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Web Dos and Don'ts

Content | File Naming | Formatting | Headings | Images | Linking

Content

Do Don't Reason

Store sensitive information such as meeting minutes on an appropriate network drive and/or email to appropriate people

Put sensitive local content onto the website Websites security is fallible;
Website content should be of broad interest so content intended for limited viewing should be distributed by other means

Seek written approval from the relevant people/organisations before publishing content

Put information, or images, on the website without copyright approvalLegal copyright and privacy issues

Consider the aims of the site and the needs of the website audience in determining suitable content for the website

Load all available content onto the website Enhances users ability to find what they are looking for
Link to existing content presented elsewhere on the webDuplicate content on your site Minimises duplication and provides consistency of information;
Avoids content becoming out of date when the original source updates the content

File naming

Do Don't Reason

Use lower case letters, and numbers, when naming files

Use capitals in filenames Avoids broken links in links and filenames as the University web servers are case specific

Use hyphens and underscores to separate words. Note that search engines treat words separated by hyphens as separate words for searching

Put spaces in filenames

Avoids problems in URLs when spaces are converted to code "%20"

Use generic filenames for files that are updated regularly (version dates can be included in the body of the document if it is required).

Rename superseded documents with a date in the file name and if no longer needed for reference, move to a backed up local drive

Include dates in filenames for files that are regularly superseded Allows files to be replaced by uploading the new version without changing links, minimising broken links and unnecessary workload

Formatting

Do Don't Reason
Emphasise text using bold; italics can be used sparingly i.e. to emphasise/stress a word Italisise a whole sentence for emphasis Avoids confusion as underlining text on the web indicates that it is hyperlinked

Use tables to present tabular information only

Use tables to structure the layout of a page Maximises accessibility by controlling layout with appropriate markup

When copying text from another application, such as Word or a browser, use the paste as plain text icon on the editing toolbar to insert text on to the web page

Copy text from Word or other applications directly into webpages Avoids bad formatting which causes problems in the HTML coding of the page

Back up old files on a local drive and/or burn them to disk

Use the web servers as an archiving method for files that no longer need to appear online

Avoids old content being found by search engines leading to out of date or misleading information being available;
The University's limited web storage should be used for current content


Headings

Do Don't Reason

Use the built in heading styles

Capitalise headingsMaximises consistency;
Structural markup aids search engine visibility;
Minimises formatting effort so time can be spent on content
Use the heading styles in hierarchical order Use heading styles out of order Maximises accessibility, readability and consistency of structure
Use text after the heading to create links Link headings Avoids confusion with non-underlined headings not appearing as links
Apply the Heading 1 style to the title of the page onlyApply the Heading 1 style to more than one heading on a page Maximises search engine ranking by identifying the as the first Heading 1 in a page is used to populate the page title

Images

Do Don't Reason

Size images appropriately in an external editor before inserting them into a page

Use HTML to resize imagesTo avoid image distortion;
minimise download

Use images to provide additional information and clarification of the page content

Use images that don't enhance meaning Provides additional meaning and value for the additional download overhead
Include an image description for all images used on your website Leave the image description empty Maximises accessibility by providing a text alternative for non-text content

Linking

Do Don't Reason

Link between one and five words

Link whole sentences Maximises readability
Link meaningful words, such as the name of a document, or target content Link phrases such as ‘click here’. Maximises accessibility. The link text should make sense when read out of context

Link on the name of a site or page

Link full URLsMaximises readability
Link the titles of documents in the content area of a webpage Include links to PDFs, Word files or Excel documents in the navigation menus Avoids confusion by providing consistent behaviour of menus
Open all links in the current window, allowing you to navigate back using back buttonOpen links to external sites in a new windowPromotes consistency of the browsing experience;
Maximises accessibility
 

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