My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
~ Erma Bombeck
It's summer and I've delegated most jobs to people in my department far more competent, so I can tackle some of the important but not urgent tasks that pile up during the year. One of these is reviewing our district website. I rank the task right up there in pleasantness with cleaning the rain gutters. It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it.
For better or worse, this has been my job since the district first had an online presence starting in 1996. (Thank you Internet Achieve and its WayBack Machine for making finding this old homepage easy.) We got an early start thanks to generous parents who ran an early Internet/webhosting company. We've since switched ot a commercial provider, of course, and there is a movement afoot to move most content to GoogleSites. So webhosting is a dynamic process in our district.
Pages have a way of going bad very quickly. A page with a two-year-old date is ancient in Internet Years*. If a page advertises an event, the page is outdated the minute the event passes. On a website like ours with distributed responsibility for departmental web maintenance, any change in personnel dates the contact information. A lack of confidence in the ability to update one's website may also play a factor in slow changes to websites.
Our distict has long had a set of webpage guidelines, last updated in 2012. One standard, virtually ignored, reads:
At the bottom of the page, there must be the date of the page's creation, the date of the last revision of the page and the name and email address of the staff member responsible for the page.
I wish I had an efficient way of knowing when pages were dated without having to view each one. Do you use a webhosting service that makes this a more efficient task?
Anyway, as unpleasant at it may be, when was the last time you gave your website a good home(page) cleaning?
Oh, while I was on the WayBack Machine, I checked out my earliest personal web presence - March 1, 2000. Who is that good-looking youngster gracing the page anyway?