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.

Write Useful Summaries

Make sure your summaries have useful information.

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.

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 Meaningful Styles

On the Web, style your text for meaning first, appearance second.

Avoid Acronyms and Abbreviations

Acronyms an abbreviations are a convenience for writers, but a problem for readers and search engines.

Write for On-Screen Reading

Help out your readers by writing for on-screen reading.

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.

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.

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.

Develop Boilerplate Content

Have available basic descriptions of each faculty member, each program, and your department for inclusion in news releases.

Avoid Repeating the Same Content in Different Places

Every piece of content on your site should exist in just one place.

Have a Refresh Schedule

Keep your website content up to date by reviewing it on a regular basis.

Keep Multiple Contexts in Mind

Users may read your content elsewhere on the web, not just on your website.

Keep Multiple Audiences in Mind

Never create content for your department website with only a single audience in mind.