The WSU website is intended to be a source of current information, not a library or archive of past materials.
Keeping old information on the website can be quite burdensome to the user and cause technical problems as well, including:
- making the user sift through extensive amount of content to find what they are looking for
- confusing the user with webpages, PDFs or other content pieces that have very similar names
- muddying search engine results due to multiple webpages or PDFs with similar names and/or content
- slower page loading times -- particularly if a webpage contains many PDFs or images
- maxing out server space allotted for file storage
- increased complexity to maintain website content overall
Build Reputation through Past Examples
Of course, sometimes it useful to keep old information as examples to help build reputation and credibility for a department or organization.
In these situations the "archived" content should be used to provide a showcase or highlights that meet marketing and communication goals. The Web Team will help determine what information is best to keep as it will have significant impact and resonate with audiences.
These are some examples of stories that have marketing or informational value:
- Alumni stories about post-graduation outcomes and/or student experiences
- Current student stories about their experiences
- Capstone projects, research projects or other examples of student academic work
- Major news announcements about students, faculty, staff, programs or other activities
However, even these types of content will need to be revisited every year to make sure that fresh stories are swapped for older stories. More recent experiences are typically more relevant and compelling than a story from years ago.
Think about how you consider reviews for a restaurant or a hotel. You probably give more weight to the reviews posted in the last month vs. reviews posted last year, let alone five years ago. This same logic applies to web content as well.
Options for an Online Archive
If a department wishes to make a true online archive of materials, they should work with TLT to achieve this goal. Some examples of materials that are better housed long-term in a TLT-supported space include:
- Meeting Minutes
- Rosters of Graduating Classes