Web standards checklist for page authors

Web standards help us meet accessibility, usability and technical requirements. They also ensure we follow Surrey County Council's (SCC) house style and any legal or policy obligations.

See our guide to writing web pages for help with creating web pages and projects for Surrey County Council public website, SCC Info and microsites.

Page titles, metadata and keywords

  • Keep your page titles short by using fewer than 80 characters.
  • Do not include symbols or punctuation other than: - ? ', ( ) ! . : " £ $ €
  • Make page titles meaningful as they may be viewed out of context (for example in search engine results).
  • Use capital letters for the first letter of the first word and for proper nouns.
  • Add a description to the metadata and make sure keywords are included in the bodytext as well.

For more information, see Web standards for page titles and Web standards for adding page descriptions and keywords.

Headings and sub headings

  • Use H2 headings and H3 sub headings to break up long pages into subject areas.
  • Use headings in order, like H2 before an H3 and H3 should not be used without H2.
  • Format headings and sub headings using the headings button in Squiz Matrix.
  • Do not use bold to format headings or sub headings.
  • Do not use headings and sub headings as links, nor to change the appearance of body text.
  • Only use column headings in tables as information must read from left to right.

For more information on headings, see Web standards for headings (H2) and sub headings (H3).

Page layout

  • Use anchor links for long pages.
  • Do not use horizontal rules (lines) as a substitute for headings.
  • Format lists correctly and use numbered lists for nine or more items.
  • Do not use tables to create columns for body text or to position images on a page.

For more information on page layout, see Web standards for page layout.

Text format

  • Format text as Paragraph style.
  • Avoid large blocks of bold text spanning more than one line and do not use block capital letters.
  • Check spelling and grammar are correct and follow the council's house style (on SCC Info).

For more information on formatting text, see Web standards for text.


  • Do not use 'click here' or similar generic terms for link text. Do not use identical text for links to different target pages.
  • Check all links work and go to the correct internal or external web page.
  • Use See also links only for related pages in other categories on the website.
  • Make sure you link to all child (sub) pages in 'In this section' or in the body of parent (category) page, not in a See also.
  • Make sure external links meet our standards. Do not add links to third party discussion sites or forums.

For more information on using links, see Web standards for links.

Images and maps

  • Do not use images to replace text.
  • Do not use images larger than 30k.
  • Make sure images conform to one of our standard dimensions.
  • Use .jpg or .gif format. Do not use animated images.
  • Create meaningful and short Alt text for all images.
  • Include a text description for any images that contain data for example pie charts and diagrams.
  • Make sure you have copyright permissions for maps, photographs and artwork.

For more information on using images, see Web standards for images.


  • Do not add file types other than PDF.
  • Make sure attachments meet council publication guidelines and PDF accessibility standards.
  • Make sure attachments are not larger than 1Mb and are at least five pages in length (for exceptions: PDF standards)
  • Use lower case for filenames with no special characters (except hyphens or underscore to replace spaces)
  • Do not use punctuation or special characters in asset titles. Make sure file asset titles and descriptions are
    grammatically correct and meaningful.
  • Always add attachments as 'Files available to download'. When also linking to attachments in body text, the link text
    should state document title and file type for example Self-directed support leaflet (PDF).

For more information on PDF attachments, see Web standards for PDFs and other file types and our accessibility guidance on SCC Info.


  • Do not use individual staff phone numbers or email addresses without the permission of the Head of Customer
    Services. Contact Web and Digital Services with your requests.

For the full web standards on contact information, see Web standards for contact information.


  • Only use column headings in tables as information must read from left to right.
  • Do not use tables to create columns for body text or to position images on a page.

For the full web standards, see Web standards for tables.

Help with web standards

If you need any help with using the web standards, or would like to ask about writing new web content, shortcut URLs, multimedia, audio, video and Web 2.0, please get in touch with your Web and Digital Services team:

  • Email: Web and Digital Services or digital@surreycc.gov.uk
  • Tel: 020 8541 8788

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