Your website just launched and it is looking quite awesome! All that hard work and effort has finally paid off. Your team is happy with the results, leads are pouring in and the company stakeholders are thrilled.
Now you are tasked with adding content and making updates, but likely you are not a graphic designer who lives by the rules of typography and toils over making each and every paragraph looking just perfect on a monitor. So how do you make sure that any updates made to the site keep in line with its overall fresh look?
Know your heading styles and keep consistent.
Your website has a stylesheet where your designer has defined the fonts, color and size of the headings and paragraphs for your website. Its a good rule of thumb to know these styles and use them consistently when inputting content. Your Heading 1 is usually the page title and maybe you use Heading 2 as the subtitle and Heading 3 for paragraph headers. Asking your designer for a cheat sheet that you can keep handy really helps you keep your content consistent from page to page.
Get a reference for heading styles and use them consistently.
Avoid introducing new font colors.
This tip goes back to the stylesheet referenced above. Before you highlight that text and make it magenta, make sure the color is in line with the overall color palette of the website. Also, changing a font’s color in the editor creates extra code that can not be overridden by a style in the stylesheet. If you suddenly never wanted to see magenta again, you would have to find every single page that had that color and change it – what a drag! If your company adds a new color to the brand, you can simply have your developer change that color in the stylesheet and voila! Your Heading 2 or body copy is a lovely shade of hot pink.
You only need one space after a period.
Throw away that old rule book. Two spaces after a period creates unsightly gaps that haven proven to be uncomfortable for reading blocks of text on a monitor.
Create visual interest with photos and graphics.
Images are key on a website because they create interest to the reader. Here are some tips:
- Be sure the images you use are optimized for the web by keeping their file sizes down. Large images are cumbersome for mobile users to download over slower networks.
- Also be sure to resize your images proportionally to maintain image integrity.
- Align your images correctly within the copy to avoid any awkward breaks. Always be sure to add descriptive alt tags which serve the vision impaired and also keeps search engines happy.
Write in short paragraphs and break up text.
Nothing sends a web visitor running for the hills more than large paragraphs of text and pages that scroll on and on with words. Give your visitor the option to read more by providing long format text in white papers or through read more links but give them a way to scan text on landing pages. Break up text with bullet points and pull quotes or with links to related content. The goal is to get your reader to get some information as opposed to none at all.
Breaking text into bullets and small paragraphs is a little more digestible for a web user.
This is really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making your content shine on a website but with careful crafting, you can make sure the message gets through to the visitor.