Writing for the Web

In most cases text should be written specifically for the web and not copied from printed materials. Users do not read the content word for word, they scan the page.

Therefore you should make your content scannable.

Here are some useful things to note when writing content for the Web:

  • Keep your audience in mind, consider who will be reading your content, prospective students, current students, alumni? What are they looking for, and what do they need?
  • Include the most important text on the top of the page
  • Write concisely, leave out unnecessary words and keep to the facts
  • Write short paragraphs which are easier to read online (2-3 sentences)
  • Use inline links, instead of typing the full URL.  For example, UCAS (instead of https://www.ucas.com)
  • Insert links where relevant.  For example, when mentioning the Students’ Union, link to their website
  • Insert links that make sense out of context and avoid ‘click here’, it’s not accessible to visually impaired users that use a screen reader. For example, view the course on the UCAS Website (instead of click here to view the course on the UCAS Website)
  • Use clear headings and sub headings, so visitors can easily find what they are looking for by scanning the text
  • Avoid using italics, unless referencing a book of journal (difficult to read online) and use bold to emphasise text.  Do not underline text (confuse users because underlined text look like links)
  • Text and titles should be left aligned and not centred
  • Avoid using capitals as they slow reading speed
  • Proof read and edit text
  • Cut out unnecessary words
  • Always preview your changes in the browser before approving/or sending to approval