General Website Guidelines and Best Practices

The following are the proper guidelines and recommendations for the formatting of writing articles:

Specific Information

  • College Name – All references should be York College or for second or third reference on a page, York or YCP.
  • Email – Do not link emails because they will open up in a default email program, such as Outlook, that many people, including the YCP community, do not use. If you copy the address into the editor and the address linked (blue and underlined), unlink it before updating and approving or publishing the page.
  • Phone Numbers should be listed as 717.815.1309. (Do not use extensions, such as "Call ext. 1309".)
  • Course Numbers are not needed for the general public. Use the name of the specific course name when referring to it in text
  • Titles– Courtesy titles (Mr., Mrs., Miss) should not be used on the site. A professor with a doctor of philosophy degree, should be listed as John Smith, Ph.D. "Dr." should never appear in front of the name. All degrees belong after the name. (Ph.D., M.Ed., D.Ed., etc.)


  • Figure dashes (-) are used to hyphenate words. No keyboard shortcuts needed. For example: York College welcomes 1,200 first-year students.
  • En dashes (–) are used to punctuate a sentence. For example: Another "planet" was detected – but it was later found to be a moon of Saturn. En dashes (–) can also be used for ranges of values. For example: July – September 2012, 5 – 9 p.m.
  • Keyboard Shortcut:

Windows ALT+ 0150

  • Em dashes (—) are used to clarify the sentence structure when there are already commas or parentheses, or both. For example: We read them in chronological order: Descartes, Locke, Hume but not his Treatise—(it is too complex)—and Kant.

Keyboard Shortcut:

Windows ALT+ 0151


  • Page titles should match the section names of the page. Both should reflect the content on the page.
  • Links should be descriptive of the information that they are linking to. For example: "Use our Online Application Form" not "Click here to apply," "York College website," not "http://ycp.edu."
  • Word Count – Try not to use less than 100 words or more 800 words on a page. (If page must be longer than 800 words, jump links should be used.
  • Middle initials should not be used on the website.
  • Fluff Don't start a page with "Welcome" or "Hello."
  • Abbreviations – Do not abbreviate buildings or programs, and also do not use terminology that only an internal audience would understand. For example: HUM 102 should be Humanities Center, Room 102.

Tables, Files, and Images

  • Tables should be used for tabular data only. They should not be used to create layouts as they hinder accessibility.
  • File Extensions – Photos (.jpg, .jpeg, .gif, .png, .tiff, .tif), Music (.mp3, .mp4), Videos (.mov, .flv), Documents (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx). Whenever possible, save documents as PDFs to avoid user accessibility problems. The user may not have Microsoft Office and might not be able to open any of those files (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .pdf, .ppt, .pptx), but normally all browsers can open or at least download PDF files. PDFs can be read with the free Adobe Reader application.
  • Images – Follow guidelines on "Photo Sizes for Website" handout for all photos. For logos and graphics, you can resize the photo (without cropping) so that all the width matches the guidelines and the height automatically adjusts (so the image does not get distorted or cut off). All images must be set to 72 dpi resolution for the website to display them without lagging.
  • RGB vs. CMYK – Many images and photos meant for publication are created using four colors (CMYK). In order for these images to display on the website, they need to be converted to three colors (RGB). If you do not get a preview for your photo in the CMS, you most likely used CMYK. (If you do not have image editing software that converts color mode, you can use this site to do it for free: http://www.cmyk2rgb.com/. Your original image file is deleted after your converted file is made available to you for download.)

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