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Writing for web checklist

Make sure you’re writing to suit the medium and the audience. This brief checklist can be used as a guide for web content authors.

  • Less is more! Be concise.
  • Break documents into separate topics.
  • Use even shorter paragraphs than on paper.
  • Use short lists and bullets to organise information.
  • Use even more lists than on paper.
  • Use even more headings with less under each heading.
  • Questions often make great headings.
  • Present each topic or point separately, and use descriptive section headings.
  • Make liberal use of white space so pages are easy to scan.
  • Write (especially page titles) using the same words your readers would use when doing a web search for the info.
  • Don’t assume your readers have knowledge of the subject or have read related pages on your site. Clearly explain things so each page has meaning by itself.
  • Avoid using “click here” as a link — link language should describe what your reader will get if they click the link.
  • Eliminate unnecessary words.

Here are some useful links:

Editorial Style

Editorial Style | Web Style Guide 3

Content structure

Organizing your prose

How to Write for the Web

A usability perspective on writing for web

Downloadable Files to Replicate Web-Reading Study

Study materials from an experiement about how users read on the Web and how authors should write their Web pages

Link text

Don’t use “click here” as link text

Inverted Pyramids in Cyberspace

Jakob Nielsen on the Inverted Pyramid

I hope this article proves useful. I’ve written in more detail in Writing for Web.