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 and file titles and metadata descriptions

  • Use up to 80 characters in page or file titles
  • Meta description between 110 and 160 characters
  • Do not use symbols or punctuation other than: - ? ', ( ) ! . : " £ $ €
  • Make titles and meta description meaningful to boost search engine results
  • Only the first letter of the first word is capital

For more information, see Web standards for page and file titles and Web standards for adding meta descriptions

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
  • Format using the headings button in Squiz Matrix
  • Do not use bold
  • Do not use headings as links
  • Only use headings in table columns as information is read 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
  • Use numbered lists for nine or more items
  • Do not use tables to create columns or position images

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

Text format

  • Format text as Paragraph style.
  • Do not use block capital letters
  • Check spelling and grammar
  • Follow the council's house style (on Our Surrey)

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


  • Do not use 'click here' or other generic terms for links
  • Check all your links work
  • Make sure all external links are https (secure and won't be blocked in some browsers)
  • Use 'See also' links only for related pages on other parts of the website
  • Make sure you link to all sub (child) pages in 'In this section' or in the body of main (parent) page
  • 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

  • Images should compliment text, not replace it.
  • Images should be smaller than 30k
  • Sized to a standard dimension
  • Use .jpg format
  • Use meaningful and short Alt text for all images.
  • Include a text description for any images that contain data
  • Make sure you have copyright permissions

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


  • Do not add file types other than PDF
  • PDFs must meet legal accessibility standards
  • Attachments need to be smaller than 1MB
  • PDFs should be at least five pages in length
  • Use lower case for filenames
  • No punctuation or special characters in asset titles
  • File asset titles and descriptions are grammatically correct and meaningful
  • Always add attachments as 'Files available to download'.
  • When linking to attachments in body text, the link text should say document title and file type
    • Example: Self-directed support leaflet (PDF).

For more information, see Web standards for PDFs and other file types and the council's accessibility guidance on Our Surrey.

Help with web standards

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

In this section

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