Checklists for web content authors

Related information

Before you publish your website or webpage, use these handy checklists to ensure that your web content is:

  • compliant with the ANU Identity
  • user-centric
  • accessible
  • easy for search engines to find and rank
  • works across all devices.

1. Menus, links and site navigation

Menus, links and other site navigation tools help your users to locate the information they need, connect to other pages on the ANU website, documents and external websites. Using these web features effectively can contribute to a good user-experience and help your content to rank well in search engines.

  1. All webpages have a menu highlight, a breadcrumb, or both
  2. Main menu items  link to other pages on the ANU website, not external websites or non-web files
  3. Menu item titles match the linked page headings
  4. Links all use descriptive text. Avoid using ‘click here’ for links. Use descriptive text that clearly describes the linked information. For example, ‘see the full program’.
  5. File type and size are included in all downloadable file names
    For example 2010 Annual Report (PDF, 2MB).

2. Headings and sub-headings

Headings and sub-headings help to organise your content and help users find the information they need quickly and easily.

  1. Content is organised under headings and sub-headings
  2. Headings use the correct heading hierarchy h1= page title, h2 = section within page, h3 = sub-section within section.
  3. Headings and sub-headings are in sentence-case and not in uppercase. On the web, upper case letters are more difficult to read than lower case and are often interpreted as shouting. For this reason, minimal use of upper case is recommended. Some smaller heading styles, and the explore bar, use upper case. Headlines and subheaders on the web should be sentence case.
  4. Headings and sub-headings do not end in full-stops.

See heading styles for more information.

3. Formatting text

  1. Only linked text is underlined.
  2. Italicised text is reserved for citations.
  3. "Double quotes" are reserved for speech.

See text styles for more information.

4. Lists

  1. Use lists to break your content into scannable chunks.
  2. If your preceding sentence ends in a colon or anything other than a full stop, your list items should start with lowercase and only have a full stop on the end.
    For example, this sentence ends in a colon:
    • so list item one starts with lower case
    • so does list item two, but it ends in a full stop.
  3. If your preceding sentence ends in a full stop (or is a heading), you list items should start with a capital letter and have full stops on each.
    This sentence ends in a full stop.
    • This list item is a complete sentence.
    • This list item is also a complete sentence.

Read list styles for more information.

5. Laying out content

  1. Consult your local web manager to ensure your content is coded properly.
  2. Don't use tables for layout, tables are for tabular data.
  3. Don't use empty paragraphs or headings to add spacing, use padding and spacing classes.
  4. All elements (images, tables, columns) should line up with the ANU web grid using grid classes and width classes.
  5. All elements should use ANU colours.
  6. Use the style sampler to look at other options and the content area styles to see how to implement.

6. Tables

  1. Table headings are defined by table headers  <th>.
  2. Widths are set to percentages (%) rather than pixels (px) or use width classes on the relevant table cells <td>.
  3. Tables are styled using classes.

See table styles for more information.

7. Images

  1. Alt attributes should be used within <img> tags to convey the meaning of the image. If there is no meaning use alt = "". Convey the actual meaning, for example alt="20% of staff prefer yellow cars" rather than alt = "Car colour graph". Avoid using images alone to provide information.
  2. Images are sized in line with the ANU grid.
  3. Images are:
    1. be relevant to the content and audience
    2. do not clutter the page
    3. contain a single picture, not a collage
    4. are high quality.
  4. Use of secondary logos (any logo in addition to the ANU logo) have been approved by the Director of Marketing & Student Recruitment. This only applies to areas within ANU. External collaborator logos are permitted.

See images for more information.

8. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

When preparing your website content, use Google Search and Google Keyword Planner to help identify key words within your content that your users are looking for.

  1. Is your page keyword in your URL?
  2. Have you used keywords in your H1, H2 and H3 headings?
  3. Do all your images have descriptive alt tags?
  4. Are your sentences crafted with long tail SEO in mind?

9. Other checks

  1. Avoid PDFs, but if you can't avoid them make them accessible (see PDF accessible for information and how-to guides).
  2. Do not use special characters in filenames, only use numbers, letters, hyphens (-) or underscores (_).
  3. The University name is ANU or The Australian National University, not 'the ANU' or 'Australian National University'.
  4. Possessive form is The Australian National University's or the University's, never ANU's.
  5. Spell out acronyms on first use.
  6. Use Australian English, for example organise, not organize.
  7. Always follow the ANU writing style guide.

Updated:  7 June 2021/ Responsible Officer:  Director Marketing/ Page Contact:  Webstyle