How to nurture your website content for continued growth

Do you remember file cabinets? First you had so much room, your hanging file folders looked lonely with so much empty space. Eventually, and usually much sooner than you expected, you were using your full arm strength to push the file folders aside so you could cram one more grouping of papers into that file drawer!

File cabinets were replaced with computers and the internet came around. Documents are easy to create and store with computers, such as with Google Drive, making it too easy to create new ones without replacing the old documents. Do you know how many Google docs you have in your Google Drive?

It can be just as easy to add content to your website and not remove outdated content. Perhaps you were alarmed by the amount of outdated content on your site during the transition to Drupal 8 or 9. This is the perfect time to create a maintenance plan for your site, to keep your site from becoming difficult for you or your users to find the most recent information.

The structure of a content maintenance, or governance, plan for your site depends on the size of your site, the type of content, the number of content contributors and other factors. The following are applicable to any content maintenance plan.

  • Content should be added, modified, archived, or deleted based on a content strategy aligning your business goals with your users goals.
  • Every page published on your site should be reviewed at least annually.
  • Review basic website KPIs to identify pages needing improvements.

While this sounds like a daunting task, breaking your site into manageable chunks of content helps. Consider:

  • Using your navigation to identify manageable chunks of content, e.g., About, News, (microsite), etc.
  • Scheduling content reviews around your coworkers availability, do not task the student services group with content review during application processing or graduation time periods.
  • Once the annual content review schedule is drafted, share it with your colleagues for input.

While content maintenance can be time consuming, the lack of content maintenance will be more detrimental to your website. Developing a content maintenance plan benefits your users by providing

  • a consistent navigation, making it easier to locate information, and
  • updated content, ensuring you do not have conflicting information on different pages.

Watch for future blog posts where we dive deeper into the steps involved in creating a maintenance plan.