Old vs New www.nynjtc.org – Maintained with Dreamweaver/Contribute – Style is fixed by template (header, left menu, content, footer) – Content obeys a bunch of unwritten conventions – Files/pages/images are placed into a file hierarchy (unwritten conventions) new.nynjtc.net – Maintained with Content Management System (Drupal) – Style is fixed by theme (header, left sidebar, right sidebar, content, footer) – Content obeys a bunch of yet to be written conventions – Files/pages/images go into system defined places
Common to Old/New Writing content for the web obeys different rules than writing for print media Usability Navigation and Information Architecture Obeying web conventions Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Writing Content Inverted style, similar to newspapers – 2 sentence rule Concise Simple words (6 th grade) Avoid acronyms Skip jargon No sarcasm Format for readability
Format for Readability Short descriptive titles and headings Highlight keywords Bulleted/numbered lists Short paragraphs NO ALL UPPERCASE Almost never center
Usability You have less than 2 minutes to communicate the first time a prospective customer visits your Web site. This is the basic fact about the Web experience. As far as users are concerned, every page must justify its claim on their time. If a page doesn’t do that immediately and clearly, they go elsewhere. Most don’t even bother scrolling to see what’s further down the page. Jacob Neilson
Navigation and Information Architecture Old web – it is what it is and not open for discussion (other than adding links to new material in old material) New web - Staff will get an opportunity to participate in improving the IA.
Obeying web conventions Most of this is handled by the templates or themes, e.g. click on logo to get to home page.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Searches rely heavily on the title, the H1 tag, and the first paragraph of text. Use official vocabulary words where possible in these.
Unwritten Conventions (1) There are two templates used, template which has a left menu and leaf which does not. I never use font or font size commands and almost never font color or background. I never use underline! I do use H3, H4, H5 and H6. In particular H3 is the heading level for major subsections of a page. If there are multiple of these on a page I usually use template and put a menu item on it pointing to the various subheadings. I frequently use tables to organize material
Unwritten Conventions (2) I use pictures sparingly and lately if there are multiple pictures put them in the photo gallery. I rarely use (shift enter) except when laying out an address block. Beware of these when copy/pasting from external sources. I do not repurpose pages. If there are significant changes I create a new page. I do fix typos or errors in facts (and frequently note the date of the change).
Unwritten Conventions (3) I do not duplicate material on several pages. If this needs to happen I instead create a new page with the material and point all other pages to it. All dates include the year (unless it is explicitly on a page dealing with a single year). I am almost religious about dating items, e.g. the footer contains the last update date (automatic).
Unwritten Conventions (4) I never use today, tomorrow or yesterday. I note significant changes in the new page (if they don’t appear on the front page)
File Placement Many sections are isolated by year creating a new directory each year effectively archiving but retaining old pages. If sections have images, I usually create an image subdirectory to contain them. I rarely delete or rename anything as this breaks deep links on other sites and search engines. When I need to I put in a transfer page.