HHS Web Policies
HHS web policies outline how departmental websites must meet federal requirements. Policies apply to all HHS Web sites (Operating and Staff Divisions).
- HHS 508 Policy
Refer to the ASPA/ DCD 508 Program for information about ensuring all Web content is accessible to people with disabilities. Learn about how HHS is implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
- Plain Language
When writing for the web, use this checklist to ensure readers can understand your content the first time they read it. Learn about HHS is implanting the Plain Writing Act of 2010.
- Domain Names
The HHS Internet Domain Names Policy regulates the usage, approval, acquisition, and registration of HHS Internet domain names. This policy also provides guidance on waiver criteria, the waiver application process, and critical considerations.
The above Policy has been supplemented by the following Domain Name Guidance:
In 2011 OMB issued guidance that established a temporary freeze on the approval of new dot Gov domains. The guidance called for revision of federal domain policy but that has not happened. The temporary freeze has been extended indefinitely and remains largely in place today.
The one relaxation, negotiated by HHS Senior Leadership, is that, in limited circumstances, OMB and GSA are now allowing new domains to be registered for use by marketing campaigns needing short and easily remembered URLs. These domains, however, must redirect to an already established dot Gov domain. For example, CTP’s TheRealCost.gov redirects to TheRealCost.BetobaccoFree.hhs.gov.
The 2011 guidance also required an across-the-board reduction of active dot Gov domains (typically by consolidating or eliminating duplicative and outdated websites). Since then, the Department retired 46 legacy dot Gov domains.
- Forms, E-Gov
The HHS Policy for E-Gov Forms regulates public-facing electronic forms.
- Persistent Cookies
The HHS Persistent Cookies Policy regulates the usage of Web cookies. A cookie is a mechanism that allows a web server to store information about a user on the user's computer. A persistent web cookie can track the activities of users over time and across different web sites.
- Information Collection from the Public
The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requires OMB clearance for certain information collections by government entities, such as surveys, polls, questionnaires, etc. Read more about Information Collection and contact the liaison for your agency. A fast track process is available for customer feedback surveys relating to existing or future services and products.
- Web Records and Records Management
The HHS Web Records Management Policy identifies Web records and specifies how long a type of document must be kept. The HHS Records Management Policy identifies the proper documentation of the policies regarding record creation, records maintenance and use, and records disposition.
- HHS Logo Policies
The HHS Logo Policies cover the use, colors, and other information relating to the HHS logo.
- Social Media and Third-Party Websites and Applications
Use of social media and third-party web technologies must follow the current policies that govern information and information technology.
Federal Web Policies, Laws and Regulations
- OMB Policies for Federal Public Websites (PDF - 48KB)
- Checklist of Requirements for Federal Websites and Digital Services
- Links and Content Required for Federal Websites