Websites Content Guidelines

First impressions matter and often, this is done through the headline or page title. At NHS Wales, this might take the form of the page title, a news post title or a press release. It might be a Department welcome message, or information about a new policy. The title sets expectations for readers and informs them as to what they can expect to find in the article or page. While simplicity is favourable, the title has to convey the purpose of your content.

Writing great page titles

  • Think about what we learned around making bullet points scannable, and apply this thinking to your page title.
  • Page titles will sometimes appear out of context. They may be auto-populated as link titles, or appear in Google or site search results. Users need to see the page title (often out of context) and still know what it means or refers to.



Tone of Voice

To open up information to anyone interested enough to find out about it, we need to follow these golden rules:

  • Be Specific - avoid vague words, metaphors and words that are open to misinterpretation.
  • Be Concise - keep content understandable, concise and relevant. It should be: informative and clear.
  • Avoid Jargon - Avoid unnecessary jargon, unexplained abbreviations or acronyms.


Plain English

Use plain English; don’t use complicated or long words when easy or short ones will do.

You should write content as simply as possible so that it is understandable by everyone. Write as if you were talking to your audience, as if you were talking to them one-to-one but with the authority of someone who can actively help.


Breaking up text

Nothing surprises content writers more than learning how much time the average user spends on the pages their copy features on.

  • In most cases, users might spend as little as 2 minutes on a page. On some NHS Wales sites, users spend as little as 1 minute on a page.
  • Intermediary or portal pages (designed to direct a user to another more detailed page) can see users spend as little as 20 – 40 seconds on a page. Are the users reading the copy on the page?

Broken up text is likely to be most effective to support users scanning for -

  • Times and dates, such as visiting or surgery times, or specific dates relating to their NHS Trust or Health Board services
  • Names, telephone numbers and email addresses
  • Key pieces of information related to their task, such as wait times, department names or links to other NHS Wales websites
  • Bite-sized paragraphs explaining single concepts or services


Graphics and Images


Image Size

Creating the appropriate Image Size for web pages is important. The size and resolution of an image has a huge effect on its display within your site and download time. While images can make your site looked polished and professional, having images that are squashed, stretched, blurred or too small looks unprofessional. Therefore, ensure that the image you are uploading is the correct size for the purpose on your website. You will have the ability to Crop/Re-Crop any images within the CMS


Examples of image re-size distortion

Example re-sized Image Original Image Example Stretched Image Incorrectly Re-Sized Image



Using Images as Links

Using images as links is perfectly acceptable, but they do need some special attention. A screen reader can identify images used as links, so they should be placed in the page in a way that this technology can access. This means they must have alt text and it must be relevant.
If you are using images as links especially if the image contains text and you are not using the images alt text, those links will not be available or accessible to those using non-graphical browsers (text only) or those with impaired sight who use screen readers. This is especially concerning if the images are linking to vital health information

Image Copyright

Copyright is the right of the owner to reproduce or permit someone else to reproduce copyrighted works.

The most common types of copyright infringement on the web are images being used on web sites other than the owners.

If you use an image on your web site that you didn't create, you must get permission from the owner, this includes any images you've found on Google