Site Publisher Checklist
Use this list to ensure that your website is ready for your audience before you request to go live.
Delete or unpublish all unused pages.
Delete or replace all placeholder content. This is not limited to but may include:
- Example pages that the web design team created
- Contact information
- Links of interest
- Social media links
- Banner images
Web accessibility is the resposibility of everyone who creates websites. The following are some basic guidelines for helping to ensure that people with disablilities can use your website. Generally, these guidelines also improve findability (SEO) and usability for everyone. These are some items that our publishers commonly need to address:
- Use descriptive link text – i.e., not “click here”, "here", or the URL itself. Learn more about creating links on Yale University's web accessibility and usability website.
- Provide alternative text for images. Follow these recommendations for writing your own alternative text:
- Use unique simple descriptions. For example, “Ben Franklin statue infront of College Green at University of Pennsylvania campus”.
- Do not include text that states that the image is an image, i.e., "image of...".
- Aim for 150 characters or fewer, for complex images that require further description see Alternative Text for Complex Images
- Note that if your image is purely decorative, no alternative text is needed.
- See Alternative Text guidelines on the University of Pennsylvania site.
- Note, the page title is set as Heading 1 (h1) for each page automatically
- In your content, start with Heading 2 (h2)
- If you have sub-headings use Heading 3 (h3) next and so on through Heading 6 (h6), as needed.
- Do not use headings decoratively or as emphasis for paragraphs. Instead use styles like "Call out", simply bolded text, or other styles available on your site.
- Read a brief explanation in Web Accessibility For Content Creators on the University of Pennsylvania site.
- See Yale University's article for a deeper dive about webpage headings.
Further reading on alternative text for images:
- Image description training site: this site can help you learn to write image descriptions.
- The New York Times: The Hidden Image Descriptions Making the Internet Accessible
- Do not create links to your development URL, i.e. https://cmsdev1.pmacs.upenn.edu/... — instead, use the resource id. See documentation about internal links.
If you use the full URLS that include the development URL, the links will break when the site goes live.
- Use descriptive text for links. See above for information about accessible links.
Tables are a great way to present tabular data with rows and columns that are labeled with one or two headers. They should not be used to position images or other content that is not tabular data.
- Ensure tables are only used for tabular data.
- Ensure tables have either a header row, header column, or both.
Further reading about use of tables:
General Rules for Content
Review your site content with these considerations in mind:
- Each page should contain a minimum of 500 words, if you have shorter pages, consider combining them into fewer pages.
- Each page should offer real value, something of substance to visitors that is useful, different, and unique.
- Page titles: Each page needs to have its own title relevant to the content on the page.
- Should be limited to about 150 characters (this includes spaces).
- Should provide a concise summary of the page content.
- Page Aliases: Use dashes (–) or underscores ()_ between the words. For example: if you have a navigation element called “Talking about Aging” the alias could be "talking-about-aging"
- In most cases, MODX will automatically create an alias based on the page title.
- If a page has a longer title, you may want to adjust the alias to be shorter in case of people needing to remember or type it. The best time to do this is before the site is live.
Images and Documents
- Ensure that you have permission to use the images and files that you are including in your site. See our page on Image Permissions and Privacy for more information.
- Ensure all files are appropriately placed within folder eg. images, documents, uploads, etc.
- Note: If a file is outside of the directories, please place it into the appropriate directory and relink to the file in your site
- Use a descriptive file name using only letters, numbers, dashes, underscores and periods. For example, “ben-franklin-statue.jpg”
- Note, in most cases, MODX will rename your files to comply with these technical requirements on upload.
- See above about image alternative text.
Other Recommendations and Tips
- See Typography Tips page on how to effectively structure content.
- Visit our SEO Guidelines Page for more information on accessibility recommendations.
- Link back to yourself often, and try to get other sites to link to you, too.
- Do not set links to open in a new window, unless there is a specific reason, such as avoiding disruption to the user doing some action like filling out a form or following a checklist.
- Google uses geotagging during searches, so local businesses come up higher on the list. If this is important to you, add the cities/counties/states that you serve somewhere in the page’s title, description, and/or content.
- It can take up to six months for search engines to reindex your site, so do not expect immediate results.