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Web editors and senior contributors:



Editorial and CMS guide

  • The Web Services team guides, supports and collaborates with web contributors to continuously improve the LSE web presence. 

  • We promote best practice that helps maintain the quality of the website.
  • We set a standard for, and support, all digital content and production.

Renaming or reorganising pages?

If you need any pages or folders renamed or moved this must be done by Web Services who manage this in the CMS. Plan it out and contact us. Also contact us to plan larger reorganisations. For a guide on creating new content, see below:

Top rules for writing and adding web content

  1. Edit, proofread and preview before publishing and keep your paragraphs short.
  2. Create useful headings using keywords so visitors can scan for relevant information quickly.
  3. Write in plain english, avoid jargon, be clear.
  4. Use sentence case. Only proper nouns and the beginning of a sentence are capitalised. This also applies to headings, menu items and right hand side promos.
  5. Follow the Guidance on LSE house style. If it doesn't cover what you need to know, contact
  6. Never rename or move any pages or folders.  Contact Web Services if this is something you need to do. Renaming or moving anything in the CMS has knock-on effects and must be managed by Web Services. Make a list of what you want to do and contact
  7. Use the Moodle CMS 'How to' guides. These are comprehensive step-by-step guides with illustrations about using the CMS.
  8. Ensure all images have the right permissions. LSE copyright images are in the LSE image bank. You can also find LSE photos on Flickr: LSE - a history in pictures. If you source images elsewhere, it may be a condition of use to credit a photographer - the copyright credit is put in the image alt text.Only use images for which you have permission from the photographer and where those depicted have given the appropriate consent. If using images of people under 18 you must get the parent/carer's permission. If in doubt, contact
  9. Correct broken links within 24 hours. They are highlighted in the weekly Siteimprove report. If you think you should receive the report but don't, contact:

Who is your target audience?

LSE's target audiences and their information needs are represented by seven personas.

Please get familiar with those whom you are targeting. You can read their profiles on page 45  of: Web review: report and recommendations [PDF]. The seven are:

  1. Prospective students
  2. Media
  3. Business
  4. LSE academics
  5. LSE academic support staff
  6. LSE students
  7. Alumni

Please read the brief descriptions of what they expect to be able to do, and find, on the LSE website. Use these as a guide when creating your content targeting them. What you need and want to tell them does not always match what they want to know, so try to ensure both aspects are covered in your pages. 

Google Analytics

The LSE website uses Google Analytics to measure how many people are visiting the site and to help us understand how people are interacting with its content. For you as a contributor, that means: 

  • Google Analytics data can help you set priorities when you create and update your content.
  • It shows user trends and gives you valuable information about the top tasks that users come to your site for. 
  • Sometimes, it can also pinpoint where there may be a problem with the architecture or content of your site.

If you are a lead contributor, we can set up regular Google Analytics email reports for you. 

If you would like to request to receive reports, or have specific queries that you can't resolve, contact:

Using hyperlinks

  • Avoid long lists of 'related' or 'useful links' in the right hand column. These tend to be symptomatic of problems with information architecture rather than being a solution.
  • User the 'information for'- drop in template for a short list of links that are very relevant to the page. See: Moodle - CMS templates - Righ column- information for... 
    Alternatively, it may be better to add a 'Useful links' sub heading to the end of the page, for example if you want to add a PDF relevant to the text on the page, or an external link that is particularly important. 
  • Don't name links 'click here' or 'read more' or similar. It doesn't explain what the link offers and makes the page less accessible for visitors using screenreaders. Site visitors want to understand quickly whether the page is the right page and useful to them. Give them a clear signal about the page purpose, by making sure links and headings contain meaningful and appropriate keywords.
  • Warn your web visitors of external links if it is not obvious by the link itself. Write [external] next to the link.
  • Warn your web visitors if you are linking to a document eg PDF by writing [PDF] next to the link, for Word documents use [Word], etc. 
  • Don't make links open in a new window unless the point to an external website.
  • If linking to another LSE CMS page, never copy and paste the url into the link box. Instead, always navigate to the page through the folder structure and drag the file onto the page to create the link.
  • Link text should be the title of the page (or publication) it links to, containing keywords.

Fixing broken links

A weekly report is sent to a nominated web contributor in each division and this lists any broken links in your section/s. If you are not receiving the reports and you don't know who is, contact and we will set it up, or let you know who is currently receiving the reports.

Please check the report as soon as it arrives and correct any broken links reported within 24 hours, this way the list will remain very short and easy to fix.

It is one of the top irritants for visitors to find broken links. Also, if broken links are left to accumulate across the LSE website, Google also builds a picture of a site that is unattended and not refreshed, which could start to affect ranking in results.

Where should new content go?

  • Please scan all the sections of the website to find the best place for new content within the site - this may not be where most of your content is.

    You may need to signpost your new section to visitors in other areas of the website. Best practice is not to create sections based on which division is providing the information (eg all your content in a section about the division). Place it where the visitor will expect it to be. 

    This practice also helps to avoid duplicating content that is already provided elsewhere, which can quite rapidly become out of date or inconsistent with the other content about the same topic.

    It is usually best to just give some introductory information and link to the section that is responsible for that topic.
  • Focus on creating a good user experience. All editors are responsible for supporting and maintaining the current website structure (information architecture), the processes and standards that support this.

  • If you are creating a new section/series of pages for the corporate website or are restructuring and reworking your content please contact the Web Content Team well in advance where possible so we can provide the best advice and support. Email:

    We will discuss your plans and goals, explain the processes that will be involved, any additional options you may not be aware of, and propose a work schedule to ensure it runs as smoothly as possible.

  • If you do find you need help at short notice do just email or call to discuss - we are here to help!

