Do You Know Where Your Content Is?

The latest issue of .net magazine has an article which starts off with a claim that most people don’t know what or where the content of their website currently is. I found this implausible at first glance.

Then I remembered some of the old domains I’ve worked with, and the treasure hunt involved in finding all the pages. The abandoned podcasts, the surprising mini sites unconnected with any other part of the site, the whorls and eddies of navigation added by different people at different times.

The multiple blogs, social media accounts, and other outposts of content created by people long gone from the company, or people still at the company who have forgotten what they started — or at the very least, the passwords for the accounts they made.

The surprising inlets and peaks of contradictory information that lure travelers away from the homepage and keep them there, unable to find their way back. The ancient maps and press releases and other bits and bobs of related content, now out of date and lurking online to confuse people.

At the college where I teach, the most popular way to find information within the website is to go out to Google and start over.

So, if you have a large site, an old site, or a site that hasn’t been taken care of for a while, you might want to explore it. Find what you’ve got, bring out the content that could be doing good for you and isn’t, remove the things that shouldn’t be online at all, freshen the whole thing up.

And then make a plan for the future, so it doesn’t get into that condition again.


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