WebTools is an online resource for California state agency webmasters that helps support the efforts of implementing standards, functionality and look and feel into agency websites. Specifically, WebTools provides necessary tools, resources, and implementation guidelines for webmasters to implement state standards for usability, accessibility, and separation of presentation.
The structure of WebTools is designed to approach solutions from multiple angles and from a variety of user perspectives. Webmasters can follow the phased approach (Web Development) where they will be provided general step-by-step information throughout the development lifecycle or they can find information and resources by specific category and topic.
This website was previously managed by the Web Consulting Unit at the California Department of Technology (CDT), however it is now managed by CDT’s Office of Digital Innovation.
In 2007, a policy on Website Development Guidelines was provided mandating all departments, agencies, boards, and commissions within the Executive Branch to convert their websites to the CA.gov template. Although the policy letter is expired, the mandate is still in effect, and provides guidance on:
- Accessibility. State agencies must take reasonable steps to design and develop websites that are accessible to people with disabilities as well as those without disabilities.
- Design. The CA.gov standards require use of a standard template to facilitate the creation of consistent, recognizable, and usable page layouts on all California websites.
- Separation of Presentation and Content. The CA.gov standards require the use of Cascading Style Sheets to improve consistency across departments, lessen the burden on department resources, and help address the issue of varying skill sets across department web developers.
- Usability. State agencies must practice good usability principles, and must adhere to California’s usability standards for website development.