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Best Practices for Creating Web Content

When developing web content, it's all about the audience. Always keep their needs and wants in mind to best communicate your information. Some other important things to keep in mind are:

Utilize the following best practices for:

Pasting Text

Often when pasting text from Microsoft Word, styles are inherited that conflict with the website styling. If you run into issues when pasting text, you can do either of the following:

1. Copy from Word, then paste into OU. Select the text that you pasted into OU and click the white eraser icon in the tool bar. This will "clean up" the messy formatting.


2. Copy from Word, then paste into Notepad or Wordpad. This will remove any styling. Copy the text from Wordpad or Notepad and paste into OU.

Text Formatting

Styling of text is defined by the website style sheet and template. Please adhere to those styles. Changing formatting, fonts, colors, and styles of text will be reverted to the website styles by the Webmaster, unless otherwise discussed. For the best possible communication to your audience, please make sure of the following:

- Utilize the Styles drop-down menu. Use the "Article Header" under styles for headings, and "Body Content" for all other text. Bolded Body Content can be used as a subheading.

- Keep capital letters to a minimum. They actually decrease readability if used for more than a few words. Instead, use a bold or italics style (not both.)

- Do not use underlines. Underlined text communicates a link and can be confusing for users. Instead, use a bold or italics style (not both.) You can also use "Article Header" text style under Styles if it is a heading.

Naming and Saving Files for Upload

When preparing a document for upload to the internet, please make sure of the following:

- Use no spaces or capital letters in the file name (for example: my-newsletter-2012.pdf).

- Shorten the file name as much as possible. Also make sure it is descriptive as to what is contained in the file.

- Convert the file to a PDF, unless absolutely necessary. Word, Excel, and Publisher files may loose style and formatting and sometimes cannot be opened by the user.

Uploading Files

When uploading files, upload to the correct folder. Each section should have a "docs" folder, a "pdf" folder, and "images" folder. Upload the following files to their respective folders:

- pdf: .pdf

- docs: Word (must be .doc - not .docx), Excel (must be .xls - not .xlsx), PowerPoint, Publisher

- images: .jpg, .tif, .png, .gif

Links and Navigation

When linking text, be descriptive and keep the user?s needs in mind. Avoid being redundant, saying "click here", and using the long (and scary) URL associated with your link. For example:

- DON'T: For more information, please contact My Department at

- DON'T: For more information, please contact My Department by clicking here.

- DON'T: For more information, please contact My Department. My Department

- DO: For more information, please contact My Department.


Imagery on a webpage can include photography, icons, graphic elements, logos, and even video placement. When you'd like to put up imagery on your webpage, please contact the Webmaster to discuss the best possible placement and subjects. She can also help with photo manipulation/Photoshop to produce the best possible image.

Ask the Webmaster

When in doubt, never hesitate to contact the Webmaster with questions or concerns.

Contact the Webmaster:

Request a Web Edit >


Last Updated: 2/19/16