Web Style Guide

Web Content Editor Training

You can request training or help with Drupal (Notre Dame's content management system) by contacting the Web Content Manager

Style Guide

Website Naming Conventions

  • The address of the University’s website should be written as ndm.edu
  • Unless a specific URL has been developed, printed publications should generally direct people to the appropriate web page via "breadcrumbs." A breadcrumb trail is a web navigation device that identifies the web pages one must click through to reach a specific page
    Example: ndm.edu > About Notre Dame > News

File Naming Conventions

  • Format file names with hyphens; not underscores
  • Use a descriptive title, and a date
    Example: ndmu-commencement-5-25-2014.jpg

Specific Text Formatting


  • When linking text to another page, document, or anchor location on the same page, select text that is relevant to the destination. Do not use phrases like "click here" as the link.
  • When describing links to a document PDF, etc. Link text as: "Download the 2014–15 Academic Calendar" or "View the 2014–15 Academic Calendar"
  • Do not link periods after sentences.
  • All links to external, differently branded content must open in a new window (Coded as target="_blank")
  • All documents (PDFs, etc.) must open in a new window.
  • Do not link to Word documents. Make PDFs of the document and link to those instead. 

Email Addresses & Phone Numbers

  • When possible, link names to their associated email addresses. (Code should appear as <a href="mailto:example@ndm.edu"></a> or simply "mailto:example@ndm.edu" within a link dialog box.)
  • Phone numbers use hyphens. Do not use parentheses for area codes. Example: 410-532-5178
  • Where possible, phone numbers should be linked. (Code should appear as <a href="tel:4105551234">410-555-1234</a>, or simply added to link dialog boxes as "tel:4105551234")

Basic formatting

  • Do not double space after periods.
  • At paragraph returns, do not use a space after periods (Code should always look like this "end of paragraph.</p>")
  • At hard returns, do not use a space after periods (code should always look like this "end of sentence.<br>")
  • Do not underline text that is not a link — emphasis should be denoted by bolding text. Italics and bold can be used together in moderation. (Note that italics are generally used to denote titles, not emphasis.)

Dates, Times, Numbers, Ranges, etc.

  • School years formatted as "2013–14" not "2013–2014"
    • Dash is an EN DASH, which denotes a range, not a hyphen.  
  • Phone numbers use hyphens. Do not use parentheses for area codes. Example: 410-532-5178
  • Times:
    • No colons and zeroes unless half hour required, e.g. 3–4:30 p.m.
    • Use p.m. and a.m., not PM, or pm
    • Dash is an EN DASH, which denotes range, not a hyphen.


  • All photos/graphics must include alternative text for images, also known as "alt text." This text is descriptive text used for the purposes of Section 508 Compliance for the visually impaired.
  • Where possible, images should be captioned. This may take the place of alt text.
  • Alt text is added to image code as follows:
    <img src="ndm-commencement-5-27-2014.jpg" alt="An image depicting the Notre Dame of Maryland University commencement ceremony on May 27, 2014">