Best Practices

The Arts CMS template was designed to accommodate the needs of all our primary and secondary user groups. As a result, we’ve documented a few content best practices to keep in mind as you continue to add/edit content on your website.

To make your pages more user-friendly, always keep your objectives and user needs in mind when creating content, condense content as much as possible, use modules and styling tools, and never duplicate content that lives elsewhere on your site or on an external UBC site — always direct to the original source.


Pages & Posts

Pages and Posts are the two primary tools on WordPress to create content for your website. The general usage for the two tools are as follows:

  • Pages: mainly for static content, or act as “buckets” or “portals” for iterative content
  • Posts: mainly for iterative content; new content added as individual posts each time

There are seven types of Posts on Arts CMS: General, News, Events, Profiles, Courses, Maps*, and Alumni Profiles. For more information on Posts types and when to use each, visit our individual Posts pages.

*These posts are available on Arts CMS but may not be in use on your website. If you would like to use these post types, please send a ticket to arts.helpdesk@ubc.ca.

Summary Table

The following table summarizes the different features between Pages and Posts:

Posts Pages
Structure Organized by time published; Different taxonomies available depending on the types of posts Organized by hierarchical structure (navigation menu/parent-child relationship)
Location Dynamic; can be linked/displayed on different areas of the website using posts feeds or loop queries Static; usually located in only one area of the website
Sample Usage News, Events, Job opportunities Undergraduate, Graduate, About

Organizing Content

The main things you need to consider when organizing the content for your website are:

  • User needs and objectives
  • Unit, Faculty of Arts, and UBC objectives
  • Faculty of Arts and UBC content guidelines (format, style, and branding)
  • Content type (text, images, videos, modules)

Tip: Include an introductory sentence or paragraph for each page so the user knows what information they can expect to find on that page (using “Blockquote” in your editor). Follow the inverted pyramid style of writing, with the most important information appearing at the top of the page.


Amount of Content

Less content is more user-friendly. Users want to locate information quickly — if they can’t find what they’re looking for, they’ll feel frustrated and leave. Too much content means information is harder to find, and that makes it harder for users to complete their task.

Tip: Help a visitor navigate your site by directing them with internal links in your content (for example, insert a “learn more about our programs” button and direct to a page on your site that contains more information). Internal links connect your content and give Google an idea of the structure of your website, helping to boost your search engine optimization (SEO).

Tip: Improve the user experience by limiting the number of pages you use, use headings to divide content, use accordions to condense content, and use card and button modules to make content more visual and engaging.


Singular Source of Content

Don’t repeat content. Keep your pages concise by linking to secondary information rather than reproducing and repeating it. This will ensure that the user will receive the correct information and not opposing information if one page is up-to-date and another is not. This also means that updates will only have to be made on one page — and not multiple pages — if everything directs to an original source.

Tip: Duplicating content on different pages also affects your SEO and can hurt the ranking of a page. If similar content lives on multiple pages, search engines won’t know which page (URL) to show in the search results. Use modules to link to other pages on your site instead of duplicating the same information.

Tip: When explaining the application process at UBC, instead of copying the same information that lives on you.ubc.ca or grad.ubc.ca, simply add a card or button module linking to the correct page on those external sites. Only write the admission details that are specific and unique to your unit on your website. If the information is incorrect on those external sites, please contact those departments and have it updated. Some students may only be accessing information on those external sites, so it is important to have correct and up-to-date information across all UBC sites.


Headings

Divide your content into scannable sections to help your audience find relevant information on the page quickly and easily with the proper use of headings and subheadings.

The use of each heading style:

  • Heading 1: Page title
  • Heading 2: Subheading of H1 (main headings within your pages and will appear in the “on this page” right side menu)
  • Heading 3: Subheading of H2 and introductory text
  • Heading 4: Subheading of H3
  • Heading 5 & 6: Not used
  • Paragraph: Normal body text
  • Blockquote: Introductory text

Page title (H1)

This is an introductory sentence to summarize what information you can find on this page (Blockquote)

Main Topic 1.0 (H2)

Text (paragraph)

Sub-topic 1.1 (H3)

Text (paragraph)

Sub-topic 1.2 (H4)

Text (paragraph)

Main Topic 2.0 (H2)

Text (paragraph)

Sub-topic 2.1 (H3)

Text (paragraph)

Sub-topic 2.2 (H4)

Text (paragraph)

If header styles don’t follow page hierarchy, your page will appear lower in Google search results and users with accessibility needs will have issues following the content on the page.

Important: Do not apply any bold or italic styles to the headings and always paste as plain text and then apply the proper formatting (select “Toolbar Toggle” to reveal more options).

Tip: Use the horizontal line to separate different content sections for an added visual element.


Modules

Modules are pre-styled and predefined visual elements you can insert on your pages to increase user engagement and improve the user experience.


Additional Best Practices


Quicklinks

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