Terms of Service

Service Summary

This service is intended for the building of University department, program, and center websites.

Service Audience

  • Departments
  • Programs
  • Centers



Website owners are responsible for the accuracy, quality, and accessibility of their content.


WDS is responsible for the underlying code, hosting, and performance of the platform.


If using the standard themes, then WDS is responsible for bug fixes. If you alter the theme through CSS Injector or change the panels after WDS has completed work on your website, you are responsible for bug fixes (or you may contract with WDS to make fixes).


Everyone is responsible for security.


Department sites are supported by OIT during University business hours. If you have a question about your website, please contact us then. Email webservices@princeton.edu to open a support ticket.


We aim to keep the website systems up and running 24x7. If the system is down (white screens, pages not loading) or performing poorly (pages taking more than 10 seconds to load) WDS will make a good faith effort to restore the system as soon as possible. Please contact the Support and Operations Center immediately if your website becomes unusable. 


WDS makes a good faith effort to support browsers in Princeton's managed computer environments. If your website was designed or developed earlier than the latest browser and you notice a problem, please contact us to initiate a work request. 

Dormant Websites

As long as a site in our environment is active and does not violate University policies, we will continue to host that site. However, if a site has been inactive for three (3) years, we reserve the right to remove it from our servers.


All sites in our environment are currently being backed up on the following schedule:

  • Daily for 7 days
  • Weekly for 4 weeks
  • Monthly for 12 months
  • Yearly for 3 years

Please contact WDS if you need access to your sites backups.


We do not provide fourth-level domain names, such as name.name.princeton.edu, in our managed hosting environments.

We do not support outside domain names (such as a .com or .org address). Our hosting environments do not allow us to install the necessary SSL certificates for these domain names.

Forwarding an external domain to a princeton.edu address in our environments is possible; however, URL masking (embedding a website in an externally hosted frame) is prevented by an anti-clickjacking configuration in our security headers.

Specific to the Template System

Ongoing improvements

WDS is continually improving the Template System. You will automatically get the improvements we make to the system because your website is on a shared codebase. On a monthly basis, WDS will notify website administrative contacts and technical contacts of pending improvements. For some improvements, you will be asked to check a testing version of your website. Please make an effort to check your website before the changes are applied to your live website so that we can correct bugs before they are seen by the public.

Use of Staging Environment

You may use the staging environment to try new functionality and layouts with your website without affecting your live website. Any changes made to the Testing Environment are not able to be applied to your live website. You will need to replicate them in the Production environment. 

WDS does not synch the content between your staging and production environments unless requested. If you wish to have this done, email webservices@princeton.edu 

Custom Designs

If CSS injector overwites work done by WDS, we can retrieve it for a fee. Please contact us.

If CSS Injector overwrites new functionality in the system or the rule is overwritten by a code update, you may contract with WDS to adjust the CSS. We encourage the use of our core themes so that we can ensure CSS Injector does not cause a problem.

Specific to Custom Sites

Custom websites do not get new functionality on a regular basis like the Template System. Contact WDS if you wish to add new functionality to your custom site.

Use of Staging Environment (-qa)

We occasionally reset the Staging Environment for Custom Sites without notification. If you plan to use this environment, please let us know.