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Plain English Campaign website design - thoughts on best practice

A series of occasional articles focusing on aspects of website design.

A contact form is not email

When we assess websites for the Internet Crystal Mark, we check whether your contact details are sufficient. We expect to see:-

  • a street address
  • a telephone number
  • an email address

as a bare minimum.

We have noticed a trend for websites to have a contact form instead of an email address. (Often labelled as email on the contact page.)

Read more: A contact form is not email

Should you use text-transform: uppercase; in your style sheet?

Good, accessible website design has the separation of content from presentation as a core principal. This is nowadays achieved by presenting content with HTML (HyperText Markup Language) coding, whilst styling is presented using CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). Styling includes the font used, the colour of the font, and its size, as well as other aspects of presentation such as page layout.

Many popular tools to assist creating websites such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal have standard templates that make it easy to choose a style for your website. However, many of these come with coding that change all menu items (and sometimes all headings) into uppercase. It doesn’t matter whether you write menu items as you would normally, or in uppercase, the result is shown in uppercase.

Read more: Should you use text-transform: uppercase; in your style sheet?

Should you use CAPTCHA on your site?


Captchas are the distorted letters and/or numbers that site users have to decipher and write out in a form before that form can be submitted.

Their purpose is to stop automated form completion by bots (software applications used to perform automated tasks on the internet) that pretend to be real site users in order to submit spam or access free services intended for those real users.

So, what is wrong with captcha?

Read more: Should you use CAPTCHA on your site?

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