Web Style Guide

A guide to using the Wake Forest University template and Content Management System (CMS)

Best Practices

Errors

Moving Pages to New URLs

Anytime a page moves, you break any incoming links from other sites. Try to avoid deleting or changing the links to established pages. If you change the date on a blog post, you also change the URL dynamically, which could also break links. If it is unavoidable to change the link address for your page, please contact us for assistance in redirecting the old link to the new.

Formatting

Text Colors

Link and heading colors are preset. Try avoiding manually changing the color of your text.

Image Titles

Ensure that all images are accessible for users with disabilities by filling out an Image Description on every image you add to your site.

Menu

Keep your site’s menu items clear and brief, one to two words is best. The site menu should be easy to read and understand. Try not to let the wording on an individual menu item extend beyond a single row of text. As a general rule, try to write straightforward and simple headlines on blog posts and page titles. Make sure that they clearly explain what the page is about and that will make sense when read out-of-context in a search engine results listing.

General Formatting

Structure the page to facilitate scanning and help users ignore large chunks of the page in a single glance: for example, use grouping and subheadings to break a long list into several smaller units.

Staff Pages

If you have a contact list or staff listing, try to list people in alphabetical order, so that your user can find the appropriate person quickly. If you are including photos, crop the photos to a consistent size. 100 x 100px or 120 x 120px is recommended.

Media & File Types

PDFs

Use of PDFs should be limited to the occasions where a page or document is to be printed. Users often prefer to print documents that are too long to easily read online. Never dump a user directly into a PDF file without fair warning. This means presenting the user with a gateway page in front of the PDF that provides the following information about the document. Be sure to indicate that the link will lead to a PDF.

Video & Audio

Avoid adding video and audio to your site that automatically plays. The user should be allowed to start the video and audio by choice.