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Web standards checklist for page authors

Web standards help us meet accessibility, usability and technical requirements for our customers. They also help us follow council standards such as house style and 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, S-Net and microsites.

Here is a quick guide to the most popular standards:

Page titles, metadata and keywords

  • Keep page titles short by using fewer than 80 characters.
  • Meaningful titles boost search engine results.
  • Help your customer and show up higher in search results by adding a description and keywords to the metadata .

For more information, see Web standards for page titles and Web standard for adding keywords to web pages.

Headings and sub headings

  • H2 and H3 sub headings break up long pages into subject areas.
  • Use headings in order, ie H2 before an H3 and H3 should not be used without H2.
  • Headings and sub-heading are already formatted so you don't use 'bold'

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

Page layout

  • Use anchor links at the top of a long page to help customers.
  • Add "Return to top" links at the end of each section.
  • Put the most important information for the customer at the top of the page.

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

Text format

  • Format text as Paragraph style and follow the council's house style (available on s-net).
  • Avoid large blocks of text and block capital letters and do not use italics.
  • Always check your spelling and grammar.

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


  • Don't use 'click here' and other generic link terms as they do not meet accessibility requirements.
  • Make sure all your links work and use SiteImprove to check for broken links regularly.
  • Links on Matrix pages leading to other Matrix pages must use asset IDs not urls.
  • Use See also links only for related pages.

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


  • Decorative images can put customers off so only use images that support the text.
  • Make sure image size is correct: 200 x 150 pixels (landscape) or 150 x 200 pixels (portrait ).
  • Images should be on the right-hand side of a page so they look good viewed on a mobile or tablet.

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


  • 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.

PDF Attachments

  • Keep PDFs smaller than 1MB (see PDF standards for exceptions).
  • Use lower case for filenames with no special characters (use - or _ to replace spaces)
  • Help your customer by adding attachments as 'Files available to download' and give the file type eg 'Self directed support leaflet (PDF'

For more information on PDF attachments, see Web standards for PDFs and other file types and How to create accessible PDFs.

Contact details on web pages

  • Do not use individual staff phone numbers or email addresses unless you have permission from the Head of Customer Services. Please contact the Web and Digital team if you need to request this.

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

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
  • Tel: 020 8541 8788

Files available to download