioned due to inactivity.

When Individuals Leave Brown

Individuals will lose access to their site on sites.brown.edu when they leave Brown. Individuals leaving Brown are encouraged to export their site prior to their departure date. Sites without any active Brown content editors assigned to them will be archived and decommissioned within 12 months.