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Best Practices for Content

On the web, content is king.

Here are our best practices for creating relevant, interesting, usable content to make your website successful.

Looking for content ideas? Take a look at Appendix: Ideas for Website Content.

Keep Multiple Audiences in Mind
Never create content for your department website with only a single audience in mind.
Keep Multiple Contexts in Mind
Users may read your content elsewhere on the web, not just on your website.
Have a Refresh Schedule
Keep your website content up to date by reviewing it on a regular basis.
Avoid Repeating the Same Content in Different Places
Every piece of content on your site should exist in just one place.
Develop Boilerplate Content
Have available basic descriptions of each faculty member, each program, and your department for inclusion in news releases.
Make Effective Use of Your News Feed and Events Calendar
Keeping your department news and events up to date is one of the most effective ways to keep your site current.
Make Sure Your Faculty Know How to Use the “Suggest a News Item” Form
Faculty members don’t have to be web maintainers to post news items.
Develop Quality Content about Each Major or Program
If there is something potential or current students need to know about your program, make sure you include it.
Write for On-Screen Reading
Help out your readers by writing for on-screen reading.
Write Useful Summaries
Make sure your summaries have useful information.
Avoid Acronyms and Abbreviations
Acronyms an abbreviations are a convenience for writers, but a problem for readers and search engines.
Use Meaningful Styles
On the Web, style your text for meaning first, appearance second.
Use Quality Photography That Tells Your Story
If you include photographs on your webpages—and you should—make sure that they are good quality and that they contribute to the meaning of your page.
Use Video and Audio Where Appropriate, but Also Provide Alternative Content
Want audio or video on your site? Great! But don’t forget to provide a text alternative.
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