How to write for the web
In today's world the best way to share your thoughts and ideas is via a web site. Below you will find some basic guidelines to help you write informative and attractive web pages.
Web page content
The basic types of writing do for publishing on the web are the same as the types of writing that you are expected to do in school. In other words, @@ you need to know your audience and you need to know your writing purpose. ~~
Your audience is probably people who share the same interests as you. And your purpose will no doubt be one of the following:
- to explain
- to inform/instruct
- to describe
- to narrate
- to persuade
- to move
- to amuse/entertain
All the techniques you use when doing school writing apply also to internet writing. You can read more about them on the page how to write well and its linked pages.
Web page design
@@@ Many first-time visitors to your site will leave quickly if your page is unattractive or tiresome to read. ~~~ For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the design of the pages. Following are basic suggestions:
- Break up long text with graphics, headings and sub-headings.
- Avoid paragraphs with more than six or seven sentences.
- Use shorter sentences with a maximum of three clauses.
- Aim for a maximum of about 16 words per line.
- Choose a font-size of around 16pt. Text which is much smaller or much bigger will irritate many visitors.
- Do not use a background picture or background colour that makes your text difficult to read.
- Do not use too many different colours, fonts or font sizes. This can make your page very tiring to read.
- Do not make your pictures too big. They make your page slow to load.
Learn from others
@ A good way to get ideas about your own web pages is to look at other people's. See what you like and don't like. ~ But try to create your own style so that your site is more memorable.
If you need more information, there are hundreds of web pages that give advice in writing for the web. Here's one from usability.gov.