Website Writing Guide

Writing principles for the Web

Consider how people use the Web

People approach websites in many different ways and have different expectations about the content. When writing and editing text for a Web page, keep the following in mind:

  • Users scan Web pages until they see something that meets their needs. They only read everything once they find what they want - see Users scan first, read later for more.
  • Many users are impatient and time-poor.
  • Users probably want to spend as little time in your website as possible.
  • Most users do not care why you are offering a product, program or service. They just want to get on with ordering, applying, paying or downloading.
  • Jargon, acronyms and cryptic headings and content is a turn-off for most users.
  • Generally, users expect or want information that is:
    • helpful
    • accurate, current and authoritative
    • easy to find
    • easy to understand
    • of an appropriate depth and breadth
    • relevant to their needs.


Other topics in this section...

Guide Home | How people use the Web | Writing for the Web environment | Using plain English |
Users scan first, read later | Layering content | Writing for search engines |

top of page