Best Practices for Documents

HTML pages are the most mobile-friendly format for web-based content. PDFs can be used to include supplementary content.

PDFs vs. web pages

PDFs are generally designed for printing and web pages are designed for online browsing.

  • Use PDFs when the print layout is important
    • Examples: Newsletters, brochures, printable forms, charts
  • PDFs are less accessible than HTML pages (e.g., for users with vision impairments).
  • Hyperlinks may not work as well in PDFs
  • PDF files are usually larger than web pages
    • Makes them slower to load on mobile devices

PDFs vs. other types of documents

In general, if a document needs to be included on your website, save and upload it as a PDF.

  • PDFs have fonts and images embedded, so they will look and print the same on most browsers and devices.
  • Other types of documents may not open or display correctly if users don’t have the correct software installed on their device.

Naming files

Follow these guidelines when naming files (web pages, images, PDFs, etc.) for the web.

  • Use lower-case alpha and numeric characters (a-z, 0-9)
  • No spaces
  • Use a dash or underscore to separate words (dash is best)
  • No other punctuation in file names
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