Skip to main content

Web standards for page layout

Anchor links

  • Use anchor links for pages over one screen in length.
  • Add "Return to top" links at the end of sections of long pages.

Guidance

  • Format anchor links using either an unordered list that uses bullets or an ordered list that is numbered.
  • For long pages, split your page into sections with headings and sub-headings and use anchor links to link to these from the top of the page to help visitors find the information they are looking for more quickly.
  • Anchor links in a list should not link to another page. People find this confusing as they are not expecting to leave the page they were reading.
  • Add "Return to top" links at the end of sections on a line on their own line aligned to the left.

Examples

The Web standards for PDFs and other file types page is a good example of a page that uses anchor links and Return to top links.

Why we have this web standard

Usability - Anchor links make it easier for users to navigate longer pages.

Unordered lists (bullet point lists)

Bullet point lists can be formatted using the bullet button on the editing toolbar.

Guidance

  • Use bullet points to draw attention to key statements.
  • Bullet points should be used for anchor links of 5 items or less.
  • For advice on how to write bullet points, please see Plain English Campaign's free guide

Reasons for web standard

Technical - Lists need to be created this way so that they are correctly formatted when the page is published.

Style - Following house style ensures a consistent look and feel to our web pages.

Ordered lists (numbered lists)

Numbered lists can be formatted using the numbered list button on the editing toolbar.

Guidance

  • Numbered lists should be used for items that need to be placed in order of priority or sequence.
  • You can use numbered lists for anchor links of over five items, then add the number to the corresponding heading.
  • Don't use Roman numerals, letters or complicated numbering. Contact Web and Digital Services for help if you are having trouble with formatting.

Reason for this web standard

Technical - Lists must be created using the method above so they formatted correctly on the published page.

Usability - Lists are very effective on the web and help users find the information they want quickly and easily.

Top