I offer this for peer review. Please read the note at the end for more information. Feel free to offer your feedback however you receive this, Facebook, Twitter, or on this blog. This is the final post in the Writing for the Web Best Practices series for now.
Summary of Writing for the Web Best Practices
- Important words should go first to grab the attention of the visitor.
- Remember who we are writing for. Stay away from jargon or career development holistic ideals (at first).
- Black text, white background. Keep it plain and simple. Never use underline or colors. Always left justified. Never use all caps.
- The text within the link (the actual text that the visitor sees and clicks on to follow a link) must describe what the visitor should expect when clicking on the link.
- A hint of what site will be linked to should be given in the link text. Also, the site should rarely (if ever) open in a new window.
- Document links should state what type of document will open, that it will open in an external window, and when clicked, it should open in a new window.
- You should try to avoid linking directly to documents (Word, PDF, or otherwise) that are not on your site. Try to find a page on the external site that explains what the document is, and allows the visitor to link from there. The link should not give the visitor the assumption that your site is affiliated with the external site or produced the document.
- Refrain from embedding videos that are not your own without proper consideration. When you do embed a video that is not yours, plainly label it as such with text above the embedded video.
- Write, or delegate someone to write, your content adhering to the before mentioned principles. Always have two sets of eyes, one to write, one to proof before submitting. Always.
Please note: This is a living document about to be released from its first draft. Even after the first version is complete, it will evolve as I discover new studies/resources and receive feedback. I am placing it on the Web for any comments, questions, or feedback. Though it is written for the staff of a private college career and counseling center there are many points that may be useful for the community at large. Contact me, post comments, agree or disagree. I just ask for feedback and hope we can benefit from this peer review together. I will add comments to this post or post newer updates under the tag: “Writing for the Web”