Web Content Life Cycle
In most cases, content on official UNC Greensboro websites are public records. The UNC General Records Retention & Disposition Schedule provides guidance on how long records are to be maintained, when records can be destroyed, and what records are to be transferred to University Archives. The categories are somewhat broad, and may not cover all situations. If you have questions about whether or not records should be destroyed, please contact University Archives.
The UNC General Records Retention & Disposition Schedule affiliates “websites” with Public Relations and states: “Transfer to University Archives after 5 years for appraisal and final disposition.” Some content, while featured on a website, may have different disposition instructions. In such cases, follow the disposition guidelines with the longest time period.
With this information, UNCG hereby establishes a content life cycle for its websites.
The purpose of this procedure is to establish and maintain a website life cycle process to ensure an accurate and engaging web presence for the University.
GUIDELINES & PROTOCOLS
Maintaining a current website is key to increasing user satisfaction, ensuring a good user experience, and enhancing the confidence in the content instilled in the reader. There are simple tasks that can be built into the web content creation and update process to keep content current or to give the impression that the content has not become stale.
Ideally the content on a site should be updated regularly. In correlation with The UNC General Records Retention & Disposition Schedule, website content should be thoroughly reviewed, refreshed or sunset every 5 years. Exceptions include content in which a different disposition instruction is provided by the state’s records retention and disposition schedule. Additionally, as stated in the UNCG Web Content Audit Procedure, website content is to be reviewed annually by the responsible parties outlined in the aforementioned procedure.
The website manager and marketing/communications director for every campus department, college/school or unit are responsible for executing the Web Content Life Cycle Procedure herein. Each position holder shall work together to maintain web properties managed by the department, college/school, or unit. This may include identifying web pages that are approaching the maximum five-year lifespan, creating a monthly or annual review process for highly visible pages that require more frequent updates, or maintaining a list of limited life-span pages that should be managed closely.
Guidelines for Websites
Follow the University’s Web Content Audit Procedure to keep year-round websites updated and engaging for the user annually. The review, as part of the content audit procedure, shall identify content as “sunset,” or “re-write.” “Sunset content” delegation means the content is no longer useful information for the end user and should no longer be live on the site. As noted, contact University Archives to define what records are to be transferred to University Archives before sunsetting websites and their content. Content defined as “re-write” shall be rewritten to include the most up-to-date information for the end user as soon as possible.
Limited life-span/special event websites
Creating a website for limited time or a special event is known as a limited life-span website. Such examples include websites created to support an annual event. Some limited life-span websites may transition to “unlisted” status for a period of time, and return to “live” status when warranted( i.e. the commencement virtual celebration websites and pages).
A limited life-span website, especially those that promote an event, requires attention after the promoted date to ensure the reader knows that the event has already occurred. If the event truly recurs annually and the site is not moved to “unlisted” following the event, proper maintenance of the site is required. Visit the University brand guide for limited life-span/special event website best practices.
Revisions of the Web Content Life Cycle
WAMO may review and revise the Web Content Life Cycle procedure as needed and communicate any changes to campus web managers and communications/marketing directors.