Writing for the Web
Writing for the web varies significantly from writing for journals, newspapers or other print media. People visiting websites tend to scan pages for information pertinent and useful to them. If they do not find it quickly, they often move on to another site.
Here are some basic guidelines to help structure and organize content written for Military Community and Family Policy websites and applications:
- Brevity is essential. Avoid forcing readers to scroll down through text when possible – you risk losing them.
- When text on a single page requires scrolling, use clear, concise headings and subheadings to help readers quickly find the content they need.
- Use bulleted lists when possible and appropriate.
- Never underline text. Underlining generally indicates a hyperlink on a website. Other underlining may be confusing for the reader.
- Unless you have prior permission, hyperlinks must direct readers to government websites such as .mil, .gov, or Fed.us websites. You can submit link requests for government review and for linking on websites through the Link Vetting Application.
- Do not use “please” in content for Military Community and Family Policy digital properties, including websites, applications and social platforms. This includes website articles, collateral material and social posts. For example, do not say, “Please visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS when planning your next move.” Instead, say, “Visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS when planning your next move.” “Please” is acceptable, however, in blogs and correspondence, as appropriate. Outreach Operations must approve all other exceptions.