Making New Year’s Resolutions for Our Websites

At the beginning of December I set the editorial team a little task; to come up with their new year’s resolutions for our websites. I gave no more guidance than that. Here’s what they came up with.

Introducing your content

Linda’s resolution is to write better introductions to content. She says:

“It’s so easy to slip into the lazy habit of just making the first sentence on the page into the introduction. And then not bothering to amend it.”

The introduction style is a new feature of our responsive design. It follows the title of a page and is a larger font size to help highlight it. It also comes with its own content standards, it should:

  • summarise the point of the page
  • be no more than 50 characters
  • be descriptive

Advice from the experts

We read lots of blogs, articles and books to keep up to date with what’s going on in the world of web content and design. This helps us to improve the University’s website for our users. We also use what we learn to develop the services we provide to our web editors.

Lisa says:

“My resolution is to come up with a systematic process for reading, collating and, most importantly, using the information I read to help inform our work.”

Content strategy

Jane’s not one to shy away from a challenge. Her resolution is to come up with a content strategy for the University website as a whole! We’re so used to thinking about the websites of schools and services as separate entities, we shouldn’t forget that they’re all part of the University website.

She says:

“We have a core content strategy for the Postgraduate website – now let’s tackle the rest!”

As if this weren’t enough we’ll also be looking at an overall tone of voice for University web content.

Housekeeping

My resolution is a bit of a backwards one – I’m taking a process I do well for websites, and applying it offline.

I’m meticulous about following our standards for file naming when it comes to documents and images I upload to the web. But I’m not very good at keeping on top of it in my computer’s documents folders. This year I want to change that.

This will not only help me to find files but also allow me to match up what’s online and where they’re saved elsewhere.

Health check

Anne’s resolution is to check her Siteimprove reports in January for broken links or misspellings which may have appeared over the Christmas break. And to keep on top of actions from these weekly reports throughout the year.

January might also be a good time to review the assets attached to your website (documents in particular) to make sure they’re all up-to-date. You can review assets using the Inventory function in Siteimprove.

Make your own resolutions

Now it’s your turn. What would you like to do differently this year? What tools or tips can you use to make your content management easier? Is there something you’d like to learn more about?

Follow our lead and make a resolution of your own. If you’re feeling brave, share it in the comments and we’ll check in to see how you’re getting on.

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About Emma

As one of our web content officers Emma plans, writes and edits content for the central website. She helps to maintain the University’s content style guides and is responsible for development of the team’s website and this blog. Emma is a productivity geek and always on the lookout for solutions that can help the team work smarter.