Please Don't...

Things to avoid

Yes, we all like to be creative, but in the interest of setting standards and having a professional website, we ask that you refrain from the following. The Communications Department does review a sampling of school websites and reserves the right to edit pages that contain these instructions, as well as problems with grammar and spelling.

  • Underline text: On the web, it means that's a link. Schoolwires will automatically underline links. Underlines that aren't links are confusing to readers.

  • AvoidChange colors of text and background. Blue text generally means a link; other colors can mean a previously opened link. Using other colors can make the page unreadable for those with sight and other disabilities; as state and federal law requires our sites to be compliant with disability laws, color text and background are not allowed. The only exception are column titles, menu titles and other special elements.

  • Use your own fonts: Please use the "styles" pulldown and the "normal" style for your text as this keeps your pages in compliance with state and federal disability regulations. In addition, changing fonts makes pages confusing and the user may not have the same fonts you have on your computer. The H1, H2 and other selections under the "Styles" panel are web-standard terms. Why use them? In addition to disability laws, it allows search engines such as the district's website search feature, Yahoo and Google to find the title of your page. They look look for the H1 tag for page titles when indexing you page. So, use H1 for page headlines, H2. H3 and H4 for subheads. Use the "Normal" style for your paragraphs.

  • Use all capital letters, even in headlines. WHY DO YOU WANT TO SHOUT AT YOUR READERS? As with e-mail, sentences in all capital letters can be seen as yelling. Be kind to your readers; don't ALL CAP THEM.

  • No Clip ArtClip Art: Nothing says stale like clip art that's on a thousand other pages. We have the best looking models in the world... our students. Illustrate your website with photos of your students, rather than corny art that is free with a computer program.

  • Attached files: Avoid them. Is there really a reason to require visitors to your site to open another program? Are you sure your parents' or students' computers even has a program to open it? Not everyone has a current version of Microsoft Word. If a file is attached, make it a PDF. Otherwise, make it a web page.

  • Long, complicated pages: Each web page should approximately the size of 1-1½ computer screens of information. You have more to say? Reorganize your material and create another page.

  • Under Construction: Remember, if it's not finished, don't make it an active page. Please don't frustrate your site visitors by attracting them to a page that doesn't exist.

  • It's a Website, But A School is a School: On the web, "site map" is a map of the website. But we commonly call our schools "site" ... and some sites have a "Site Map" that means "map of our school." Remember that and please call your school map a school map. Save "Site Map" for the web.