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Terms to be avoided while writing for the Web

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Terms to be avoided while writing for the Web

     

It is unhealthy for your work to call attention to the web. If you write well then its good to take the advantage of the options that the web can provide you with but do not become self referential. ‘Click here’, ‘this web site’, ‘follow this link’, these are few terms you should avoid as far as possible.

You can know which terms to avoid by seeing whether the terms are specifically for web use then they are words to be avoided. If you are confused then the best thing to do is to print the document an read it and then see if it makes sense to you or not.

However don’t be too obsessed with it as you can’t avoid all the references to such terms especially when you are providing browser related information. But be careful and don’t remain in this illusion that all the users will use the same browser. This can be judged from the example that for downloading a file, instructions differ from browser to browser.

So, whenever you provide any instructions do make them clear enough without being too specific to the browser or the brand of the browser. Apart from these certain generic terms like foreign, domestic, local should be avoided if your audience will be global. This is because what is foreign or local to you might not be so for your audience abroad.

When using the term international you should be careful that it includes all or many nations including your own. Regional designations etc should also be avoided, because for example what is east coast to you will not be same thing to someone in Moscow.

Slang and dialects which cannot be found in a good dictionary should not be used because it cannot be translated easily. Another important thing to avoid which can hurt the credibility of your site big time is poor translations. Language errors and grammatical mistakes are another big no.

What basically is on your mind is how to make your site optimized for the search engines, for this purpose a site map linking all your pages is mandatory and the main link should be the home page. Also create a links page and name it resources. The use of text should be more compared to the graphics. JavaScript and Flash should not be preferred.

Your drafts should be reviewed again and again before a final copy matching the requirements of your site is prepared. Avoid informal register for religious and public ceremonies. This can give a very bad impression and your site can be treated casually. It is not advisable to use passive voice because active voice is a better option as the sentences are shorter, the communication style will be direct.

Avoid keeping long and continuous blocks of text as they are not just difficult to read but scan too. Also it is not helpful to assume where your reader will be or is coming from. Whenever mentioning any offline events then always mention the place and date and also time if so required because online events may be global but offline ones are not.

If you are putting details of any contest on your site then be sure that you also put the countries in which it is valid and also any other must know details, this increases the credibility of your site. Also cities that you mention should have the corresponding countries in brackets for if you need to know then USA also has a London.

If such general pointers are followed it will definitely increase the traffic on your website.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011

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