As the content migration deadline approaches, the main activity happening now by content and program teams involves reviewing old content to see if it’s worth putting on the new Extension website. The way to assess it can be approached by asking:
- Will our audience understand and be interested in it?
- Is this accurate and up to date for Oregonians?
Updating the content may be needed before entering on the new website. Not all web content is peer-reviewed although this is an option for those who want this step. The web team is looking into ways for peer-reviewed web articles to be attributed on the website, and analytics about that content provided to authors if needed.
Best Practices for Formatting Content
The format that the content is presented in matters too. In looking at what people read the most over this past summer, one type of content stands above the rest: “articles”. People can more easily find, read, and share “articles” on the website.
Content in articles are text and images on a webpage rather than a downloadable file. Converting a PDF to an article should be considered in all cases if less than 15 pages of content and includes only basic tables, simple diagrams, and photos. Articles can be printed directly from the screen, or shared other ways, if a handout is still needed.
Like in newsletters, the web content is best when it:
- Provides clear and compelling title and introductory text
- Speaks to the audience and answers common questions
- Includes relevant images and headings to skim down the page
- Uses bulleted lists for brief points and short readable paragraphs
- Offers research based and practical information with a specific focus
Here’s an example of a popular article in the past week that includes some of these elements:
You may have encountered white, segmented “worms” or grubs when chopping firewood and wondered what they were. Common questions include, did they kill my tree? And are they a danger to other trees? The quick answers are no, and no.
As content and program teams think about the upcoming season, ask “What are people going to be reading?” Then consider how to apply these best practices to existing content on the website or when creating new content this fall.