Web Best Practices
The following information is designed to guide members of our community in the creation and presentation of content in the Lewis & Clark website.
Have a question about your website? Contact New Media.
Styles and Formatting
Do not center your text. Left-justified text is much easier to read on a screen.
To ensure consistent readability across our site, it is important that you not apply color to any text. If you’re looking for ways to add emphasis, please consider the options suggested here or contact New Media.
- Avoid underlining text. On the web, readers may confuse underlined text with links.
- Never write in all caps on the web.
- Avoid applying the Bold or Italics attribute to large sections of text. Bold or Italic text is effective in small doses but becomes overwhelming and quickly alienates readers when used for multiple sentences.
- Apply the Introduction style to a short opening paragraph that tells visitors what your page is about. Overuse of this style diminishes its effect.
Use heading formats to organize your pages and help readers scan the content. To prevent confusion, please apply these formats judiciously and maintain our recommended heading hierarchy:
- Heading 1 is the size at which “Lewis & Clark” appears in the upper left corner. It is not available for use on most pages.
- Heading 2 is the size of the group/department name (on this page, that’s Public Affairs and Communications (PubCom)).
- Heading 3 should be used for the page title (on this page, it’s Web Best Practices).
- Heading 4 should be used for the main section headers on your page (as in Styles and Formatting).
- Heading 5 should be used for subsections on your page (as in Text Alignment).
- Heading 6 is the smallest header style and works like bold.
- Paragraph should be used for all regular text on your page (like this sentence).
To learn more about writing style, tone, and so on, please read Writing for the Web.
- It is not necessary to add an underline to links. A special style is automatically applied to links that makes them easy to spot without needing any additional styling.
- Link nouns, not verbs. This helps visitors quickly understand a link’s destination.
- When working on the web, include hyperlinks rather than pasting in the URL.
- Ex. Complete our online application. vs. Apply to Lewis & Clark: http://college.lclark.edu/offices/admissions/apply/
- Avoid saying “click here” or “link” in text. Instead just link to the thing itself.
- When linking to a file or document, include a reference to the file type. This helps site visitors understand what they are clicking. Also, the files should be stored within your LiveWhale group, where you can easily update the file without breaking the link on your site.
- Ex. Download the registration form (PDF)
- Upload the largest available version of your image. LiveWhale, our content management system, will downsize it for the web and allow you to set the thumbnail version of the photo in your page, news story, etc.
- If you need new or different images for your web project, please get in touch with our office. We maintain a digital image library, and we’re happy to discuss your image needs. Learn more about photography.
Logo Signature and Other Marks
Because of the standardized templates throughout the Lewis & Clark website, the logo signature, shield, and seal are almost never necessary in the creation of pages. If you have questions about how or where Lewis & Clark uses these symbols, read more or contact Art Director Amy Drill.