HTTP status messages—How to use the templates

The language used in the following HTTP status message templates has been kept generic enough that it can be applied in a number of variations of the basic scenario.

More specific messages will assist users greatly in understanding what the error message means and what they can do. Terms like 'the resource title' and 'the requested resource' should be further customised (where implementation allows) to reflect the title of the resource in question.

Referencing site search

To comply with accessibility guidelines, visual-layout specific language like 'top right corner' has been avoided when indicating the position of the site search.

The search is only ever indicated using the linked text 'site search'. This link can link to either of the following at the discretion of the agency:

  • a dedicated search page for the site
  • the whole of government search page (especially in the case of resources removed due to machinery-of-government changes)
  • a fragment-identifier URL (anchor link) which identifies the id attribute of the search input field in the CUE banner (for example #search-query)
  • When including a date and/or time in a message, AEST should be specified using HTML abbreviation markup, for example:
    <abbr title="Australian Eastern Standard Time">AEST</abbr>

† Integration with CUE Template

Most status messages are to be integrated into the standard CUE template for a site. However, some messages (generally those used for redirection) should be presented alone without the CUE identity or navigation elements.

There are two reasons they are left without these elements:

  1. Most user-agents perform these redirections silently. This means the document body will not be seen by most users, but will be downloaded by all users, so it is important to keep the download as small as possible.
  2. For users who do see these redirection pages, the only relevant link is to the destination resource. There is no need for other navigation mechanisms.

Status messages that should be presented without the CUE template have been indicated by marking their HTML document section with a dagger ().