Web Contributors: General Guidelines for Authoring Web Pages
The following guidelines are intended to help authors create web pages for departments, services, and special projects for Fogler Library. We refer to a set of pages as a “suite” and the top level page as the “home page”. The guidelines are broken down into three segments: Content, Design and Procedural/Technical.
- Full name of unit, address or link to a separate page with further formation for source accountability
- Title should follow the format: name of your unit or topic. (The title is what appears at the top of the browser display window under the navigation menu.) Example: Collection Services
- Link to the Fogler Library home page. [Included in template]
- Include warning statement(s) if link will lead to large document or image.
- Include “What’s New” section or link on home page [element available in template sidebar menu]
- Avoid browser-specific terminology (for example, “pull down the File menu and select Save”).
- The text used for links should make sense as if link were not present, as with a paper copy. For example, “For assistance with specific information requests, please contact the reference staff at: Ask a Librarian rather than: “To ask a reference question, click here.”
- Whenever possible, link directly to other sources of information (e.g. bookstore hours). Avoid adding flat content to your page about another department or service so consistency with the entity directly responsible for the information is maintained.
- Concise clear text; request a customized sidebar for extensive suite of pages (e.g. Special Collections).
- Avoid “monster” graphics or too many little graphics; please refer to image optimization.
- Employ navigational aids for your users (“Return to Top” link, consistent navigation bar, table of contents, “next/previous” page links for sequenced documents, etc.).
- Set “anchors” for short cuts to internal page content. If your page requires considerable scrolling, place a bookmark bar at the top (see example at top of this page) to quickly point to sub-areas.
- Minimize text in list items or menus.
- Use bold and italic fonts, multiple colors, etc. sparingly.
For additional recommendations, see the UMaine Marketing & Communications Best Practices
- Create documents with descriptive file names (a.k.a. permalinks). Example:
- Create draft files first within WordPress dashboard (viewing will require staff to login until the page is published)
- Include alternate text for images on your web pages in accordance with ADA compliance.
- Proofread pages for grammar, punctuation and spelling.
- Test both internal and external links. Use the “preview” option in your WordPress dashboard to view drafts as they will appear once published. If updating a published page, right click “view page” to open a tab for public view and testing.
- Validate pages using the WAVE: Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool available for Chrome & Firefox.
- Check finished document in a variety of browsers (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Opera) preferably on both PC and Mac platforms.
- Check display on mobile devices.
- Schedule regular reviews to update content and monitor for link rot.
- Test with primary user groups.