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An example of a news post

This is the lede text, an introductory paragraph which should summarise what's in the main body of the news item. The introductory paragraph sits below the post title and the header image, and can also form the Google 'snippet' for the article. This article will demonstrate roughly how all of our news items should look.

This is the ‘body text’ of the article. Body text is Arial 12pt and the colour is just off-black, which means it is nice and clear to read. This is actually the second paragraph of the article, as the lede text counts as the first.

Headings should only ever be in Paragraph 4

The body text font is designed to be accessible and easy to read, so we should only use other types of format sparingly.

There might be times where it’s useful to use bold for emphasis, for example dates or times or other important information that needs to stand out.

Avoid using the heading 5 or 6 formats for regular text as it’s hard to read and not designed to replace bold or italic formatting.

Other times it might be more useful to use italics for emphasis, which can be useful for things very short quotes of only a couple of words, but again this needs to be used sparingly.

Try to keep headings short

We have a specific style for quotes, to help quotes stand out on the page:

This is our quote style. Ideally we should try to keep quotes short, otherwise they become quite unwieldy or hard to read. Try to make sure all quotes are attributed.

This is how you attribute a quote (in bold)

If you have long quotes, it’s best to try to break them up into shorter ones, by writing sentence in between to fill in the gaps and then starting a new quote. You don’t always have to attribute the quote in the way it’s done above either. This is what Phil Welsh said about quotes:

Breaking up the quote into multiple pieces will help you to keep in as much of the original quoted text as possible, while making sure it’s still possible to read it.

How to use links in text

When we link to other pages, we should always try to use inline links like this as opposed to doing something like ‘You can find out more about this here‘.

There are two reasons for this. One is that inline links are more descriptive, so when you want to link to an article about what VALUES clients think about the service, people are more likely to click on the link because they can see what it’s going to be about.

The second reason is for accessibility. For someone with a visual impairment using a screen reader, not only will the link be more descriptive but it will also be read out more naturally by the screen reader software.

Imagine how difficult it would be to understand click here something like this read more if it was read out to you like this and we asked you to read more here.

Some summary points

Let’s go over some key points:

  • Stick to basic formatting and use things like quote formatting sparingly to ensure that articles are clear and easy to read
  • If you’ve used an image, make sure it has the alt text field completed
  • Choose the right category for the post so that the relevant ‘read more’ links will appear underneath it
  • If the article is for a funded project with logo requirements, make sure to select the right funding stripe to appear at the top of the page (don’t add funding text or images at the bottom of the page, most guidelines say that funder logos should be prominent and at the top of pages)
  • Fill in the SEO details in the Yoast plugin underneath the article (these will help with articles appearing correctly in Google searches)

Don't forget the call to action box

The call to action box is designed to make any call to action at the end of the article stand out.

This might be a link to book an event, or asking them to call or email:

  • 0116 257 5050

Whatever you want the user to do as a result of reading the article should go in this box.