CMS Technical Guide


What are the USF Form Guidelines? 

Online forms are a great way to add functionality to your website. They allow you to collect information from your website visitors, and save that information into a spreadsheet or database for future reference.

You can create a form that allows your website visitors to request additional information about your services and programs. Other forms allow site visitors to RSVP for an event you are hosting, apply for entrance into a program, have their name added to your mailing list, or register for a course.

Of course, there are guidelines for creating online forms. These guidelines are here to protect our website visitors from hackers who may try to steal sensitive, confidential information, such as social security numbers, credit card information, or medical records. That's why it is critically important for you to review our form guidelines before you develop your forms.

Form Guidelines

It is critically important that ALL web forms meet university guidelines. These guidelines are based on federal, state and local laws and official BOG-approved USF policies, and were developed to protect our website visitors from fraud. Failure to abide by these guidelines will result in your forms being deleted from university servers.

• Observe all HIPAA and FERPA laws.


• Do not process financial transactions online. If you need to create an online form that enables you to collect funds, then contact IT Web Services ( for information about online payment services.

• Do not collect social security numbers.

• Do not collect financial information of any kind, including credit card information.

• Do not collect medical records of any kind, including immunization forms, etc.

For more information about the USF System's official policy on information security, review the Information Disclosure and Confidentiality policy here.

How do I integrate a form with my new website?

Now that you have reviewed the USF Form Guidelines, it's time to start integrating web forms into your site. You may already have existing forms you'd like to integrate, and you may have new forms you'd like to create. The following information will help you.

Existing Forms

Do you have existing forms that you want to continue to use on your website? If so, IT can help you skin these forms so that they look like the rest of your new website. This would include updating the header and footer and styling your form's content so that it matches the rest of your site.

New Forms

Do you need to create new forms to use on your website? If so, please contact IT Web Services for guidance.