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Maintaining your web site

Some sites are not intended to be visited frequently, so they can remain unchanged for some time. If yours is one of them, don’t put a date on the site, and don’t put anything there that can get obviously out of date (like pointers to upcoming events).

Most sites are looking for repeat visitors, or need to include information that does become dated, so they need to be changed more often. To attract repeat visitors, you need to have something new to offer at regular — and relatively short — intervals.

Some maintenance ideas:

  • Remove anything that has passed its use-by date, or (in the case of events) replace it with a review or report on the event.
  • Add a page every week or two, and put a note on the first page to draw the visitor’s attention to what’s new.
  • Change the dates on some of the pages, including the first one, whenever you add something new, or possibly even if you don’t, so visitors don’t think the site is stagnating.
  • Check links to other sites to make sure they are still good, and replace or correct them if not. A great (free) tool to use is Xenu’s Link Sleuth, available for downloading from
    http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html.

    You can also buy automated programs or sign up for link-checking services that will do the checking for you.


Last updated 24 June 2003

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