A consistent and thoughtful look and feel of the website are as important as what’s written on the pages, and one of the ways to achieve consistency is to follow the tips found on this page.
As for writing, follow these simple guidelines:
- Be concise. Keep word counts low. Most basic informational pages should not exceed 500 words, and most top0level pages should be no more than 300 words.
- Use an opening paragraph to summarize page content.
- Be conversational. use contractions such as It’s, we’re, you’ll, etc.
- Make use of subheadings to guide a reader through page content. As a general rule, there should be a subheading for every 200 words of content.
- Use your text formatting, like bulleted lists, pull quotes, and paragraph breaks, to quickly convey information.
- The text should guide readers around the site. Add some links to the text to get people to different parts of the site.
Font styles for headings and paragraphs
Header 2(Kind of big and weird; use sparingly)
Header 3(Great main copy header!)
Heading 4 (Looks cool when you have lots of info)
Header 4(Great for the sidebar)
Header 5 (Nice color break)
Header 6 (Tiny, like the Little Engine that Could)
paragraph (This is for regular copy, under all the headers)
Main copy should:
- be informational
- be friendly
- include bullets and #s when needed (no punctuation with bullets)
- use the informal “you” when you can
- have single spaces between sentences
Good example of main copy writing
How to use bullets
As part of a sentence:
An ideal visit to campus includes:
- meeting a professor
- observing a class
- having lunch in our cafeteria
- talking with current students
- chatting with a coach
- tour of facilities
- meeting your admissions counselor
When to use bold v. italics v. underline
Bold is used for directional emphasis. And don’t you forget it.
Italics are used to emphasize a description. It’s that easy!
Underlined words normally link to another page, so don’t use the underline feature unless you want to link the text.
General style points
- The word email is spelled “email.”
- The word website is spelled “website.”
- First-Year Studies has a hyphen.
- Headers are upper- and lowercase, not uppercase, unless it’s on the left hand side.
- PDFs must always be open-able in a NEW WINDOW! You can adjust this when you are creating the link. Each pdf must include “(pdf)” next to it so people know it’s a download.