FAQ

What is ISU Sites?

ISU Sites (sites.iastate.edu) is a Websites-as-a-Service platform for Iowa State University. It allows faculty members to quickly create a professional website that conforms to university marketing standards and complies with digital accessibility guidelines.

Development of this platform has been guided by faculty focus groups. Development is supported by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Information Technology Services.

How do I make a site?

Go to sites.iastate.edu, log in with your ISU NetID and follow the instructions. Or, follow along with our Quick Start Guide.

What is the difference between Simple, Advanced, and Full Scale websites?

See this handy comparison table.

How do I fill out my profile?

See our complete tutorial: Edit your Homepage Profile

I would like to share a large research data set from my site. Can I?

Absolutely. Contact datashare@iastate.edu to find out how to use DataShare, Iowa State University's open research data repository. Once the data set is published on DataShare, you can simply link to it from your site.

I copy-pasted content into my site. Why are the images on my site broken?

Because of the way the world wide web works, standard copy and paste will not work to move images and files to your new website (though copy and paste will work fine for text). If you did not know this, take a look at the Fixing Pasted Images and Files tutorial which explains how to move images and files to your new website, how to tell if your images and files will break, and how to fix them.

Can I delegate editing of my site to my postdoc/grad student?

If you choose to create an Advanced or Full Scale website, you can give access and assign permissions to trusted people.

I am not a faculty member. May I still create a site?

Currently sites are for faculty members only. Most staff already have a presence on the website of the ISU unit they serve. If you are a staff member, please ask your local IT support group what options are available for you. If you need a website and are in CALS or LAS, please contact the web team at websupport@iastate.edu.

I want to log into my new site from my Okta dashboard!

Sure! You can set that up with a few clicks by following the steps on Make an Okta Button to Log In. This is handy but optional; you can always log in to your site by going to sites.iastate.edu.

Can I create links that open in a new tab or window?

Current research indicates that it is not good practice to open links in a new tab.

  1. Opening a new tab or window is actually an unexpected behavior for most people. Browsers are built with the ability to right-click on a link to open it in a new tab. When a link auto-opens a new tab without being told to, that is an unexpected behavior. Essentially the action requires taking over the functionality of one's web browser, which feels to many people like someone grabbing the steering wheel while you are driving.
  2. Security purposes. The link code that opens in a new window is vulnerable to being hijacked; this is a longstanding vulnerability in web browsers.
  3. Users with accessibility issues who are using screen readers, screen magnifiers, and users with certain cognitive impairments can become disoriented when they are taken to a new window.
  4. Opening in a new tab or window disables the Back button in the browser. People expect to be able to use their back button to go back (in this case, back to your site!).

We are learning that the scales are tipping and fewer and fewer websites are allowing for this behavior for usability and security concerns.

When did ISU Sites become available?

ISU Sites launched on November 15, 2018.

How do I report a problem?

If you need help using ISU Sites, please contact websupport@iastate.edu. If you have feedback to share, please use the feedback form.