Writing for the Web

Start strong, stay strong

Begin your sentences with strong subjects and verbs. Tell the reader who is acting and what the actor is doing. Leading with strong subjects and verbs puts the most important words at the beginning of the sentence and condenses your text.

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People notice mistakes, and seemingly small errors like typos and bad links can make a site look unprofessional or unreliable and can drive visitors away. Testing your content is an essential part of the online publishing process.
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Short, strong sentences are the essence of good Web content. Research shows that most people scan a webpage first to see if it's worth their while--and streamlined text helps readers see the value of your text quickly.
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Anyone can publish on the Web, but not everyone is publishing material that's ideal for online reading. Enter "The Yahoo! Style Guide," your guide to writing and editing for the Web. People read online text differently, and they have different expectations when they read it--most notably, they expect instant gratification, the ability to find what they want on a webpage fast.
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People visit websites to find specific information or to perform a task as quickly as possible. If a site doesn't deliver what they want, the way they want it, they'll leave faster than you can say "gone." That's why it's critical to understand the people who are visiting your site, what they want, what they need, and how they pursue their goals online.
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Your voice--whether you are a writer or other creative artist--expresses your unique style: in words, on the screen, in a video, in a song or a photo. On the Web, voice is the way your site expresses its distinctive personality and point of view.
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Clear, compelling writing makes online content easy to scan and understand. It grabs a reader's interest and doesn't let go. Enticing, well-written headlines can reach out from searches and mobile devices to pull people into your site; ho-hum headlines send them away.
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"Are you talking to me?" That’s a question your site's visitors are asking as they decide whether to read further or find another website. If they feel confused, excluded, or offended by your content, they won't be back.
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Millions of people in the United States and around the world have some sort of disability; millions more care deeply about these individuals. Making your website accessible to as many people as possible makes sense--and it takes just a little thought and planning to accomplish.
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Your site's usability depends on the design and features of your user interface (UI), but it also depends on the quality of your user-interface text: the copy that orients people on your site and helps them move around it.
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Imagine shoehorning your webpage onto a matchbook cover. That's what mobile devices do to your content. And more and more people are accessing the Web and Web content on the go, not to mention making use of text messaging--to communicate with friends, of course, but also to receive alerts from schools, businesses, and other organizations.