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The INFORMATION PROVIDERS GUIDE is for everyone who develops and publishes material on EU websites, including webmasters, editors, content providers, web developers and contractors. The guide covers all aspects of publishing on the EUROPA site, describing the relevant editorial, technical and presentation standards in force.
The rules set out in the IPG are compulsory in order to ensure a coherent and user-friendly service to the users. The IPG is freely available on EUROPA in English, and is a living document which is regularly updated.

 
 
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Browsers support

The information on supported browsers, including the statistics for browser usage, is updated. The browser compatibility list now accommodates the use of HTML4 and HTML5.

 

"What's new" on the Commission standard template

The information on the "What's new or New on EUROPA" service tool in the Commission standard template is updated. The current recommendation is to link to a local page only, as the page "New on EUROPA" has been removed.

 

Language coverage

The Language coverage page is updated with more information on General vs. specialised content. Specialised content, targeted at a limited audience or experts, may be provided in a few languages or even just one, depending on the users' needs.

 
 

10 issues about your Europa website

1 - Who and what is your website for?

The content and audience of your website should be set out in a concept plan. This plan should include:

  • goals of the web site, target audience,
  • what services or information will be provided ,
  • what checks and quality control will be in place,
  • how the site will be maintained.

Read more about in definition and planning.

 

2 - Common domain

Your web site should be hosted under EU dedicated domain europa.eu. The Commission has its own sub-domain at the address ec.europa.eu.
This common domain is vital to:

  • give a corporate identity to EU web sites,
  • allows us to be found easily by search engines,
  • allows user to recognise official EU web sites.

Read also about Structure of EUROPA.

 

3 - Information Architecture

Information Architecture is the foundation of a good website. It's about planning where information and services will be located on the website in the most convenient and logical way for users. You have to:

  • defining the content, 
  • grouping and labelling the content,
  • determine a logical content hierarchy,
  • production of a prototype,
  • and more.
 

4 - Design/Corporate image

A standard presentation provides advantages to both users and information providers:

  • the consistent look of the EUROPA sites;
  • ease of use through standard facilities.

The standard template must be used for all development:

 

5 - Think about multilingualism

The language policy of a website should be considered from the outset by asking the following questions:

  • What kind of content am I offering?
  • What languages do I need to reach my target audience?
  • What resources do I have available?
A well thought decision must be taken on the language policy of the site.  

6 - Web accessibilty is very important

The Web is an increasingly important resource in many aspects of life: education, employment, government, commerce, health care, recreation, and more. It is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. An accessible web can also help people with disabilities more actively participate in society.

Find out more about it.

 

7 - Use standard technologies and e-services

Use standard technologies and integrate available interactive services:

 

8 - Learn about how to write for the web

The web is a very different medium from print and users expect content to be presented and written differently. To do this, we must unlearn our previous experience and habits, especially the style traditionally used in the EU institutions.

Read more about it.

 

9 - Quality control and usability testing

Quality control is very important and quality assurance activities must be integrated into the entire site development process, starting from the conception stage right up to the site’s final transition into production.
Do not forget about usability testing. It is a method by which users are asked to perform certain tasks in an effort to measure the website's ease-of-use, task time, and the user's perception of the experience.
Usability testing allows you to measure the quality of a user's experience when they interact with your website. It’s one of the best ways to find out what is or isn't working on your site.

 

10 - Promotion of a web site and SEO

When you launch a new website, revamp an existing site or add a new functionality to a site, you should communicate this to users both within and outside the European Institutions.
Think about promotion activities and make communication plan.

Also, think about Search engine optimisation (SEO). It is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic (higher ranking within search engine results) to a web site from search engines by modifying a website's content and structure.