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Standards & Styles

Best Practices for Guide Layout

Any page of your guide may be accessed from any other page, whether your guide uses left-side navigation or tabs at the top of the page.

How Many Pages?

Use only the number of pages necessary to organize your content logically. An excessive number of pages can overwhelm users, obscure your content, and make it difficult to update your guide. If your guide is growing too complex, consider whether the content should be divided into separate related guides.

Friendly URLs

Just as your guide has a friendly URL, each page of your guide should also have one. For example, the friendly URL for the home page of this guide is and the friendly URL for this page is

Recommended Pages

The pages that appear on most subject guides appear below, with variant titles. Both the Home page and a Databases page are required for subject guides.

  • Home [REQUIRED for subject guides]
  • Databases [REQUIRED for subject guides; linked from the Databases by Subject menu]
  • Books, Books/E-Books, Finding Books
  • Reference Resources
  • Websites, Digital Collections, Digital Archives
  • Local Resources, Delaware Resources, Regional Resources, UD/Campus Resources
  • Professional Organizations, Professional Associations

Using Subpages

You can create subpages that are nested under the "top-level" pages of your guide. This can be a useful way to organize your guide into logical sections. When creating subpages, the same rule of thumb used in writing outlines applies: "No 1 without a 2. No A without a B." In other words, don't create a single subpage under a top-level page.

Bear in mind that using subpages may cause users not to see parts of your content. Some users may not notice the subpages in the navigation menu, while others may not click on the top-level page because they assume it is a heading rather than a page.

LibGuide usability studies also reveal that student users in particular get easily lost with too many navigational links from which to choose. As you develop your guide from a user and patron perspective, please be judicious with your use of subpages and boxes within.

Support Images

Some pages may benefit from supplemental or support images for your content. A recommended practice is to place them under the left side-navigation menu. Example:

Side navigation image example