Web Writing Guide

Academic Departments should follow our content guide for recommended information to include on their websites.

Keep it Short and Simple

It is difficult to read large blocks of text on screen, so keep sentences and paragraphs short. 

Follow the University's Writing Guide to ensure content is consistent and professional.

Keep it Current

Review your site regularly. Only create what you can maintain.

If you publish material that will become outdated, be responsible for removing or updating it. This includes periodically checking that hyperlinks remain valid.

OmniUpdate lets you schedule helpful reminders to update time-sensitive pages.

Make it Scannable

Most Web users scan pages before reading, to decide quickly if the information is relevant. Use of these simple elements can help:

  • A meaningful title
  • Subheadings to break up the text
  • One idea per paragraph
  • Bulleted lists
  • Images or graphics where appropriate

If you need photos for use on your site, please contact the Office of Communications at univcomm@iwu.edu or (309) 556-3181.

Fonts & Photos

Use only our standard fonts. 

Follow these photo guidelines for using images on your web pages.

Use Page Titles

All Web pages should have page titles. This is necessary to identify the page to search engines and in browser bookmarks and tabs.

Bear in mind the template will place "Illinois Wesleyan:" preceding the text you type into the title field.

Links

If possible, highlight relevant text as the hyperlink, and avoid using the phrase "click here."

If linking to a pdf, document, mp3 or similar file, alert users with a notation after the link, such as (pdf) or (doc).

Because many websites use underlining to indicate links, avoid the use of underlines in your text to prevent confusion. Instead, use bold text (sparingly) for emphasis.

Web Addresses

When offering the URL for a University Web page, do not use "2" after www or "s" before html. These are from outdated campus systems.

Keep URLs simple. Site index pages do not require "index.html" in the address. For example: www.iwu.edu/math/ is preferred over www.iwu.edu/math/index.html

Always Include Contact Information

The home page of each site should list contact information for the responsible department, including a phone number and email address.

Always include the area code with any phone number. Web visitors may come from anywhere in the world.

Additional Resources

  • OmniUpdate offers a robust support site for use of its content management system.

  • For more helpful tips on creating content for the Web, check out Jakob Nielsen's column on Web usability.