How do I write content for the DCU website
Posted by on 18 January 2013 12:21 PM

Below you'll find some guidelines on writing content so that it's high quality, and consistent with styles and standards across the DCU website.


A website that is usable is one where the user is able to clearly identify the information they need. There are several ways to make the content more comprehensible and relevant to the user.

  • Create contrast between page elements:
    • use headings and sub-headings
    • break text into short paragraphs
    • use bulleted lists
    • highlight (bold) key words or phrases
  • Use images, charts, graphs and/or tables to present or support complex information
  • Use left alignment for headings, sub-headings and text
  • Don't use all uppercase, always use sentence case
  • Avoid using jargon. Use plain language, everyday words, short sentences and the active voice
  • Keep content accurate and up-to-date. Less is more. Keep your text concise and use things such as headings or lists to direct attention to critical content.
  • Avoid duplication. Try to organise your content so that you can link to information that is used more than once rather than duplicating the text.

Text Links

Clearly identify the target of the link

Text used as a link must clearly identify the target of the link. Don't use "click here" or similar as link text. Most people scan rather than closely read web pages. Links stand out. Meaningful link text will give users a better idea of what is on your page and where they can go to next.

To find out more about our new Science courses click here Wrong
Find out more about our new Science courses Correct

Do not use a URL (web address) as the text for a link. Where necessary, rephrase your text so that you can add the link to text that clearly describes the target of the link.

For conference details visit Wrong
For more information visit the Science Conference website Correct

Show whether access controls are in place

Where any link takes the user to a page that is not publicly accessible, the access restrictions must be indicated and included as part of the linked text, using the following approach:

DCU staff policies Wrong
DCU staff policies (staff only) Correct
  • For access restricted to DCU staff and students, use "DCU only"
  • For access restricted to DCU staff, use "DCU staff only"
  • For other access restrictions, use an appropriate and concise label

Use the email address for email link text

The link text for email links must be the actual email address:

Contact the webmaster Wrong Correct
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