Online style guides

Any organisation that produces printed publications understands the importance of an editorial style guide. So it stands to reason that a separate style guide for your websites, intranet sites and e-newsletters is important too.

When creating an online style guide, the differences between online and offline communications and how content is generated should be taken into consideration.

In many instances, a network of administrators (not always professional communicators) add information onto a website via a content management system (CMS). They might not be very knowledgable about the best ways to write for a website, or sure of what information to include.

An online style guide can help to define some of the basic rules for writing for the web, such as the right language to use online, how to structure the content to make it easier to read, or even what fonts and colours to use.

It also serves many of the same purposes as a style guide for printed publications. For example, it helps to make sure that all websites have a consistent tone of voice, and that spellings …

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