U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines
This page describes the requirements and best practices for maintaining the content on your site. Maintaining content is an important task that Web site managers should plan and budget for each year. To continue to ensure the quality of your Web site, content should be periodically updated or removed if it is out of date.
All Web sites must follow these requirements.
Create a Maintenance Plan
All site managers should have and follow a maintenance plan to ensure that your Web site content and technical aspects are kept up to date. The content on every EERE Web site must be reviewed annually according to these maintenance plans.
While certain content should be updated on an as-needed basis, other maintenance tasks can be scheduled to ensure that the content is regularly reviewed. The following content should be updated as it changes or becomes available:
- Organization charts
- Funding announcements
Other content maintenance tasks can be performed on a regular basis. These include:
- Link updates and fixes (see technical maintenance for more information)
- Spell checks
- Content reviews and edits
- Optimization updates
The frequency of these tasks and reviews depends on the content and size of your site. If your content is tied to a particular project or time frame, scheduling regular reviews will help you manage content before it becomes outdated. More static content can be reviewed for timeliness less often, but may require annual technical reviews. Large sites may need to be reviewed in manageable chunks throughout the year.
Following these guidelines will result in more up-to-date and reliable content.
Remove Old Content
Removing old content can be just as important as putting up new content. At the time of the EERE Web survey in 2004, EERE contained 19,893 documents; by May of 2007, that number had increased 120% to 42,974 documents. EERE continues to generate important content, but in this process, the value of old content is often not assessed. As you plan to add new content, also consider which pages can be removed.
Conduct a brief site or section inventory, and ask yourself the following questions about each page:
- Is the content out of date?
- Is it covered somewhere else?
- Does it still fit the purpose of the site?
- Check your statistics—has anyone looked at the page in the last six months? (if not, and if the content is important, should the page be moved?)?
- Can any of the content be consolidated, either with other existing pages or with pages that will be added with the new project?
If possible, include tasks for site inventory and removal of some old content in your project charter. A content analysis may also help you determine which content can be removed.