5 Easy Ways to Make Website Content Easier to Manage
Let’s get stright to it, here’s what we are going to cover:
- Integrations and Automation
- Specific Fields, Templates
- Post Types and Categories
- Content Usage
- Footers and URL’s
One major pain point for users…duplicate entry. Usually, this relates to folks managing social media and a website. You have multiple calendars for instance and each time an event is added or needs to be updated, you have to update it…EVERYWHERE.
Integration / Automation
This is just one example, but we help so many clients by integrating outside platforms with their website. We live in a connected world, why not take advantage? Most major platforms support API keys or feeds to integrate with any number of resources. Click, copy, paste, connect, and done.
Sounds easy, right? Each circumstance is different and well it’s a big world out there with plenty of sketchiness. Here are a few tips for picking integration platforms:
- Reputation – If you can stick with publishers who created the original platform. If not, is the add-on provided by a reputable company with other well-rated add-ons?
- Reviews – Check the reviews, are there more than a 50? Are there any recent ones? Are the recent ones bad? Yeah, it’s not boding well.
- Support – If it doesn’t work this is who you talk to, so make sure they are easy to find. Even better, is there full documentation available? A developer loves good documentation.
- Release Dates – We look at how long ago something was released and how long ago it was updated. An add-on one-year out of date is getting questionable. A plugin only released two months ago may have some bugs.
As always if you have a question, we’re here to help!
Specified Content Fields, Templates
If you can’t automate content, the best way to streamline content management is through consistency. We use custom fields to gather the necessary information in our website templates and display that info on the page. All you do is type in the label, we handle the rest.
An overwhelming number of display options and unformatted text leads to consistency problems. Any website with a lack of styling consistency looks messy and makes it difficult for users to easily identify information in patterns.
Post Types and Categories
We refer to posts, which are blog posts. Date sensitive material posted as news or updates. The latest post usually appears first in a list and these can be organized by categories. Creating an effective structure for categories means you can organize content across your site that is automatically populated based on a simple checkbox.
A good example for this is job openings. Current, important, but temporary information that may need to appear in multiple places on your site. What if it’s filled? You are back on the hunt again searching for bits of outdated info. But create a post, and the latest posts in the same category would have populated, pushing the job post in question away from a featured position.
Need help with getting your content under control? Ask us about website devleopment.
But what if people still need to find it? Searches are great for giving access to posts that may have been moved further down the blogroll.
It happens all of the time, one pit of information needs to be updated and you hunt down every link and then find more weeks later. Info is important, but consolidating sources is key to limiting hidden outdated information.
Pages Should Be for Persistant Information
A page on a website should contain relevant and persistent information. It’s what we call “cornerstone content.” Vital information your site provides visitors. Unless you have a blog site, in which case your sheer volume of blog data is your resource. But you too will still have important pages, like Affiliate Information, User Account Access, About, and Advertising.
We work with clients on this all of the time. It’s important to understand what a user will visit your site for and to address their interests with your content. (See our post on how SEO works for more!) A page, like services, for most businesses, has vital content and should be maintained, but never dated or too brief. These types of pages should be managed and reviewed frequently to ensure accuracy.
Content with dates for annual events or weekly events needs to be continuously updated. Use a calendar or post for temporary date-relevant data. Finding pages with outdated, dates is a sure sign of a website in need of maintenance, not to mention super frustrating for users looking for current information.
For other dates, like years in business, avoid saying 35-years (for example) and go with the year you were founded. People are smart, they don’t need the exact number. And before you get too antsy, if it’s an anniversary year, make a blog post, add a banner to your home page. Easy items that should be updated often anyways.
Footers and URLs
This usually appears on every page of a website. Bits of info like phone numbers, customer service links, legal disclaimers and addresses need to be easily accessible to users and easily updated by managers.
URLs are the phone numbers of web pages, miss a single character and you’re lost in 404 land, “Page Not Found”. Content managers need to be ever-vigilant with a site’s URL structure.
Here are a few things to be aware of:
- Duplicate URLs – /contact-2 – Numbering is never what you want to see. It’s sloppy and publishing multiple copies of the same page is always a bad practice. If you need a test area, use a test page. Avoid creating “sandbox” pages that use cornerstone URLs.
- Redirects – If a page ever moves or needs to be removed from your site, you need to tell search engines and users, where to look. Deleting a page without providing the proper 301 redirects, is a major no-no and should be done with discretion.
- Dates in URLs – /summer-fest-2016 – oh look that festival we wanted to go to this year, oof, maybe they don’t update their page. Side note, I have seen URLs like this on posters for recent year’s events. It’s not a good look. It needs to be changed to /summer-fest (with a 301 redirect, so you don’t lose your SEO street cred).
Thanks for reading, we hope you found this helpful!