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text for websites

I've met a lot of people during the time and I have NEVER ever met anyone who was able to give me a good structured text document for a website. So-called professionals work sometimes like bloody beginners.

First of all: THINK STRUCTURED - because a website is a structured thing!

Which means, you should use structured formatting or at least a logical scheme. Think »webbish« and try to visualize it. If you don't like to format in Word and or OO and of course in case of WYSIWYG editors in some CMS, formatting is sometimes not so good - then think of something else.

Let's start with an imaginary Website:

think structured

Think in links
... and the complete structure would be:

/
/news/
/news/archive/
/products/
/products/fruits/
/products/vegetables/
/products/juices/
/about_us/
/contact/

It is self-explanatory!

However - that seems to be to complicated for some people and so they come up with something fancy like this:

Category Home start site
Category News start site
Category News sub page Archive
Category Products start site
Category Products sub page fruits
Category Products sub page vegetables
Category Products sub page juices
Category about us start site
Category contact start site

Well ok, that would be ok, when we assume the site is in only one language but oops - the site is in german, frensh, english and spanish and you know only 2 of them and they translate also the structure. Dude and there are not only 9 pages but at least 50 with a much deeper depth of sub pages! And guess what? That sucks!

Sub page of category products sub page specials sub page nice price gadgets ...

I believe in you all and know you will do better next time and that's why I have another suggestion for your next word file. Lets assume a page consists out of a headline, a teaser, a main text, some links and a few pictures. Then I'd love to see your article like this:

Page: /products/fruits/
Headline: Delicious and healthy fruits
Header Image: fruits_001.jpg
Teaser: We are very pleased to say that our products are only organic and seasonal fruits. It is our enviromentall resposibility and debt and of course your grant for high quality food supply.
Main text:Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in [ reprehenderit in voluptate http://example.com/content.html ] velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Do you know why it makes sense to do it like in the example above? No? Ok, then let me give you some reasons:

  • simple copy and paste
  • no need to extract something out of the word file (ie. Images)
  • better access to media files (and if I say »never embed something in a wordfile« - then I mean it)
  • no need to use the contextual menus to copy a link
  • if you use the markup of the brackets to show what should be »linked«, then you don't need to link it in real
  • if something is missing, you and I can see it right away and or add a note /nT, which means »no text«

To make it more easier:

  • provide complete and valid links, always using http:// and test them all
  • Make use of a understandable and efficient naming convention for files
    • no special characters (for images, downloads, etc)
    • no white spaces (for images, downloads, etc)
    • no bullshit like: »copy of website text english.doc« Name it »english.doc«, because it is obvious that the text you send me is for the website and that it contains text, because it is a text document. If you have more files like »»terms of use«, privacy statements«, then name it but pleeeeeeeease without any irrelevant words like text or website - because I assume you have sent me an email with the subject: »english text for website xyz«
    • you may use revision numbers (1.1, 1.2)

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Software Tip: (to visualize structures / ideas)
Inspriration
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text for websites
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