Requirements for All USPS Web Sites

All USPS web sites, regardless of where they are hosted, must conform to the following policies:

1. Link to - required All sites must have a link on the index/main page to the USPS web site.

Example code:

< a href="" >USPS< /a >

2. Subtitling - required

The following statement must appear directly below your squadron's name on the index/main page:

a unit of United States Power Squadrons®

Sail and Power Boating

Squadrons that have changed their name to include "Sail and Power" are not required to use the legend "Sail and Power Boating".

Example code:

a unit of United States Power Squadrons®

Ref: OpsMan 11.42 ver. 01/07/06

3. Link to District web site - required of Squadrons

All squadron sites must have a link to their district's web site, provided there is a district site. It is suggested that this link be in the header section of the home page. (At the top of the page)

4. Link to Squadrons' web sites - required of Districts

All district sites must have links to their squadrons' existing web sites. If the squadron links are not on the index/main page, a link to the list of squadrons should be provided on the index/main page.

5. Privacy Statement - required

All sites require a Privacy Statement on the index/main page. A privacy statement stipulates what type of information is collected and how you intend to use it.

As a minimum, the standard USPS Privacy Statement link may be used used and located at the bottom of the index page.

Example code:

< a href="" >Privacy Statement< /a >

6. USPS Trademark Reference - required

All sites require a USPS trademark registration on the index/main page.

As a minimum, the standard ITCom Trademark Statement link may be used and located at the bottom of the index page.

Example code:

< a href="" >Trademark Statement< /a >

7. Disclaimer statement - required

All sites need to reference as a minimum, the standard ITCom Disclaimer Statement link on the index/main page. It shall be located at the bottom of the index page.

Example code:

< a href=" ">

Disclaimer Statement< / a >

8. Webmaster's e-mail - required

All sites must have an direct active e-mail link to their webmaster (website administrator or owner) on the index/main page and splash screen if used. In order that each squadron's web site present a more "local" feel, it is suggested that the webmaster's name and rank be used.

Example code, substituting your webmaster's e-mail address for "":

< a href="">Lt John Doe< / a >

9. Web site must be kept up to date - required

Any web site, which contains meeting, activities and/or pubic boating course information that is 90 days or more out of date, may be removed from linking to the national site. It is extremely important to keep websites up to date. Any website found not current in their schedule dates for events and educational programs, having inaccurate bridge officer identification or displaying out of date VSC decals, will receive punitive point reductions as outlined in the Web Award guide for the current year. If past dates are listed on websites they should be unmistakably identified as past events.

10. Paid Advertising

The receipt of payment for advertisements on a website requires discretion in the choice of ads accepted. They must be directly related to the missions of USPS. If they are not, it opens up issues of non-related business income, and associated requirements to file a tax return for this income.
For example an ad from West Marine relating to boating safety equipment is benign as is an ad from Joe's Garage saying "Joe's Garage is proud to support the efforts of the Podunk Power Squadron". However an ad from Joe's garage saying "Joe's Garage-Oil Change Special $25.00" is unrelated to our missions and revenue obtained from such an ad is non-related business income and must be accounted for as such.
It is essential that squadrons accepting payment for ads on their website consult an accountant to determine any potential tax liability.

We allow links and banners in return for "free Web hosting" and built-in banners from using freeware or donated software directly from the manufacturer/publisher, only when that link was the decision of the web master, and not part of the terms of the gift.

Sites may provide a page for commercial links. If provided it should inform the reader that a) we are not getting paid to display these links, b) we are not endorsing any product or service provided by organizations that are linked, c) we were not asked to provide the link, d) we are offering it as a convenience, and e) we retain the right to remove the link at our sole discretion.
Rationale: Advertising is permitted in squadron newsletters and not allowing it on squadron websites may be depriving squadrons of potential income.

11. No Browser or Plug-in Dependency - required

A number of sites have items such as "powered by..." or "best viewed with.…" USPS should not give free advertising to any vendor not directly providing a service. It is also a very bad practice to make viewing your site dependant on a particular browser or browser function. Consideration should also be given to the resolution used in the development of the website. The site should be checked for clarity at 800 x 600 without the need for horizontal scrolling. Plug-ins refer to Q-time, Flash, Java and other media presentation applications which are after market features added to browsers to increase the browsers presentation ability.

The focus of this rule is on essential information. If the essential information viewable, there are no regulations against additional features.

12. Public and Private Information - required

Each organization (squadron, district, committee, and department) is responsible for the content of its website and should examine their public pages as it relates to the personal information (including photos, names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses) of its membership. The amount of personal data posted to a website (or published in a directory) should be sufficient to facilitate communications between members and with such parts of the public as we (USPS) wish to attract, but each and every member should be given the opportunity to approve information made public about him or herself. This is not just about risk control, it's also courtesy. Permission from individual members must be granted before placing such information on public web sites. Permission must be in written form and kept on file by the Webmaster. The webmaster of each site has explicit responsibilities to protect the privacy of members and non-members by selecting what information is available for viewing by the public.

Please refer to the Electronic Data Policy in Appendix G.8 of the Operations Manual.

13. Contact Information - required

All webmasters (website administrators or owners) are required to be registered as their squadron or district position of IT Contact. (In the case the unit web site is outsourced, developed and maintained, an active member of the unit, who has knowledge of the web site and support, shall be appointed as the unit IT Contact.) It is further required that their membership record have a valid email address. Squadron and district jobs may be changed using the OD-2 and OD-1 feature of DB2000 or by using the online OD-1/OD-2 update program. For the latter visit the information center pages for links to the program. Email addresses and other member data may also be changed via DB2000.

Tools have been developed to allow Squadrons and Districts to update and maintain their contact information.

14. Webmaster Mailing List - required

All USPS webmasters shall have an active membership on SailAngle, in the USPS-Webmasters Group and the ITChair/Contacts Group. This will keep you up to date with notices about the web server changes in policies, and other ITCom bulletins.

15. Using META Tags - suggested

All sites should include META tags to enable search engines to categorize your site better. Some samples of using META tags, as well as some links to META tag generation and verification sites are available on the Internet. Some search engines look for titles, and a title on each page is strongly recommended.

16. USPS Web Ring - informational

USPS has dropped support of the Web Ring. Two alternate solutions, which all are encouraged to take advantage of, have been created: an alphabetical listing of squadrons and districts, and a Webgate, which allows one to peruse the sites in random order.

17. How to Get Listed - informational

When your site is up and operational, send an e-mail to the ITCom Server Administrator in order to be added to the "websites database". Note that there will be a compliance review by the Website Coordinator as a final step in the approval process. All district and squadron web sites that are in compliance with these policies will be linked to the squadron/district list on the USPS website.

If you would like to have your squadron or district web site housed on the ITCom system, please review the additional requirements.
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