UW-Whitewater Content Expiration Operational Guidelines
As the influence of social networks continues to shape how information is consumed, content providers are increasingly focused on creating a steady flow of content to keep pace with the ever-shrinking attention span of users What was fresh and up-to-date yesterday, is already outdated today, and the cycle continues.
Due to the ever-evolving nature of the web, it is important for web content providers to regularly update and refresh their content to meet the needs of site visitors. There are multiple reasons why this practice is beneficial.
- Sites with regularly updated content will rank higher in Google search results.
- It is important to continually update content to engage return visitors. Repeat visitors want new information when they return to the site. If someone returns to your site multiple times only to be met with the same content, they will likely stop returning.
- Regular review and updates will help ensure that departmental web content is up-to-date. As staff members, policies and other items can change, it is critical that these changes are reflected on the website as well.
The timing of website content updates will vary based on the department and the function of the website for each area. While some departments may update their content more frequently, these are the recommended minimal update intervals to help maintain freshness on the UW-Whitewater website.
- Review monthly for out-of-date information:
These regular reviews will help prevent inaccurate information from remaining on the site for a significant period of time.
- Review annually to refresh all content.
While this annual refresh of content may seem daunting, it is important for the health of the website. For some smaller websites, this task may not be difficult. For larger sites, we recommend a “rolling” update schedule. Rather than updating everything at once, schedule updates for various sections of the website at different times of the year to help keep the task manageable.
- Departments are encouraged to conduct their own monthly or quarterly reviews - ICIT can schedule reminders for you, however content reviews are the responsibility of departmental personnel.
- ICIT will create an “expiration report” every June and December – This report will contain all pages that haven’t been updated in a year. These results will be shared with departments and ICIT staff will schedule review meetings with departments with content that hasn’t been updated in more than one year. ICIT recognizes the fact that some website content is static in nature and may not warrant updates as frequently as other content. In these instances, ICIT will work with the department to identify opportunities for updates that match the departmental needs.
ICIT staff will also be available to consult on content updates and offer suggested content structures to aid department personnel in completing their updates.
Regular content updates are an important step for each college/department to ensure that our campus websites are in line with the industry best practices for content management. Please contact ICIT with any questions about your website’s content at firstname.lastname@example.org.