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​Web writing dos and don'ts 


  • Keep the text on your pages short and concise. You should aim for at least 50% fewer words than you would use in print. 
  • State the obvious. If you want the user to click a link to go to a particular page or piece of information, the link should say 'click here to go to [a particular page or piece on information]', not just 'click here' or be a word highlighted in a paragraph of text. 
  • Tell the user what they need to know first. Then tell them the rest. 
  • Identify your key messages. What do you want the user to do with/find out from this page? Make this the most obvious part of your content. 
  • And then? Ask yourself this at the end of every page. Where do you want the user to go from here? Can they get there? Is it obvious how? 
  • Use images. Pages of just text are dull, intimidating and inaccessible. Let's face it, who can be bothered reading web pages? Show me the pictures. 
  • Use bullet points. These make it easier for your skim reading user to pick out key facts/messages. 
  • Use sub-headings, in bold. 

Close up of crysanthemum


  • Use the same text you used in your printed material: use these guidelines to make a web-friendly version. 
  • Use the same text you used on your old website. 
  • Use the same text you used last year. 
  • Use PDF or a WORD document because you can't be bothered making a new web page. 
  • Write 'Welcome to Edinburgh Napier University’s ​blah department' as the first line of your homepage. Your user knows they're on the Edinburgh Napier University site, they probably clicked on a link to your specific page and if the title of the page doesn't tell them where they are, it should do. 
  • Make links very long. Explain what the user is linking to and then let them link to it to get the information. 
  • Write in a flowery/journalistic/conversational/marketing style. Just write clearly and deliver the facts. 
  • Forget about your pages. Make sure you regularly read through your website and remove/update any information that is out of date or no longer relevant or accurate. 

​Find out more about writing for the web​​​