Tips, Training, and Tutorials
Writing for the Web
Writing for the web is different than writing for other, more traditional forms of media. Here are some tips to keep in mind while creating copy:
- Brevity - Keep it short
Users want succinct, easy-to-find information. Studies show that many users scan a page quickly to find what they're looking for, then leave the page.
Jakob Nielsen suggests that you "write no more than 50% of the text you would have used in a hardcopy publication."
- Relevance - Highlight what's important
Make effective use of titles, subtitles, and bolding to draw attention to sections of the page that the user would find most useful.
Use the inverted pyramid writing style by beginning with the important points of the conclusion.
- Scannability & Readability - Use bullet points when possible
Breaking the information into concise statements in bullet points draws the eye to important information.
Scannability is important to users, and we should never require them to read long continuous blocks of text.
- Clarity - Make hyperlinks meaningful
"Click here" doesn't tell the user anything helpful.
Link text should match page titles, or be similar, to inform the user where the link will take them.
- Consistency - Use consistent navigation, terminology, tone, and style
Be sure to check out Winthrop's online style guide.
Preparing for Conversion
For information on how to prepare your website for conversion to the CMS, check out our Author Tips page.