Web Editor Guidelines

An Introduction

Since 1996, WWU has had a presence on the ever-growing World Wide Web.

To ensure consistency on our site, we recommend using the content management system, Typo3.

Who should be a web editor?

Faculty members, staff members, administrative assistants, and student workers are all likely candidates for a web editor position. However, to ensure continuity and high-quality output, a faculty/staff member should work closely with student web editors.

Web editors need not have advanced web experience. Web editors will be trained in the content management system, Typo3. Additionally, they should be comfortable working with text editing and photo-manipulation software, be detail oriented, and have at least two to three hours per week (depending on site size and complexity) to update and maintain content.

Request a Typo3 account

To start creating and editing pages, please contact our Web Content Manager, Michael Bork at 509.527.2514 to request a Typo3 account and Typo3 training*.

If requesting an account by email, please include the following information:


Phone Number__________________

E-mail Address__________________


If you are a student worker, who is your supervisor?___________________

Days and times available for Typo3 training___________________________

* Typo3 training is an hour-long session.

Getting Started

Great websites don’t just happen; they’re planned—meticulously. Here are some recommended steps to follow when planning and creating your website.

1. Determine the site’s goal(s) and target audience.

Is your goal to inform or persuade? Is your audience current students, alumni, parents, or staff members? Just as form follows function, content must follow your audience and its needs. Meet with members of your target audience to discuss their needs and what they would like to see on your website.

2. Do your research

Check out other institutions’ websites for ideas of what to include and how it should be organized. You’ll see many examples of what works and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to borrow elements from the ones that do work. Remember: imitation is the highest form of flattery.

3. Decide on content

Once you’ve done research and some brainstorming of your own, you’ll be ready to finalize the content you want to include on your website.

4. Create an outline

Assemble an outline to organize your content. Make sure that important, frequently-used links are near the top of the sidebar.

5. Gather/produce materials

Whether you do it yourself or hire a freelance writer or photographer, make sure your content is thorough, complete, and has a professional appearance. See Helpful Hints for further guidelines.

6. Load content into Typo3 and create webpages

Check our Style Guide to ensure your content adheres to WWU standards.

7. Test Time

Once you’ve got a draft of your website finished, enlist people from your department (those who haven’t been working on the site), friends, alumni, family, etc. to help test your site. Testing ranges from basic—having them look at it and try to navigate through it—to systematic—giving them a task list of things to find and seeing how long it takes them. Make revisions based on suggestions they have or issues that arise during testing.

8. Give it a final look-over

See the Submission Checklist.

9. Submit your website for approval

Allow XX Hours/Days for website Approval

Helpful Hints

Keep in mind that writing for the web is much different than writing for print. In fact:


  • 79% of users scan the page instead of reading word-for-word
  • Reading from computer screens is 25% slower than from paper
  • Therefore, to compensate, web content should have 50% of the word count of its paper equivalent
  • Do not use clever or cute headings because users rely on scanning to pick up the meaning of text
  • Limit the use of metaphors
  • Use simple sentence structure
  • Avoid puns; international users may not understand them


Images add variety and interest to any webpage. However, poor-quality graphics lessen the appeal and authority of your webpages. When using images:

  • If possible, re-size images to 72 dpi
  • Don’t be afraid to crop pictures
  • Don’t use photos that are blurry, have red-eye, or are under or over-exposed. Submission Checklist

The Office of University Relations has a database of more than 25,000 photos of students, buildings, and departments. If you have a specific photo request, please e-mail Michael Bork. We can also recommend several reasonably priced stock image websites.

Text information was adapted from a website authored by web-usability guru Jakob Nielsen, PJ Schemenaur, and Jonathan Fox.

Submission Checklist

Run through this checklist before submitting your site for review.

  • The website is free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  • All links work and redirect to the proper page/site.
  • Photos are 72 dpi.
  • An additional person has reviewed the site for errors.
Page maintained by Brandon Aberle
Last update on July 7, 2008