Basic CMS page templates

There are two basic templates in which to place your content. Follow the rules on what goes where in the CMS templates. Using templates correctly will improve usability for our visitors:

  1. Landing page template, which is only used as the first page of a channel (top tab) and has a built-in large image across the top and a different layout and design from the standard template.

  2. Standard template, for all pages beneath landing pages - this give you a three column page but you can use drop-in templates to change the layout to suit the content and of course add images, videos, twitter feed, promos etc.

Elements that make up a page and how to use them 

Use the drop-in templates to create a different layout for different types of information. For a, see Moodle - CMS templates.

Landing page elements

Left-hand column:

  • Navigation menu: this is generated automatically. It cannot be altered but you can change the order of the menu items. 
  • 'How to contact us' box: This is generated automatically for a landing page. The content can be altered but not the title and it can't be restyled. If you don't have a general contact point, provide instructions instead eg "See contact details in each page", or add links to a who's who page.
    For a full list of templates, see Moodle - CMS templates.

Central column:

  • Large image with quote: This occupies the full width of the central column. They can only be altered through Web Services.
  • Introduction text box: It has a 219 character limit (including spaces) that is equivalent to three full lines of the central column. Use this to describe the channel the landing page represents. This is a fixed part of the landing page
  • Highlights/news text and images box: These have text + image boxes and you can add a couple more yourselves. Large image is 113 x 148 pixels; small image is 62 x 86 pixels.
    For a full list of templates, see Moodle - CMS templates

Standard page elements 

Left-hand column:

  • 'How to contact us' box:  you need to add this to every page that isn't a landing page so visitors always have a way of contacting LSE. 
    For a full list of templates, see Moodle - CMS templates.

Central column: 

  • Page contents: Page contents at the top of each page should be removed (highlight each H2 heading and choose 'template no page contents' in the Style drop down) - see the CMS Handover Notes. If you have a scrolling page, this should be edited down or cut into several new pages and linked from the left hand menu. There are a very few instances where page contents should be showing, please contact us if you want to discuss this. 
    For a full list of templates, see Moodle - CMS templates.

Landing pages and standard page elements

Central column

  • Tabbed box: This is generated and placed by Web Services on request. It avoids long scrolling pages and is best used when you have several important messages you don't want people to miss. It is only suitable for certain types of content and the headings have to be very short. It is useful for content that is organised into a sequence (eg 'Step 1', 'Step 2', etc) or where content of different types require equal prominence (eg 'News', 'Events', etc). 
    For a full list of templates, see Moodle - CMS templates.

Right-hand column

  • Rectangle promotion boxes
    You may not put any 'raw' text in the right hand column
    . Any content in here must be a promotion or an image. There are three to choose from. In order of priority:
    • image box with title - images for these should be 238 x 105 pixels. Three to a page only
    • image box with caption - images for these should be 238 x 105 pixels. There is no title at the top, just room for a caption underneath an image. Please use sparingly to explain image content, list names etc and keep caption short
    • image only - 238 x suggested maximum 315 pixels. 
      For a full list of templates, see Moodle - CMS templates.

If you don't have content for the right-hand column on some pages, you can use relevant corporate promotions. They are stored in the top level folder called 'corporate promotions' eg you could use the LSE Experts Directory promo, or the podcasts and videos promo etc.

Waiting for your content to publish

Please always preview your pages before publishing.

Publishing doesn't quite happen instantly - even if the publishing queue is short, it still takes a little time for all the elements of a page to publish. As a general rule, please wait around 20 minutes before contacting Web Services if you think something is wrong. Of course do call/email us immediately if it is urgent. 

Comments, corrections, clarifications

Please let us know if we have broken any of the above rules on this page, or if you want us to add further information. Simply use ' Comment on this page' at the bottom of the page. This link is on every page of the website.

Services, tools and surgeries

  • CMS web surgeries
    Help with how to use Contensis and technical queries. Held at ALD LG.01, Aldwych House. No need to book. 
    • Mondays 3pm - 4.30pm
    • Thursdays 11am-1pm 
  • Blog service - contact

  • Web editorial surgeries (corporate website) 
    Usually run on Wednesday afternoons, please book in advance.
    Get advice on:
    • your web presence and what is available to improve it
    • editorial best practice
    • editorial management
    • quick fixes for editorial conundrums
    • best use of templates to promote your key messages
    • action plan for further work
  • Search engine optimisation service 
    Review your web presence and search engine rankings - contact the content team:
  • Siteimprove site check reports
    Regular automated reports detailing broken links for web contributors. Contact  

  • Video and audio web surgeries  
    Surgeries are run by Tom Williams (Rich Media) on request. Visit: Rich Media
    Get advice on:
    • publishing video and audio in your CMS website
    • video and audio production 
    • featuring your content on the video and audio pages, iTunes U and LSE YouTube channel
  • Personal pages and society web space


CMS training

  • CMS training notes are available in Moodle. Web Services follow these notes when we train lead contributors in each division or department/centre. Please follow these notes if you are cascading CMS training to other contributors in your section. 
  • All contributors working on the corporate website must have had training to use the CMS – either the two hour 'handover' training from the Web Services production team, or from a colleague who has had this initial full training session. For help with arranging training contact:

Editorial guidance

Contact Catherine Bellamy for best practice guidance and advice on:

  • content strategy, developing your web presence
  • reworking your content structure
  • writing for the web 
  • user testing your current content with your target audiences
  • content design queries
  • managing your content over time and creating an editorial calendar

See the 'Services' tab for more information or email

See also

Video and audio guidance 

For guidance, contact Tom Williams, rich media web producer:, ext 7952 (020 7955 7952).

For more information, see Rich Media.