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Attorney Website Design Blog

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pro-tip: Formatting Content on Your Firm’s Website

Over the past few years, as a number of open-source platforms like WordPress have become more popular, the use of content management systems (CMS) has become more prevalent in the legal industry. This software varies greatly in terms of capability; some are very basic allowing website owners to simply edit a few core pages while others give a webmaster full management capabilities with the option to add or delete pages and even do more advanced tasks like manage upcoming events or an e-newsletter distribution list.

One complaint we often hear from attorneys who work with even the most user-friendly systems is that the formatting of the content is incredibly difficult to control. While most providers claim that you can easily cut and paste content over from a Word Document, this is seldom the case and often results in pages with font and spacing inconsistencies. If you find this is happening, we highly recommend that you copy and paste the content from Word into a plain text program like Notepad which strips all of the external formatting found in most word processing programs. Then copy the plain text and paste that into your CMS. You’ll likely find that this simple step does the trick. If the problem persists, you might try hopping into the HTML to have a look around.

While we can’t teach you coding in a single blog post, there are a few basics you should keep in mind:

  1. All commands in code must begin with <> and end with </>. For example, if you wanted to bold a word, you would need <strong> (the command for bolding) just before the word(s) and </strong> immediately after it. If just one bracket is missing, your command will be thrown off.
  2. The command to begin a paragraph is simply <p>. To end one, you would add </p> immediately after the period of the last sentence. When you find that you can’t properly separate two lines or paragraphs, it’s often because you’re missing a p or a bracket.
  3. Your website developer likely set the CSS for your website which determines what the default font will be (including size and color). Once this is set, when you paste in plain text the CSS should take control and apply the correct formatting to the text. However, as we mentioned above, extraneous code does occasionally get in there and throws off the CSS. In this case, you’ll likely come across some code which indicates a different font and size. Once this code is removed, you should find that any font inconsistencies are resolved.

At Amicus Creative Media, we offer firms the most robust content management system designed exclusively for attorneys. With our great Site Manager, you can easily create new pages, edit existing content, add special reports and manage a plethora of marketing tools (such as our integrated blogging system, click to call technology, event management system or e-newsletter system). As a member of the Amicus Creative family, you’ll also have a dedicated webmaster – us; meaning you won’t need to pick up a side job as a developer, or get caught up with fussy code. You can call us at any time for immediate assistance, at no extra cost to your firm.  


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