Cleaning Up Your Site

Over time, department sites can get out of control. Is yours full of out-of-date content or difficult for users to navigate? How do you even begin thinking about cleaning it up? First, ask some questions and gather data. Then, just start!

Define Your Goals and Audience

Take some time to define what you’re hoping to accomplish with your site so you can check

back and make sure your changes are consistent with your goals. Ask yourself questions like

the following:

● What is the purpose of your site?

● Who is your audience?

● What are your visitors looking for? ...and what are they finding?

● What action(s) do you hope to inspire?

Look at Page Views

Site analytics are a powerful tool. Look at page views to see if visitors are getting to the content they need — if they aren’t, think about ways to make that content easier to find. Delete pages that aren’t getting views.

Delete Freely

Your users aren’t served by out-of-date or incorrect content. Don’t worry too much about breaking links. It’d be better to have someone contact you looking for the right information than to give them incorrect information.

Write for the Web

The University Communicators Guide includes a section on Web Writing. Take a look at it before you start writing content. It will help you write for your audience, making your content stay consistent with the CSU, Chico style.

Describe Your Links

It’s bad practice to use generic labels like “click here” for link text. Instead, write text that indicates what will happen when the link is clicked.

When linking to a PDF, use the document title as the link text and add “(PDF)”  so the user knows that they are about to download a file.

List of two links to demonstrate how to create accessible links.

When linking to a document, or another CSU, Chico or external website, help the user open that link in a new browser tab by setting the “Target” to a “New Window” in Cascade.

Cascade insert a link box displaying how to open links in a new window.

Make Your Multimedia Accessible

Don’t require users to download a file such as a PDF or PowerPoint presentation to read content — move that important information to a web page.

Check your site for multimedia content.

● Images: Make sure your images are meaningful and relevant to your page content. Write

good alt text for each one, too.

● Videos: Make sure they have closed captioning.

● PDF: Check the accessibility of your PDFs in Adobe Acrobat to make sure they’re accessible. Forms that users need to print or fill out are a great way to use PDFs online. In fact, if

you have many forms, consider creating a “Forms” page where they’re all listed and organized into helpful categories.

● Other: Don’t link to PowerPoint presentations, Word docs, or other kinds of content that users will have trouble accessing on mobile devices or that requires installation of particular program.

It’s Okay to Be Wrong

Remember, your site isn’t set in stone. The web is always changing, and it’s easy to update. Iterate — come up with a plan, make updates, listen for feedback, learn, repeat!

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Article ID: 35987
Thu 8/24/17 3:59 PM
Thu 8/1/19 10:30 AM