Content Standards - Web Style Guide

The following guidelines are in addition to the content requirements listed in Practices & Policies: Content Requirements.

  • Leverage existing resources on the Ohlone website. There is no need to "reinvent the wheel." Link to existing content (for example, do not recreate the Academic Calendar, Class Schedule ("Search for Sections" link on WebAdvisor homepage), or Ohlone Catalog. Those resources are already available on the site and those resources should be linked to instead of being duplicated and re-entered or updated each semester.

  • Use proper spelling and grammar on each page.

  • Remember that not everyone has the Microsoft Suite installed on their computer which means not everyone can view Word or Excel or PowerPoint or other Microsoft-flavored documents. Instead of providing a Word document for your site visitor to read, save the file as an Rich-Text Format (RTF) and use the RTF file on your website (an RTF file will open in almost any word processing program). And, if you are providing links to Microsoft Excel documents on your website, include information about how the site visitor can get a printout of the material or provide the information in an alternate format (such as a text file with spaces between the columnar information).

  • When writing for the web, use short and concise sentences and a friendly, welcoming tone. More about Writing for the Web.

  • Content should be updated on a regular basis: each semester, monthly, weekly, daily - whatever is appropriate for that type of content.

  • Minimize the amount of clicking: Ideally, site visitors should be able to find the desired content within 3 clicks of the main page for a website.

  • Information provided on a page should relate to other items on the page. If a page becomes too long, visitors will abandon the page.

  • All Division pages must include a link in the navigation bar to the Division homepage.

  • All Department pages must include a link in the navigation bar to the Department homepage and to the Division homepage.

  • Encode all special characters used in textual content. The following is a list of the most commonly used special characters:

    Common Character Entities
    Character Encoded Entity Description
    & & ampersand
    á á small a, acute accent
    ¢ ¢ cent sign
    © © copyright
    ° ° degree
    é é small e, acute accent
    … horizontal elipses
    > > greater than sign
    < &lt; less than sign
      &nbsp; non-breaking space
    " &quot; quotation mark
    ® &reg; registered
    &trade; trademark

    Review the HTML Special Characters and Browser Compatibility article which includes a complete list of entities on the WDVL website.