Best Practices

Follow these guidelines when updating or adding content to web pages to make sure your content looks professional and follows best practices for searchability and accessibility.

General Guidelines

  • Put the most important text at the top of the page in Column 1.
  • Update pages regularly and remove outdated content promptly (e.g., past events).
  • Keep content concise and easy to read.
  • In general, use easy to understand (short) words, short sentences, and short paragraphs.
  • Use bulleted lists when possible instead of long paragraphs.
  • Don’t overuse formatting (bold, italics, headings, etc).
  • Add links to relevant information

Formatting text in the WYSIWYG:

Main/Body Text

  • Use the “Paragraph” setting (under the format drop-down menu)
  • Applies the correct font, color, and line spacing

Bold, Italics, CAPS and !

  • To draw attention to text, use the bold or italics attributes.
  • Don’t use ALL CAPS. (Denotes yelling.)
  • Use exclamation points sparingly. (Also denotes yelling.)

Strikethrough

  • Use the the strikethrough attribute sparingly (e.g., to point out a temporary change).
    • Example:
      Willamette T-Shirts: $22.50 Now $12.99

Text alignment:

  • Default/automatic setting is left-justified
  • Use centered and right-aligned text very sparingly
  • Avoid full justification of text

Headings

  • Use Headings to help break up text into sections and increase readability.
  • Start with Heading 2
    • Page titles are automatically formatted as Heading 1
    • Don’t use additional Heading 1 tags on the page
    • It’s okay to use multiple instances of the other Heading tags
  • Use heading tags in numerical order on the page
    • H2 is first (the page title is already H1), H3 follows H2, etc.
    • Try not to skip heading levels (e.g., H1 directly to H3)
  • Rarely use H5 and H6
    • Can make the page look cluttered and unorganized

Buttons:

  • Apply by selecting “Button” from the “Class” drop-down menu in the link settings
  • Use sparingly
  • Only apply to short text (1-5 words) that is on a line by itself, not within a paragraph.

Good example:

Register now

Bad example:

New students can register now for fall classes.

Paste as Plain Text Mode:

  • Enable (click) before pasting text from another source to your web page (e.g., MS Word, Email, or a Google Document).
  • Removes formatting that is meant for a printer (not for web pages)
  • More information about importing text

Tables

  • Used for displaying text in columnar format
  • Web pages don’t recognize tabs for aligning text in columns
  • Please notify Web Applications when a table is added to a web page, so responsive formatting can be applied
  • More information about tables

Additional Resources

Willamette Style Guides:

Willamette University

Marketing and Communications

Address
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.
Phone
503-370-6667 voice
503-370-6153 fax

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