ATIF web style guidelines

Think about

  • Who is your audience? (e.g. the public at large [with or without familiarity with Dzogchen and/or Buddhism], students, IDC community)
  • What do they want from this page?
  • What is the purpose of the page?
  • What words would your target audience use?

Text should be

  • Written for the reader, not for the writer
  • In plain “international” English (understandable also for nonnative speakers, but at the same time not too simplistic)
  • Concise
  • Easy to “scan”

Use Plain English

  • Simple, familiar words
  • U.S. spelling and punctuation (refer to SSP Style Sheet; ask for link if you don’t have)
  • Short sentences (maximum 20 words)
  • Short paragraphs (ideally no more than 65 words)
  • Use “you” and “we” rather than impersonal “one”
  • Use the active voice (reduce passive verbs)
  • Use positive language
  • Structure content for your intended reader
  • Avoid local idioms

Create white space around your text

  • Plenty of headlines
  • Short sentences
  • Short paragraphs (occasionally just one line)
  • Short lists or bullet points
  • Keep opening pages on a given subtopic to the bare minimum, possibly as little as a single paragraph

Say it concisely

  • Don’t waste words but be generous with information
  • Aim to reduce text by 50%
  • If a page needs to be long, make sure it is concise
  • Reduce background, “history,” and hype - people want information or action on every page

Front load information

  • People are scanning and searching for information. Put your main point first.
  • At the top of the page
  • In sentences
  • In each paragraph or block of writing

Create content that can be easily scanned

  • Relevant, consistent and meaningful headings with a logical hierarchy
  • Content needs to be well organized and easy to navigate
  • Use easy-to-read text styles (text is left aligned, no italics or all caps)
  • Put key ideas at the top of the page and at the start of each paragraph
  • The first three or four words in a paragraph are the most important
  • Use short lists or bullet points
  • Make sure images have captions

Communicate within a few seconds

  • Specific, explanatory headings (think of them as headlines)
  • 4-10-word headline specific to the content below
  • Write small blocks and use bullet points well
  • Meaningful image captions and alt-text

Use semantic markup

  • H1, H2… For headers, subheaders
  • Use link tag to connect to the content inside the web
  • Use numbered list / bullet list tag for lists
  • Use blockquote tag for quotations

Use consistently italics for

  • Tiles of books, fils etc
  • Proper names
  • Names of places and institutions
  • Foreign words and pharses
  • For emphasis

Use of links

  • If text relates to some page which is deloping subject in more details use relative links (link wich start like "/en/yoga-dance-arts/vajra-dance/" instead absolute link ""


  • Use quitation formating tool
  • Always give source of quotation: Person and source (Book, website)


  • It's kind of obvious, but it can prevent embarrassing errors
  • Use consistent vocabulary


  • If its not evident iomage should have caption explainig the subject etc.
  • If image has author. Proper credit should be placed
  • If image has copyright. It should be iondicated like:  2017© John Zorn


DO NOT copy text directly from Microsoft Word Software. It introduces a lot of “garbage” code that can break pages and produce an inconsistent look.