Website Writing Guide

Writing for government websites

Managing content approval

Getting approval for publishing Web content is one of the most common areas of concern for writers of government websites.

The main problems are:

  • there is no content approval process
  • content prepared according to the rules in this Guide being heavily edited by people who are not aware of the rules or who have had no training in writing for the Web
  • having to tell a manager that his or her editing does not comply with this Guide or the World Wide Web Consortium’s accessibility guidelines
  • getting timely approval of content that needs to be changed quickly.

Hints and tips for dealing with these problems:

  • Implement a Web publishing process where:
    • authors are responsible for the words, style, presentation and layout
    • managers are responsible only for ensuring that content is accurate and conforms to government policy
    • proofreaders deal only with grammar, spelling, punctuation and inconsistencies in style and tone
    • authors are shown proposed changes to their words before the content goes live and given the opportunity to respond
    • the workflow has minimal steps
    • there are no bottlenecks - for every stage in the approval process have more than one person who can undertake the task.
  • Ensure that everyone involved in the approval process knows about this Website Writing Guide.
  • Train everyone involved in the approval process in applying the principles and rules provided in this Guide.
  • Show everyone involved in the approval process the relevant pages of this Guide.


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