Content, the words and images that fill a page, serves as the backbone of any website. Taking the time to make it compelling and easy to read will help give your visitors the same positive takeaway as from a face to face interaction.
Here are a few simple guidelines to keep in mind when crafting your content:
Headings, the HTML tags surrounding topic headers on a page like <h1> or <h2>, are much more than just a nice visual – they are an essential part of establishing the information hierarchy of your content.
Your hierarchy should be styled with the following descending tags, depending on how you’ve arranged your hierarchy:
- Page title (<h1>) – Automatically set
- Content category (<h2>)
- Content subcategory (<h3>)
- Content category (<h2>)
As your hierarchy gets deeper, the higher-numbered headers you should be using.
You can access headings at the top left drop down menu of any WYSIWYG editor when editing a page or post on Sites@Rutgers.
Try not to deviate too much in font size, type, or color when styling your text. The best way of creating readable content is to stick with the default settings that Sites@Rutgers provides.
Bold text is a great way to highlight information on a page, but make sure to use it sparingly, or else it won’t stand out.
Italics should be used primarily to refer only to the following:
- The title of a work
- Court cases
- The scientific name of a plant or animal
For further reference, check out this more detailed breakdown of which words to italicize in your writing.
All of your images on any given page should display correctly and be of similar dimensions. When images complement each other, readers can tell that you’ve put time and effort into crafting your content.
If you are editing a content module that displays text on top of an image, such as the front page slider or feature tabs, make sure that your text is still readable with that background.
Your content will ultimately be displayed on a webpage with different styling than the WYSIWYG editor view. Before publishing anything, test it out first in preview mode to see how it looks.
A few questions to ask yourself about the preview:
- Are my paragraphs still readable outside of the editor?
- Do my images display correctly?
- Is my content laid out in the way I intended?
If the answer to any of those is no, return to the editor and make adjustments until you’re satisfied with the end preview.
There are many more ways in which you can go above and beyond in presenting your content, but these guidelines will bring you well on your way to creating an impressive and clean website.