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 content templates 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 the option called 'Page' as this doesn't include all the options you need to fill out and we're phasing out this template.
For instructions on how to use other content templates, read our guides:
We also have guidelines on types of content that don't have a CMS template:
Watch a video about using the Landing page template
How to 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
Primary campaigns display at the top of the page between the header section and the body content section. They span the full width of the content area.
Secondary campaigns displays after the content area, just above the page footer. They span the full width of the content area.
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.
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.
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).
The checklist covers:
- search engine optimised (SEO) title and summary
- structuring content from most important to least important
- linking emails and phone numbers
- heading structure on the page
- creating HTML content and avoiding PDFs and Word documents
- navigation and menus
- creating accessible images, documents, video and audio content.
Once you're happy with your content, you can push it:
- from Draft
- to Needs Review.
You can also add comments to the Publishing instructions and comments field to flag any big changes or include notes about approvals. Any notes or comments will be saved into the Revisions tab.
All content will be published within 24 hours. State in the comment field if your content is embargoed or time critical.
The page will be submitted to the publishing queue where it will be reviewed against the publishing checklist.
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 to do this, email the digital team on ).
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
- WoVG Google Marketing Platform 360
- Single Digital Presence Community of Practice
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 16 July 2021