Web Author Tips

Designing Pages

Web authors have a number of tools within the CMS to help make their pages more visually appealing including adding images, videos, accordions and more. When you're working on your page design and layout, make sure that you:

  • Keep accessibility in mind.
    Follow the best practices laid out on our Accessibility Tutorials page to ensure that all visitors to your website have a good experience and are able to find the information they need.
  • Think about other screen sizes.
    Images, videos and tables that look great on a wide-screen monitor might not look right on smaller laptop screens or mobile devices. You can get a better idea of how your design might change by resizing your browser window or looking at it on your phone after publishing the page.

Things to Avoid

  • Don't use tables to create a layout.
    Tables should only be used to display information, not to align items on a page.
  • Don't copy and paste content from another program to try to keep a design you created somewhere else.
    Many other programs—including Word, Excel, Google Docs and Sheets, and even other CMS like Wordpress—add unnecessary formatting to the HTML that can make your page layout behave unexpectedly or make your content inaccessible to visitors who have disabilities or are using screen readers.
  • Don't try to center or indent content by adding spaces.
    Tabbing or adding extra spaces to align content might work for one screen size, but usually won't look right to visitors using a mobile device.

If you're having trouble figuring out how to create the layout you want using the CMS tools, please contact the web developer for assistance.

Maintaining Pages

Creating content is only half of a web author's job. It is important to regularly review all of your pages to catch and fix potential problems. When reviewing pages, you should:

  • Check all of your links.
    A link can break if a page or file is moved, renamed or deleted. Broken links should be updated if possible, or removed if the content you want to link to no longer exists or is no longer helpful.
  • Look for outdated or inaccurate content.
    Outdated content should be updated or removed so that website visitors can feel confident that what they find on our website is accurate. Specific things to check include contact information, office hours, policies and procedures, and references to events that have already happened.
  • Check for style and consistency.
    Make sure your pages follow the university's style guide.
  • Look through all of your folders as well.
    Old pages and PDF files that are no longer linked anywhere can still come up in search results and confuse visitors if they have outdated information. If you find unneeded pages, files or images in your folders, please contact the web developer to see if they can be deleted.

If you find inaccurate content on a page and you aren't sure who the web author for that area is, please contact us.