May
20
2015

Spring clean your website

This week at the website support clinic, we received a visit from a member of staff looking for advice on how to prepare her website for the upcoming migration to EdWeb. As so often happens, other work had got in the way and the site was in need of a bit of attention. The site contained a large number of outdated news articles as well as pages that were no longer being used. We helped her to identify the pages with the most visitors and the pages that were no longer necessary.

If you manage or edit a website that is soon to be migrated over to the new EdWeb content management system, or maybe your site just needs a bit of a spring clean, the EdWeb migration offers the perfect opportunity to get it in good shape. As an editor at the University Website Programme, I work with University websites on a daily basis and I can honestly say that the most efficient websites are always the ones that are regularly reviewed and updated. After all, the University website is visited by thousands of people each day, therefore it is vital that all information is kept up-to-date and remains accurate.

Removing clutter

A well organised site has a number of advantages:

  • the migration of your website will run more smoothly
  • no unwanted content will be published
  • all content will be up-to-date and accurate
  • users can easily navigate through the site to find desired information

In the case of the woman who came to see us at the support clinic, we advised her to review each page and cut out any unnecessary content that was no longer serving a purpose. This could be old news articles, past events or FAQ sections.

Things to think about when reviewing your site

  • Is your ‘News’ section current?
  • Have your upcoming events been added to your event page?
  • Do you have any archived news or events articles which are no longer needed?
  • Have any key stats on your ‘about us’ page changed?
  • Are your contact details correct?

If you are concerned about the current state of your website, or require some assistance with pre-migration preparation, we have created a number of guidelines to help you through the process. You can find these on the university wiki site. Details of all the tasks you need to complete can also be found here.

Site preparation

Editorial task checklist – key pre-migration tasks

Book a migration preparation support session

Google Analytics

We also suggest using Google Analytics to determine which pages are not being viewed. You may want to remove these pages or link to them from other sections in the website. Unread or unvisited pages can also indicate a poor structure so it might be a good idea to review your website’s navigation structure.

For guidance on how to effectively use Google Analytics to enhance your website, please visit the wiki page:

University web stats with Google Analytics

The Content Freshness Tool can also help you identify which pages you have in your website, their age; and provides a quick link to edit them.

Content Freshness Tool

We also run a training session on Google Analytics which you can sign up for using the Event Booking Channel in MyEd.

Google Analytics training session

If you have any other questions on preparing your website for migration or would like to book an appointment at our website support clinic, please contact website support.

Website.support@ed.ac.uk

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