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Table of Contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19

Chapter 9 · Web Site Copy


Unlike broadcast media, the user is in charge on the Web.

Hard selling doesn't work so well on the Web.

Short, bright, summarizing copy works well on the Web.

Write in an inverted pyramid style: begin with the conclusion, then provide the supporting material.

Break things up into sub-pages. Give the reader the choice to not look at things, or to modify the content they do see by allowing them to customize information. Make heavy use of cross-linking among pages on your site.


Web Site Editing Exercise
Here is the corporate web site for Biotrin, a company which produces complex biotechnology products. How would you rewrite the copy on this site?

Web Page Copy Exercise

For this exercise, assume that your school's web site has a section that promotes on-campus events. Assume that you have been asked to create a web page about an upcoming athletic event. The information about the event is included below.

  1. Rewrite and/or reformat the information in the paragraph applying the principles discussed in this chapter to enhance the readability of the information.
  2. Sketch a design for the web page, indicating what title you would give the page, what headline you would use, what pictures you would incorporate and where they would be placed.
  3. Do you think the web page design would be enhanced with the use of background color or text in different colors?
  4. Should you include links to other pages or sites? Why or why not?
  5. If you have access to a web page development program such as Adobe's PageMill, Microsoft's FrontPage or Netscape's, create a web page that corresponds to your sketch.

Regional Soccer Championship To Be Held on Campus this Weekend
  • Soccer teams from five area schools will compete for the regional championship
  • Your school's team has a winning record this season
  • Your school's team has a good chance of winning the championship
  • You want to urge students to come watch the matches
  • The athletic department needs people to volunteer to pass out programs and otherwise help with the event
  • Anyone interested in volunteering should call Joan Armstrong, the school's athletic director at 555-5555 or e-mail

Additional Information

Nielsen, Jakob. (1997). "How People Read on the Web," Alertbox for October, 1997.

Strother, Neil. (November 5, 1999). "New Data Reveals [sic] How the Sexes Surf." discusses the results of Nielsen/NetRatings' tracking of visitors to web sites for September 1999. While the data indicate that men and women tend to visit different sites, everyone prefers sites that present useful information efficiently.

A PDF or Acrobat file (see makes for nice printable versions of online text.

Copyright 1998 by Digital Springs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.