How to get your content into Sitecore and the corporate web standards you need to follow
See the building blocks guide for information on building specific elements in Sitecore.
- Reading age
Aim for 9 year old reading age.
Use the Hemingway app to analyse your content and make it easier to read.The Hemingway App measures readability by U.S. grade. 9 year olds would normally be in 3rd grade or 4th grade.
Children quickly learn to read common words (the 5000 words they use most). They then stop reading these words and start recognising their shape. This allows people to read much faster. Children already read like this by the time they’re 9 years old.
People also don’t read one word at a time. They bounce around - especially online. They anticipate words and fill them in.
Your brain can drop up to 30% of the text and still understand. Your vocabulary will grow but this reading skill stays with you as an adult. You don’t need to read every word to understand what is written.
This is why we tell people to write on Hantsweb for a 9 year old reading age.Even if you have put your content through Hemingway, you still need to sanity check it. A short sentence with easy to read words can still be hard to understand if the context or meaning are not right.
Check spelling and grammar for each page (and before sending to testers or the business for testing or review).
- Voice and tone
Voice and tone - summary
- be concise
- use active voice (don't use 'please')
- address the user as 'you'
- don't capitalise
- don't use italics
- don't use underlines to emphasise a piece of text
- don't use bold
- use contractions such as 'don't' (rather than 'do not')
- dates and times - use the 12 hour clock (include 'am or 'pm') and use 'to' with date ranges, eg 7am to 5.30pm. Use midday, not 12pm nor 12 noon
- use gender-neutral text
- use plain English
- be careful when writing about disability
- be careful when using ‘we’
Use the style selector in the Rich Text Editor to apply headings to your text.
Corporate web standards
- Check headings are correctly applied, in order, starting at level 2 (level 3 for guide step content). Don't skip any levels
- Make headings short and clear
- Don't make headings bold
Level 1 headings (main page headings) are added to the Page title field in Content Editor.
- Links and documents
Use the 'Hyperlink manager' tool for external links (links to pages not in Sitecore). Use the 'Insert Sitecore link' tool for internal links (links to pages in Sitecore)
Linking to a particular Sitecore guide step - for links that are embedded in a piece of text
- View the guide page in a browser
- Click on the required step using the summary steps on the right hand side of the page. Make a note of the step number (it will be something like #step-0)
- Open the page that you want to put the link into. Insert an internal Sitecore link to the guide page as a whole
- View the HTML for the page. The link will look something like this:
- Add the step number (#step-0 or similar) to the link, before the final quote mark ("). Accept and save
Linking to a particular Sitecore guide step - for links that are attached to a tile
- View the guide page in a browser
- Click on the required step using the summary steps on the right hand side of the page. Make a note of the step number (it will be something like #step-0).
- Create a new internal link object in Common Content. Click 'Add link' and select the guide page from the navigation tree
- Click 'Search for a link'. Add the step number to the 'Anchor' field. Accept and save
Adding URL parameters to internal links - for links that are embedded in a piece of text
- In Experience Editor, view the HTML for the page that contains the link. The link will look something like this:
- Add parameter (eg ?id=xxxx) to the link, before the final quote mark ("). Accept and save.
Adding URL parameters to internal links - for links that are attached to a tile
- In Content Editor, open the internal link object. Click 'Lock and Edit'
- Click 'Search for a link'. Add parameter (eg q=xxxx) to the Query String field. Accept and save
- Open your page / text block for editing. Click where you want the anchor to be added
- Click the Hyperlink Manager icon. When the Hyperlink Manager box is displayed on screen, select the Anchor tab
- In the Name box, type in your chosen name for the anchor
- Click Accept and then Save
Linking to anchors
Links embedded within some text
- In the Rich Text Editor, insert a Sitecore link and point it to the page that contains the anchor
- Change to HTML view and locate the HTML tag for the link
- Insert #xxxx just before the closing quote mark of the HTML link tag where xxxx is the name you gave your anchor
Links on tiles etc
- Create a new internal link object in Common Content. Click Add link and select the destination page from the navigation tree
- Click 'Search for a link'. Add the name of your anchor to the Anchor field. Accept and save
- Check documents are in HantsFile and 'approved for publication' or already published. Ask the business to deal with any documents which are not.
- Document link text needs to explain exactly what the document is - use 'Dropped kerb application guidance', not 'Guidance', 'User guide' or 'Application guidance'. These are too ambiguous
Corporate web standards
- Ensure link text makes sense when taken out of context, eg use 'Guidance on using xyz', not just 'Guidance'
- Don't use 'click here' or 'more...' as link text
- Don't use URLs as link text
- Do use email addresses as link text (don't hide the email address from the user)
- Don't use the same link text for multiple links on one page that point to different destinations. You can have multiple links pointing to the same destination page but with different link text.
- Don't link to Hantsnet pages (intranet) from Hantsweb (internet)
- When pointing to new pages, check they have been published and the links work
- Don't allow pages to open in a new window. The exception is AchieveForms, where it may be useful to have a guidance document open when completing a form
- Redirects must be approved by a web content strategist.
Don't be afraid of using more than a couple of words for link text. Longer link text is easier for people to successfully press (think of users with tiny mobile device screens and people with poor motor skills) but don't write an essay.
- Contact details
Write the email address in full, eg firstname.lastname@example.org. Put 'Email' in front if it's not embedded within a piece of text.
Put 'Phone' in front.
Use address rendering if you can.
Contact the Corporate Web Team
Phone 01962 846544
- Image scaling
If images are oversized in width then there is a way to scale them to fit the page.
In the Rich Text Editor add the image as usual by selecting the Insert Sitecore Media icon.
Once the image has been inserted select the HTML tab still in the Rich Text Editor.
Find the line of code which shows the image. This usually starts with an <img tag.
Remove the height and width HTML text and add class="scale-with-grid". This won't resize the image in the Rich Text Editor but will on the page.
More information about the different choices of image displays and renderings.
- Guide pages
- Use level 3 headings and below within a guide step (guide step headings are rendered as level 2 headings)
- Avoid using questions in guide step headings
- Abbreviations and jargon
Only use abbreviations on a page after the name has been written in full with the abbreviation in brackets.
Hampshire Biodiversity Information Centre (HBIC) provides an independent and impartial data service.
Data maintained by HBIC is comprehensive and covers designated sites, habitats and species.
Don't use jargon (unless for technical reasons or you have explained its meaning).
- Referring to Hampshire County Council and its services
- Do not abbreviate Hampshire County Council to HCC. You can refer to 'the County Council'.
- Check with a service how they want to be referred to. Be consistent.