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 the New Media team.
The Lewis & Clark website is a powerful tool for communicating with the institution’s key audiences. We recommend that departments and offices use our content management system, LiveWhale, for managing as much of their Web content as is appropriate. There are significant benefits to using LiveWhale:
- It provides for a consistent look and feel across the institution.
- It automatically adds search and navigation links to every page.
- It allows you to manage your site without using much HTML or any complex Web publishing software.
- It comes with full technical support from the New Media team.
Do not center text for the web; left-justified text is much easier to read on a screen.
For consistent readability across our site, it is important that fonts not be given any special colors. If you’re looking for ways to give your text emphasis, please consider the other information provided 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 bold or italics to large sections of text. Bold and italics are effective in small doses but become overwhelming and quickly alienate readers when used for multiple sentences.
- The intro font style should be used for a short opening paragraph that tells visitors what your page is about. Overuse of the intro font may diminish its effect.
Header fonts help organize our pages and help readers scan. To prevent confusion, please apply headers judiciously and maintain our recommended header hierarchy:
- Header 1 is the size at which “Lewis & Clark” appears in the upper left corner. It is not available for use on most pages.
- Header 2 is the size of the group/department name (in this case, Public Affairs and Communications).
- Header 3 should be used for the page title (here, it is Web Best Practices).
- Header 4 should be used for the main section headers on your page (see the headers Text or Links).
- Header 5 should be used for subsections on your page (for example, Headers at the top of this subsection).
- Header 6 is the smallest header style and works like bold.
- Paragraph font should be used for all regular text on your page (like this sentence).
To learn more about writing style, tone, and so on, please visit our Writing for the Web page.
- 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)
Images and Photography
- 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.
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.