Website Writing Guide

Before you begin to write for the Web

Writing and content management systems

Content management systems may require a special approach to writing.

Many organisations are using content management systems (often referred to as CMS) to manage the publication of content on their website. Most content management systems allow a number of writers to publish content to the website. The writer uploads the text, usually prepared in a word processing package, to the content management system and the text is saved it its database. When a user selects a page to view, the relevant block of text is retrieved from the database and displayed.

Saving blocks of text in the CMS

Many websites usually have blocks of text that appear in several places on the site. For example: mission statements, important policies and disclaimers.

If a block of text contains a few paragraphs that are likely to be used elsewhere in the site, save those paragraphs as a separate block of text in the content management system.

This enables the writer and editor to use those blocks of generic text in multiple places throughout the website. If any of the generic text requires altering for any reason, it is changed once only and saved back in the content management system. This avoids writers and editors having to remember every place in the website where the generic text was used and amending each occurrence.

When using this approach the editor must ensure that there are no words or phrases within the saved text that pertain only to one page. For example: `see below’, a date or place.




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