Review common web maintenance issues and some related best practices.
Avoid "Click here"
The phrase "click here" should be avoided as link text for several reasons:
- Provides no context
- Hinders accessibility
- Hinders search engines' ability to understand the content
- Educate your users about the destination
- Use active, descriptive words
- Provide context
Check for broken links
There is a wide variety of tools available that scan a website and identify broken links. These tools vary dramatically in quality and cost, but the goal is always the same: Find broken links so they can be fixed.
- One option is a site-wide checker like The Online Broken Link Checker. It is free to use and simple, but there is a limit on the number of pages it will scan.
- The Web Team uses a site governance tool called Site Improve to monitor several sites. If interested in using that tool, contact us. We may be able to provide that service at a reduced rate based on our relationship with them.
- There are also a number of browser extensions (or plug-ins) available that will scan a single page at a time. One such tool for Chrome is Check My Links.
Indicate that a link is an email link by including "Contact" or "Send email to" in the link. For example: Contact John with questions.
Open in a new tab
Generally, users (not website administrators) should control how links are opened. Users set preferences for opening links in the browser, or they use shortcuts to dictate their preference on a per-click-basis. In most cases it is bad practice to override these preferences.
Navigation: Top-Level Pages
Use short, descriptive titles for the top level of your navigation. Keep the number of pages to a minimum. Every item you add, waters down the whole group, so be judicious in adding to your navigation, especially at the top level.
- Weigh the pros and cons of using PDF content.
- Show the file size and indicate that it is a PDF.
Images (or Photos)
- Optimize your photos for the web with "Save for Web" in Photoshop, TinyJPG, picmonkey.com, or any other image editing software available.
- Include good image descriptions for all uploads.
- Standard images should be 80k or less.
- Generally, .jpg files provides good balance of image quality and file size.
Always use a single space after a period. Using two spaces after a period on the web can cause formatting errors, obstacles to usability, and decrease readbility.
Body text should be left-aligned. If text is wrapped around an image, the image should be right-aligned so the text can remain left-aligned.
Left-aligned body text is notably easier to read and improves usability.
For a good explanation of this concept, read Why You Should Never Center Align Paragraph Text.