All Web Guide policies
Policy is an FAO corporate principle or goal that requires mandatory compliance.
2.3 Web site quality clearance and continuity
Getting your site online once it has been designed and constructed will not be difficult if you have followed the recommendations and advice contained in this Guide. It is important to remember that all FAO Web sites are held up against a Web checklist before they are published: FAO Web Quality Assurance Checklist.
2.3b Regulation of access to servers
Access to external servers is never granted.
Requests to access to the Corporate Document Repository server should be sent to Document-Repository@fao.org. Access is granted to a specific area on the test server to copy and exchange files. Otherwise, only the Corporate Document Repository focal points have access.
Requests to access the Intranet server should be sent to Intranet-Updates@fao.org.
2.10 Current server structure at FAO
At FAO the Chief Information Officer Division (CIO) manages and monitors the FAO servers that contain the Organization's digital material.
2.4a Country names, flags and maps
Country names, flags and maps are politically sensitive issues. For this reason, it is important that when placing this type of information on a Web site it is correct and in accordance with UN and FAO policy and practice.
2.4b The fao.org domain, subdomains and root directories
Please see the document DNS entries and sub-domains for FAO.org: policies and procedures [internal].
2.4c Use of FAO emblem and logos
The FAO Web Quality Assurance Checklist is the official FAO guideline on how the FAO emblem and logos should be displayed on Web pages. According to the checklist, the FAO emblem should always be displayed and always in the banner. It should never be re-invented, modified, animated or used as a watermark. Any other logo present should appear smaller than the FAO emblem, unless it is a partner organization, in which case the logo must be the same size as the FAO emblem. The FAO emblem must link to the FAO home page in the same language as the originating page.
2.8b Using YouTube to store and share FAO videos
YouTube is a video sharing Web site where users can upload, view and share short videos or multimedia presentations. Unregistered users can view most videos on the site, while registered users can also upload videos.
2.8c FAO’s policy on Facebook
For the Organization
This means that FAO headquarters units and decentralized offices are asked to refrain from establishing their own FAO profiles on Facebook. Instead, units / offices are invited to support the Organization-wide Facebook profile.
3.5 How to track and share planning decisions
It is requested that a kick-off meeting be held at the start of a new system development project, with all parties involved.
4.2 FAO content repositories -Selecting and sharing document and files
A content repository is a store of different types of items (e.g. documents, bibliographical records and images). Typically, they come with an administration/user interface that allows users to contribute, manage and share the items.
There are several repositories in FAO that can be used to manage content for Web sites and systems. Some of these repositories can be used to manage the entire workflow for releasing content on the Web.
5.3a Corporate visual identity
Consistency of presentation is a basic usability principle that should be applied in all Web pages.
FAO launched a corporate visual identity for the Organization's Web site in April 2008. This visual identity, or "look-and-feel", is based on the FAO homepage template. The aim of adopting and adhering to a corporate visual identity for the Web is twofold: to strengthen the role of the FAO domain as a gateway to the Organization's knowledge, and to support the broader objective of improving public recognition and credibility for FAO.
5.3b Web site design usability principles - Use of flash
The FAO Web Quality Assurance Checklist recommends that the use of Flash or other interactive animation plugins should not be used for navigation or design effects. They should only be used for specialised elements such as interactive maps or tutorials.
In addition, the link for downloading these plugins should point to the official download page and not to a locally copied executable file. Many FAO Web users live in developing countries with slow connections and lengthy download times. Therefore, please make sure that the use of interactive animation is necessary and ensure that the file size is as small as possible.
6.1 Management of files/naming
Ensuring that your files are logically and comprehensively named is an important part of a successful Web site.
For this purpose, the File naming convention for files manually uploaded to www.fao.org [internal] should be rigorously applied.
6.2b Browser compatibility
The Web page must be compatible with the most recent and penultimate versions of common browsers. Browsers for all popular operating systems (such as Windows and Macintosh) should be considered.
6.2c New windows and pop-ups
The term "new window" refers to the action of clicking on a link within a Web page and a new browser window opening. Avoid opening links in new windows as this can be confusing for users and many people find them annoying. If the new window displays content from another site, the user can become very disoriented. They can also cause problems for screen-reader users as they change the focus without warning.
It is recommended to only open links in new windows when linking to PDF files.
Images must be properly resized using graphics software such as Adobe Photoshop.
Photos should mention the credit and provide a link to the source (if the photo has been taken from a catalogue or a system). See the FAO home page for an example.
If new photos are added to a Web site, a good practice is to make sure that they are integrated in an existing repository, such as the FAO MediaBase.
6.6 Language encoding
All Web pages should have the encoding written in the "head" section. The encoding should be Unicode (UTF-8) or should at least refer to the character set related to the language of the Web page.
6.7 Link management
Avoid links to pages under construction or to non-existing pages, i.e. remove the <a xhref=".."> tag. When a page is not available in the given language, the English version should become the default page to avoid "under construction" pages or dead links.
6.7a Linking files across languages
The link to an active Web page, i.e. the one you are currently on, should 'appear' clicked, but still be linked. Links to the other language versions should be managed consistently. For example, if a user is on a page of a Web site and then clicks on the French language icon, the page should change to the French equivalent and not revert to the home page of the French Web site, i.e. "index_fr.htm". The language link should only appear when the relative language page is available.
6.7b Links to the FAO home page, FAO copyright and AskFAO
6.7c Absolute and relative links
Links should be expressed as "absolute", for example:
or "relative", for example:
Never refer to a local drive:
6.8 Printable pages
Print-friendly pages are a requirement of the FAO Web Quality Assurance Checklist and Web sites will not be published if they are not print-friendly. A Web site should be printable on portrait A4 pages. It should be noted that the print-friendly version does not have to be an exact copy of the Web site. The most important element is that the text and content is readable. This can be done by either adjusting the HTML code for tables and images to fit within the prescribed width, by using a print-friendly style sheet, or by creating a separate file for printing purposes. This applies to all Web pages.
6.10 Domains, URLs and aliases
www.fao.org is the entry point to all FAO information on the Internet and is the domain under which, in principle, all information published by FAO on the Internet should be located. Exceptions to this policy and the registration and use of a non-FAO domain can be made when there are compelling reasons; for instance when the use of such a domain was specified in the aforementioned formal agreement or when the use of the FAO domain would harm the collaborative nature of agreement.
7.1 Testing approaches
Before its release, an FAO Web site must comply with the FAO Web Quality Assurance Checklist. Please ensure that before a request for the publication of a Web site is sent to OCP, it has been thoroughly tested according to these requirements.
8.1 Launch checklist
The responsibility for approving new Web sites or new databases accessible through the Internet lies with OCP. Technical Departments are responsible for the content.
Clearance of Web sites
All FAO Web sites are evaluated according to the FAO Web Quality Assurance Checklist before they are published.
To request clearance of your Web site, see the procedure in section 2.3c Clearance of Web sites by OCP.