Website Writing Guide


Website Criteria resources

Website Criteria offers a range of services for Web writers, editors and proofreaders. Contact us to discuss how we might be of assistance.

  • Benchmarking - have us put your website through our benchmarking database where we examine over 100 points of comparison and report on how it compares with other websites.
  • Editorial helpdesk - purchase a block of our editorial board's time and they will answer your writing queries
  • Training - we conduct half-day and full-ay training in writing for the Web and in applying the rules and principles provided in this Guide
  • Train-the-trainer accreditation - we can train lead writers, communications and marketing people in an organisation to be the resident expert.
  • Content audits - let a fresh pair of experienced eyes review your content and assess what should stay, what should go and how to create a sustainable improvement in your website content
  • Writing services - we have a pool of experienced and accredited website content writers who can help you re-write content, polish it or write it from scratch
  • Proofreading services - we have a pool of experienced and accredited website proofreaders who can check your contents for compliance with this Guide.
  • Clutter test - How cluttered is your Web page? Try our free clutter test - enter a Web page address in the box at the top, right of this screen to find how clutter free your page is.

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Websites - Jakob Nielsen’s usability website. He is considered as the world's leading expert on usability and has much to say that is relevant to writing for the Web. - World Wide Web Consortium’s site which sets the international standards for numerous aspects of the Web. - An Australian guide to doing business online. This provides advice about identifying aims and audiences of websites. - Readability testing of your text. - Website accessibility toolbar. This includes links to readability testing and World Wide Web Consortium tests.

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Reference books

Snook and Co. Style Manual
John Wiley & Sons, Australia Ltd

The Style Manual is for government authors, editors and printers. It provides detailed advice on best practices in writing, editing, design and production of publications. Much of the material is applicable to the Web environment. We referred to the Style Manual a great deal when developing this Guide and for maintaining its standard.

Strunk, William Jr. and White, E. B. Illustrated by Kalman, Maria. The Elements of Style
Penguin Books: USA, 2000

THE essential guide on writing. It is not specifically about the Web, but everyone writing for the Web should have it open beside them, continually dipping into it to learn about effective writing.

The Macquarie Dictionary - recommended in the Style Manual

The Australian Oxford Dictionary - recommended in the Style Manual

Nielsen, Jakob and Loranger, Hoa. Prioritizing Web Usability
New Riders: USA, 2006

This book prioritises the crucial Web usability principles that concern all people who work with the Web.

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Lynch, Patrick J. and Horton, Sarah. Web Style Guide
Yale University Press, USA, 1999

This book covers the basic design principles for creating websites. It is included in this section because, although old in Web years, it deals with many cognitive principles and editorial principles that don't date and are essential to understanding how people learn and process information from a screen.

Smith, Steven. Living Websites
United Focus: Adelaide, 2002

This is a practical guide to understanding the life cycle of websites. It includes sections on how to identify the aims and audiences of websites and on information architecture.

Redish, Janice. Letting go of the Words - Writing Web content that works
Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, USA, 2007

This book offers strategy, process, and tactics for creating or revising content for the web. It presents practical checklists, step-by-step processes and plenty of very good advice about how best to present content on the Web.

Jeney, Cynthia. Writing for the Web - a practical guide, Prentice Hall, USA, 2008

This book covers some of the basic elements of writing for the Web. It is has some useful hints and tips for those writing websites for the first time or who want to improve their writing online.


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