Introduction

Writing for the web is different from writing for print publications. Research has shown that people read online by scanning for information rather than reading the full text. They typically come to websites with a specific task in mind.

Consequently, it is important to present written content online in a way that is quick to scan, relevant, useful, consistent and easy to read.

The writing guidelines provided here should be referred to for the production of web content. By following the guidelines, you will help to ensure that the European Commission's digital content meets these user needs and helps the Commission meet its objective of communicating effectively with citizens.

For printed publications, official documents and reports, there are currently three recommended official writing guides available:

DG Translation produces a weekly newsletter providing tips on how to write clearly. If you wish to receive this newsletter, log in with your EU Login credentials and subscribe.

Guiding principles

Whenever you create content for the Commission's online presence, bear in mind that it should be

Make sure to take into account that your content

See Content accessibility checklist for tips on how to make your content as accessible as possible.

For guidelines on how to optimise your content for search engines, see Search Engine Optimisation.

Focus on user needs

Always focus on the user task

Before writing anything, answer these questions

You will have business goals in writing your text, but these must map onto some feasible need or interest of your target audience. All content should meet at least 1 pre-identified user need.

Your text should be useful and usable – not simply information in a void. What do you want your audience to do, having read your text?

How to write user-focused web text

Contact and support

If you require further assistance, please contact:

Comm Europa Management

European Commission
DG Communication 
Unit B.3 
Europa Web Communication