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Effective Web Content Management

December 8th, 2011 @ 14:27 GMT by Richard Stowey

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During my web experience I have worked with content in a number of different ways. Agency to client, client to client or simply creating content for and by myself (both the best and worst idea!!). There are so many different approaches to content management in it’s simplest form, that I wanted to document some of my thoughts on how to make content management run smoothly.

In this case, let’s take the example of an agency working with a client. Forget the bit at the beginning surrounding content strategy and thought leadership, this is a back to basics guide on questions to ask, ideas to think about, and ways in which the content management process can be made better.

Agency Perspective

  • Use a content management system – it will save you time, and allow more people access to editing content.
  • Backup form entries online – relieve headaches from failed eCRM connections and it’s better than email.
  • Critical changes should be tested on a development server – never test on a live website.
  • Hyper critical changes should be flip flopped between dev and live.
  • Use content submission templates to control and guide the content which needs to be created.

Client Perspective

  • Reduce the number of times changes are made by your agency, and therefore reduce costs.
  • Give as much information as possible.
  • Complete all of your spelling, grammar, checks and reviews before it hits the website, changing amends afterwards increases costs.
  • Specify accompanying media clearly and concisely.
  • Specify how content amends affect related links and content.

Both Perspectives

  • Ask what hasn’t been asked.
  • Say what doesn’t need to be said.
  • If content is removed, what replaces it?
  • If content is added, does anything need to be removed?

The idea here is that the content management of a website, when an agency and client are involved is a two way process. Both parties need to be asking lots of questions along the way to make sure the content is added in an efficient manner, in the right place, and that substituse content is put in place or catered for when and where possible.

Keeping focused, planning in advanced and making changes in planned batches, although isn’t always possible, should help keep down the time it takes to manage content.

Tate Modern Ai Weiwei Sunflower Seeds Unilever Series by Richard Stowey, on Flickr