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Resources for ALI Main Site and Committee Guides: Site Management and Style

Responsible for editing or updating the main site, service pages, or committee information? Below are useful resources for creating content according to the ALI style guidelines. The guidelines, established and maintained by the Communications Committee, will help ensure consistency and accessibility across the site.


Basic Site Rules

  • Keep it current - the ALI site reflects the current work of ALI and should not be used as an archive. Only the latest year of information, minutes and reports should be on our pages.
  • Use the ALI Google Drive for long-term collection and storage of ALI materials.
  • Create friendly URLs for every guide or page.
  • Proofread and spell check before posting, please.
  • Upload copyright-free images only (i.e. either in the public domain or shared under an appropriate Creative Commons license).
  • Optimize or embed images (e.g. Flickr) to preserve space and minimize loading time.
  • Add alt-text for all images.
  • Organize text using headers, formatted lists, etc. for easier reading and accessibility.   
  • Use Arial 14 for body text. It’s easier on the eyes.

Friendly URLs

For all guides, pages, and sub-pages on the ALI site, we prefer the use of friendly URLs to make it easier for users to find, recognize, and share guide content. What makes a URL "friendly?"

  • It is short and descriptive
  • Whenever possible, it avoids the use of numbers and special characters (except - and _)
  • It uses a term, acronym, or short phrase specifically drawn from the title, purpose, or subject matter of the page/guide to which it points.


Examples of friendly URLs on the site

  1. The main ALI site domain:
  2. A top-level page (one of the main tabs, sub-tabs, and affiliated sites on the ALI domain):
  3. A sub-page (linked from one of the top-level pages on the ALI domain:

Users on the site cannot change the main web address ( The next piece after that address is the top-level page name, which page creators and editors can change using the Page menu to edit page properties. Sub-pages follow the top-level page, and may also be edited.


The basic form of an unfriendly URL 

When a new site page is created in LibGuides, it is automatically assigned a URL that looks something like this:

This automatically generated URL is what a friendly URL is meant to replace. Please replace all auto-generated URLs on your ALI sites and pages with friendlies!

Step 1: Find and open the edit link dialog box

On any new guide page you create, you should see a page address and an "edit" icon in the shape of a pencil. Click the "edit" icon to open the edit link box.

Demo image of Libguide edit URL toolbar


Step 2: Enter and save your friendly URL

When you click the "edit" icon, it should open a dialog box that looks like this:

Image of Libguide Add/Edit Friendly URL dialog box

Notice that you cannot edit the primary domain name or the top level address for the site. All you can add is the "friendly" text that will lead directly to your page. Put your chosen text in the box, click the "save" button, and wait a moment while the page refreshes in your browser.

Congratulations! You've made things friendlier!

Two important notes:

  1. When you link to other pages on the site, be sure to check the URL you use, so that you're pointing to a current, friendly URL and not to a preview window or an unfriendly internal link. 
  2. When you change your own URLs, make sure to notify the webmaster ASAP, in order to ensure that links from other pages to yours from elsewhere on the site will work properly.


Images and Media

In order to ensure that the site loads quickly for both desktop/laptop and mobile users, best practice for using uploaded images encourages resizing/optimizing and compressing them; the resulting file loads more efficiently, takes up less storage space on the site, and looks better on the page at all sizes and dimensions. So: before you upload and insert an image, please do the following:

  1. Crop the image to precisely the content you need.
  2. Resize it (preferably using a photo editor on your computer) to a width of 1500 to 2500 pixels.
  3. Compress the file using your photo editor or an image compression tool. We recommend TinyJPG -- it's fast, it's easy, it's free, and it does a good job of preserving image quality while reducing file size.

Step 1: Go to the Image Manager

Use the Content dropdown menu to open the Image Manager. All images uploaded to the site for embedding in boxes or pages should be saved here.

Screenshot of LibGuides Content menu


Step 2: Go to the Shared Library

Users in the SpringShare content management system have access to two libraries: a Personal library (accessible only to the user who owns it) and a Shared library (accessible for uploads by all users with Admin-level access). If you don't have upload privileges for anything other than your Personal library, contact the webmaster to have your images uploaded to the Shared library; note that all users can embed images from this Library, regardless of Admin privileges.

Screenshot of  Image Manager Shared Library


Step 3: Go to your committee's folder and click the "Upload New Image" button

Each committee has its own folder in the Shared image library. Please upload your images to your committee's folder, not to the ROOT folder. Just click on the committee name in the left-hand menu, click on the green "Upload New Image" button, and select your image from whatever file it occupies on your computer.

Screenshot of folder in Shared Libary


Step 4: Open the image to edit its properties

Once the image is uploaded, it will appear as a thumbnail in your folder in the Shared library. The little number on the lower right indicates how many times the image has been used in the system; it can also be used to figure out where an image has been used on the site.

Screenshot of thumbnail in Shared Library file


Click on the thumbnail image (NOT on the link icon or the mapping number). This should open a dialog box that will allow you to edit the keywords, alt-text, and file location of the image. Let's skip the keywords for now (the site doesn't have a consistent set to use yet). Please do enter alt-text for accessibility -- a very brief description of the content of the image. If you've accidentally saved your image to ROOT or some other folder, you can use the drop-down menu in this dialog box to move your image to the location you prefer.

Screenshot of Image Properties dialog box


Congratulations! You've uploaded an image!

Don't worry about the lack of other editing options -- you'll be able to do more fine-grained image editing when you actually embed an image from the Shared library in a content box.


Online Tools

Image Compression/Optimization

Creative Commons Search Extensions