Your homepage is designed to attract users who are searching for programs, and funnel them to your most useful and popular content once they reach your site. The largest audience of Krieger department websites is prospective students, and our pages are maintained to reflect that.
Most of the content on this page refers to sites using the department or cross-divisional theme. Sites using the faculty/lab blocks theme have the flexibility to arrange their home page as needed.
On department sites, the top image, headline and degree text, and basic department text in a blue box are standard and will not change regularly. The Office of Marketing and Communications will make updates to the 2-3 boxes containing an image and text about subpages.
Home pages also frequently contain events calendars, or widgets that highlight important information or testimonials. Staff have the ability to add news posts, events, and update sidebars. If you have concerns about your content or think new images are required, please contact us.
Sidebars and Widgets
A single sidebar can be posted alongside the standard boxes, and multiple alongside news posts. Generally, sites should use no more than two sidebars per page, and sidebars should not be longer than the page text. This improves the user experience, and helps keep your top content highlighted. Users can update these sidebars on their own in the “appearances” section, under widgets.
News posts are a great way to share recent awards, faculty members featured in the news, new faculty books, and other information for the department. They should focus on recent news, and not include events. Departments should aim to update events at least once per semester, whenever possible. If your department doesn’t have enough news, you can also choose to pull news from the Hub by talking with the communications team.
Your headline is the first thing (and often the only thing) people read. Good headlines for your news posts should be:
- Short, because long titles create long URLs (aim for <80 characters)
- Information rich, by providing facts or information from the article
- Front-loaded, with the most important keywords first
- Understandable out of context, because headlines often appear solo
- Predictable, so users know if they’ll like the article before they click
- Free from hype and idioms, which can sound vague and unprofessional
Writing Your Post
The first 300 characters of a news post will appear on your home page and news archive page. To make this look better, you can add an excerpt that better summarizes your news. The excerpt box appears on the righthand side under “page” (not block) options.
- Keep the length to less than 300 characters, or about 2-3 sentences.
- Include the most important information that you are trying to convey to your reader that isn’t already in the headline.
- Use complete sentences.
- Don’t use any links or text that says “click here.” Links will not appear.
- Use user-centric language. Tell readers why they should read the full article. Is the guest speaker famous in the field? Is the award very prestigious? If so, include that information.
- Use words people can relate to, instead of industry jargon.
Examples of Good News Posts
National Geographic gives best-of-year nod to JHU historian
Prof. Nathan Connolly helped digitize records of redlining in Mapping Inequality, an interactive database that allows users to search hundreds of maps and documents that contributed to housing discrimination beginning in the 1930s.
Peter Armitage and Team Discover Clue to Key Master of Modern Physics
In a paper published in Science, Associate Professor Peter Armitage and a team of six scientists from Johns Hopkins University and Rutgers University experiment with material that straddles the world of classic physics and a hidden quantum realm.
Whenever possible, a featured image should accompany a news post. News posts with a interesting featured image typically have a higher click-through rate. Images also help regular visitors to your site notice when new news items are posted.
- Upload images in the Featured Image box. Images that are embedded directly in the text of the article will not appear on the home page.
- Avoid reusing images, such as a faculty member’s headshot, as much as possible.
- Do not upload copyrighted images, stock photos, clipart, or other unrelated imagery.
- Do not use an event poster as your featured image. Low vision, blind, and dyslexic users will not be able to read the text in the poster image with their assistive technologies.
- Posts that contain no content besides an event poster image will be removed without notice.