The following items is a list of things to, or not to, do to ensure that your group's web site may be considered as 'Officially Recognized' by the Kingdom of Atlantia and the SCA in general. This is not a checklist *per-say* but you may use it as an informal self test to make sure that you're sites are aligned with Society and Kingdom Policies.
These items are taken directly from the most recent edition of the Society Web Minister's Handbook (available on sca.org).
- All recognized web sites must have a link to http://www.sca.org.
- May not have links to non-recognized websites without an external link disclaimer such as:
"All external links are not part of the [Group Name] web site. Inclusion of a page or site here is neither implicit nor explicit endorsement of the site. Further, SCA, Inc. is not responsible for content outside of [website address]."
The above disclaimer may be included once on a page of disclaimers or on the main page of the site.
- Personal information (Modern name, Home or work address, Phone numbers, Personal e-mail address) may NOT be published to unsecured / password protected sites without formal consent. This can be done via a simple email but it must be archived so that it can be referenced as needed. Information that you CAN post without formal consent includes SCA name and SCA email address. If the email address ends in "[whatever].sca.org" you may safely assume that it is an SCA email, otherwise ask.
- Maintain easy to read, uncluttered pages. Providing too much information on a given page only obscures the page’s true message * Do not abbreviate anything without explaining the full term first, keeping in mind that the web site may be the first point of contact for people otherwise unfamiliar with the SCA and its attendant specialized vocabulary.
- Keep all your pages as uniform as possible; nothing confuses a visitor faster than obscure navigation and drastic visual changes from one page to the next
- Do not use flashing text, overly large fonts, overly small fonts, or other such items that are deemed inappropriate for a professional web site. When in doubt consult with other officers, or the Society Webminister
- When navigating away from your web site, either notify the user that they are leaving with a redirect page or visually indicate external links in some way (specific icons, font changes, or warnings that a link will open in a new browser window or tab)
- Obfuscate all e-mail addresses by placing spaces between names and "at" "(@)" signs, spelling out "at", or any other method which prevents automatic e-mail address farming
- ℳel says: I'm not a stickler for this one and neither is the society web minister. Even the sca.org homepage has non-obfuscated email addresses. There was a time when email address farming was a thing but spiders are so much smarter now that expending the effort to make the addresses difficult to identify just makes life harder on your users.
- Never use embedded sound, music or movies on a main page or the site in general. Give the user the option to "opt-in" by making a link to a page with the media content and allowing them to hear and/or see the content. Use of content appropriate media is encouraged, but allow the users to choose when and what to experience.
- Use both grammar and spell checkers on all site content
- Maintain a high contrast between text and background
Suggested Best Practices
- Avoid the use of frames
- Choose a favico.ico appropriate to the SCA
- Try to minimize external links to specific pages. If links are required, try to link to the root of any given site
- Do not assume that everyone has a broadband connection; limit the amount of graphics on any given page, especially the main page
- Check your links regularly and ensure they are not broken
- Attempt to use compliant hypertext markup language (HTML) and cascading style sheets (CSS)