This guide covers the basics of creating a new page for your website or section on vic.gov.au.
It covers the different page templates and what they should be used for, as well as the mandatory and optional (non-mandatory) components of a page. It also covers how to format your text, add images or files, search engine optimisation tips, and what you should do once your page is published.
It's a good idea when you first create a new page to enter all the mandatory information and then save it before you start entering body content, cards and links. Saving your page regularly helps to avoid losing any work if there are CMS timeouts.
Start with search results
We take an Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)-first approach to web content. The majority of website traffic comes from search so if your content is not optimised it won't get read.
- each page title must be unique
- titles should contain so they rank well on search results
- titles should be less than 60 characters so they are readable in search results
- urls are taken from page titles only
If your content is likely to be common then you will need to take this into account with your content and be descriptive within the character limit.
For example, Department of Premier and Cabinet annual report 2019-2020 instead of Annual report. If your page title is above the character limit for Google display then use acronyms where possible e.g. DPC annual report 2019-2020. If your acronym comes up in search results and trends then you can also use it in your page title.
Choose your page type
To add a new page, you can either:
- roll over Content > Add content
- from the Content page, click the Add content button
There are several page types in the CMS.
Most of the time, you need to choose 'Landing page'. This is the standard page and is used for most content.
Don't choose 'Page' because this doesn't include the right sidebar options. We're phasing out this template.
Watch a video about the Landing page template
For specialised page types, see the specific instructions:
We also have guidelines on other types of content (not specific to the choice of CMS template):
Fill out Landing page sections
Now it's time to begin adding your content to the page.
Enter a unique, SEO-focused page title. This will display as the page title on the live website. Your title should be a maximum of 70 characters only (stop when the text below says "80 characters remaining").
This is the meta description text that is shown on Google search results.
- Aim for 10-15 words (or a maximum of 150 characters, including spaces)
- Make it meaningful – don’t just copy and paste the first sentence from the page content. The summary needs to describe the content of the page using keywords that will help people find it.
- Use to see what keywords people are using most in searches.
- Be specific – if the page is about an application, service, form or process, specify which one and what it does.
This section is where you can add an intro text to a landing page. This will appear under the page title on the published page.
This should be a more concise version of the 'Summary.'
Add up to 6 links that the user may find important. They are displayed alongside the page title on the introduction banner.
Feature images don't display on the page you're updating. They display in promotion card or navigation card and links to the page.
Resize the image for your page to 818px wide x 496px high (keep this dimension proportion).
- Click Select images.
- Browse and select your image from the Library tab if uploading an existing image.
- If you're uploading an image for the first time, click on Add image, then Choose file and browse your computer for your image.
- Complete the Name field. Make the name of the file meaningful to the image, so it can be easily found using Media search. For example, a photo of a teenage girl laughing should be titled 'Teenage-girl-laughing'. If it’s a photo of a well-known person, you should include their name and position in the title (e.g. Joan-Kirner-former-Premier-of-Victoria).
- Complete the Alternative text field for your image. This is a description of the image for users who can’t see the image; it’s an important accessibility requirement. If the image is simply decorative, add 2 double quotes in the alt text field; this tells the screen reader to skip it.
- Click Save image.
Once you've added an image, you should save your work again.
Create or add a campaign block
Save your work again.
It's here where you add your content.
Gives you an option to add a table of contents to the top of your page. You can select to show H2 headings or H2 and H3 headings.
Select 'Add Component' to begin adding content. You'll use the 'Basic text' component most of the time.
- Show table of contents
- Basic text
- Navigation cards
- Call to action feature
Save your work again.
Ticking this box displays the site section navigation menu, visible on the right side of the screen on your published page.
Add the name of your site section in the title field (for example, Commemorating veterans) as this will display at the top of the menu and helps users orientate themselves.
Related links and What's next
These will be unticked by default. Keep these unticked if you have no content in them, otherwise a heading will be displayed on the page.
This allows users to share the page on social media. It defaults to 'On', but can be turned off. We recommend keeping it on.
Save your work again.
All content is matched to a predefined topic so we can automatically display key information across relevant areas. Topics also help people to discover and browse content that is relevant to their interests.
Choose the most applicable topicfrom the following list:
- Arts, culture and heritage
- Science and technology
- Sport and recreation
Here you select the type of header you want for your page. Unless a variation has been designed or signed-off by a UX designer (in conjunction with the content team), leave this as the default option of 'default appearance.'
Displays your page with the page title and introduction text.
Full-width background image
Allows you to customise the top and bottom corner graphics of a page. These can only be changed by the content team. The graphical image will not display when a hero image is added.
Call to action banner
Allows you to add a hero banner under the page title and introduction banner.
This is a small logo that will appear above the page title. Only use this when working with a UX designer or the content team.
Under this tab you can add:
- an introduction banner
- a search banner
- an Acknowledgement of Country
This banner will appear under the page title and introduction section on the published page.
This allows you to display a full-width search bar under your page header.
Acknowledgement of Country
Ticking this box will add an 'Acknowledgement of Country' block below your page header.
Saving regularly while working in the CMS helps avoid losing your work. This sometimes happens when you have connection problems, the page times out due to inactivity, or the CMS resets (which happens twice a day).
If this happens to you, try opening another tab and logging back in on that tab. Then return to the tab you were working on and you may be able to save the page.
White is used for most pages and will be the default option selected.
Change this option to grey if your page has a lot of navigation links, such as a home page..
Start typing your department or agency name and select the correct option when it appears. Or, click the down arrow option to see the full list of available options in a drop-down menu.
You must tick 'vic.gov.au' as well as the name of your subsite.
Tick 'vic.gov.au' unless it's a semi-independent site, then tick that option instead (e.g. Buying for Victoria).
Add images and files
There are some important rules for using images, image galleries and downloadable files.
Files should be:
- only added when there's a strong user need
- no larger than 10MB - the smaller the better
- named appropriately (with hyphens, not spaces in the actual file name)
- always accompanied by an HTML version
- accessible (if there isn't an HTML version)
Images should be cropped appropriately for their use.
Save your work
You should have been saving along the way. Now it's time to do one final save.
Preview and share draft content
Once you've saved a draft of your page you can preview what it will look like as well as share a link to this preview with others.
How will people find your page?
If you have added a new page to an existing site section, you should consider adding links to your page:
- from other pages
- on the side menu (if you have one - it's called the site section navigation. If you don't know how, you can )
The type of links you use depend on the setup of your existing pages and menus. These could include:
- card promotion automated (portrait style cards)
- card navigation automated (landscape style cards)
Automated means you're linking to an existing page in the CMS. When you create links using the automated function, links don't break if a page is moved or the title is changed.
Measure and monitor
Depending on your site and agency, various online tools are used to measure your page's success.
We measure DPC-owned content with:
- 'Was this page helpful' user feedback
- heatmaps using Hotjar
- Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Google Search Console
We send the 'Was this page helpful' feedback to site and site-section owners once a month. This user feedback should be used to improve your content.
How to interpret feedback and data
Join a community of practice
All Victorian Government staff can access groups on the Innovation Network, including:
Pages should be checked and updated at least every 6 months.
If a page is no longer needed, you can set its status to Archive pending and the Publishing team will archive it (which means unpublish it from the live website).
Remember to update or remove incoming links when you archive a page.
Reviewed 11 June 2021