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Writing for the Web

This page is meant to be brief and useful reference point for CC web authors to use when creating content for the web in order to make our pages consistent and give each other guidance on important things to keep in mind when doing website work.

General Recommendations - Writing for the Web

  • More content is not better; engaging content is better.
  • Use in-line links (linked words or phrases within paragraphs).
  • Be concise.
    • Use opening paragraphs (200-300 words) on homepages.
    • Most pages should not exceed 500 words.
  • Use an opening paragraph to describe page content (with the "intro" style).
  • Use meaningful sub headers to guide a reader through the pages.
  • Use text formatting such as bullets, pull quotes, and paragraph breaks.
  • Use plain language.
    • Use contractions; formal language rules don't necessarily apply.
    • Be conversational, but not clever.
    • Refrain from using internal jargon or acronyms without introducing the terms first.
  • Events and News are dynamic and a static "news and events" page upon which the latest are listed works better than a page per event.
  • Describe interesting work currently being done in the department.
  • Be careful about where you put contact information - it can be very difficult to update if it's spread everywhere, so try to limit it to an easily updatable "contact us" section, and then link to that from other areas in the site or add it to a "shared" location like under the navigation.
  • Do not use mailto: links - instead, specify the email address.

Take a look at the full full content strategies recommendations (written by our web design company, White Whale).