Keep Your Website Relevant - Brown Bag Presentation


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Your website should be an effective tool to share your mission. In our recent brown bag discussion we shared simple strategies for website maintenance to help keep your site relevant and avoid having to reconstruct the entire thing. The presentation was led by NPower trainer Christin Boyd and web consultant Patrick Tewson.

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  • NPower Northwest is where savvy nonprofits turn for technology. At NPower, we’re guided by the belief that technology can transform the nonprofit sector and play a pivotal role in creating greater good.  When you work with us, you understand all your options and can move forward with an approach that you are confident makes most sense for your organization, in terms of both impact and cost. Check out our website at to learn more about what we do and how we work.
  • Motivation: we’re going to start by clarifying our goals because every decision we make later on in the process of maintaining the web site should move us closer to the goals of the organization. Each time you are faced with a decision, a task, a need to prioritize tasks, you should return to the goals and ask “does this move us closer to the goals, or is this not a priority right now?” “Is this nice to have or must have?”
  • Here is an organization with a wide variety of constituents. including people they serve, people who provide child care, people who need their dependent children cared for, Employers, volunteers, donors.A person visiting this site will identify with one or more of the phrases, I am a Grandmother and legal guardian, so I will click “For Families”I am work in HR for a company, so I will click “For Employers”I just want to find someone to look after my kids, so I will click “Find Childcare” on the right.
  • If you don’t have a site map diagramed for employees, then please make one. It will help you determine where new content will go, which content needs revising, and where to put archives. Npower consultants can help you diagram your site, or help you reorganize your site. They generally start with a Mind Map brainstorming meeting. Then determine the most important topics to become the subsites, which are usually also the top row navigation links or tabs.
  • Just show this slide for 10 seconds and remind people they don’t have to use fancy diagrams in order to convey the structure of the site to their team and to their web site readers.
  • Plan: Plan your content for the readers, and also plan your categories, subcatagories and schedule for the content lifecycleDiscussPrioritizeDelegateWrite the content for your readers, and write the metadata to help you manage the content lifecycleWriting checklist:HeadlineScopeGrammarFact checkPrivacy of any people you mention or photograph ApproveFormat for webIntroduce CSS to format the fonts, colorsHyperlinksCopyrights of any photos or referenced contentNavigationPublishTimingTestingMaintain your content using the metadata to help you keep track of relevant dates, categories, and fill in new information as it becomes available (e.g. an event announcement would be updated with ticket availability)Archive some of your old content or delete it, depending on relevance. Delete the part of a page where you buy tickets or email volunteer coordinators for a past event, but leave the “event was successful” story in the archive section.
  • A spreadsheet is one way to keep track of metadata for each piece of content on your site. You could also keep a page of a document for each piece of content similar to the “Exercise: Content Plan” on page 11 in your workbook.Checkup Date: In this context, checkup means that a person on your staff will review the content and decide if it needs to be updated or archived. You may use a different word to describe this date, perhaps “Audit Date” or “Assessment Date” makes more sense to you. The Checkup date is used for two things, first if you want to leave the Archive Date blank, then you really need a date when someone will review the content and decide if and when it should be archived or deleted. You can think of this as a self-Audit, but the word audit can be an anxiety provoking word. Your table column headings will evolve as you learn how much structure your team needs in order to share ideas, work efficiently.Your group might want more structure or less structure to help you progress from brainstorming content ideas to assigning the ideas to writers.Here is a sample of columns that might make sense for your organization. If your organization uses SalesForce software to manage donors and constituents, you might want to use the same Campaign labels in your Content Plan that you use in SalesForce.For big events or campaigns, you may want to make a special spreadsheet to coordinate communications across multiple forms of media including direct mail, web, Facebook, newsletter. Campaign lead or a delegate should test to verify that the same basic facts (date, time, location, contact information) are consistent across all media. When will the content go live on the web?Do we coordinate launch date with newsletter, direct mail, or event?How long will this content remain current?Estimate an archive dateWhen this piece of content expires, will it be replaced with a follow-up article, a success story, or the next major initiative?
  • Here are some examples of metadata that you might want to use in your content management process.Review for Modification Date means that on this date a person should review the content and decide when and how to make changes to the content or perhaps archive it.Tasks:e.g. "6/15/11 SallyR, Remove text and image about Spring Fund Drive from Home page and Donations page."
  • Go both directions with twitter and fb.
  • Examples:Recurring Tasks: Monthly refresh of the list of needed donation items. Often seasonal. Mittens in summer?A week prior to an event, create a task to remind you to send mail to the event coordinator and ask if anything should be updated on the event page. Maybe parking details?
  • Who reads archives? Grant writers, press, students writing papers, Newsletter Example: I collect National Geographic magazines. The spine shows date and keywords of the top 4 articles.
  • Keep Your Website Relevant - Brown Bag Presentation

    1. 1. Keep your website relevantChristin Boyd, TrainerPatrick Tewson, Web Consultant<br />
    2. 2. NPower Northwest<br />Vision <br />A thriving community with high performing nonprofits.<br />Mission<br />To strengthen the nonprofit sector by catalyzing innovation and driving adoption of technology solutions.<br />
    3. 3. Future Brown Bags & Webcasts<br />Please visit our website and blog, or “like” us on Facebook, for more information regarding upcoming brown bags and trainings.<br />
    4. 4. Contents<br />Web Site Goals & Audience Identification <br />Site Map <br />Web Content Life Cycle <br />Content Plan<br />Write<br />Maintain<br />Archive<br />
    5. 5. Your goals today<br />You don’t want a rigid process or too much technology getting between you and your clients<br />You want the site to convey the values and energy of the people at your organization<br />You are one of many people contributing to the web site and communicating with constituents<br />Managing the web site is one of many tasks you perform, so it needs to be done efficiently<br />
    6. 6. Web Site Goals<br />Your organization has a mission statement and a set of goals, perhaps for the year or overall.<br />Clear goals will help your team <br />scope your work<br />guide your priorities<br />clarify communications with constituents.<br />Goals should describe the result rather than the implementation details.<br />
    7. 7. Target Audience<br />Who is your audience?<br />Who does your organization serve?<br />Who helps you serve them by volunteering, partnering, contracting, donating?<br />Are there subgroups who you want to reach out to with a distinct message or tone<br />E.g. volunteers 55+, families with preschoolers<br />
    8. 8. Target Audiences<br />
    9. 9. Site Map<br />shows you where content should be published<br />shows readers where to find content<br />
    10. 10. Site Map in Outline Format<br />Home<br />Services<br />Literacy Programs<br />Evening Class Catalog<br />Calendar View<br />Success Stories<br />Volunteer<br />Student Volunteers<br />Adult Volunteers<br />Contact us<br />Address, Map, Phone directory<br />Bios of Senior Staff Members<br />
    11. 11. Process for managing web content <br />
    12. 12. Planning New Content<br />Plan for content maintenance tasks from the start. <br />Make a Content Plan spreadsheet<br />People & Roles<br />Dates<br />Categories / keywords / tags<br />
    13. 13. Sample: Plan for New Content<br />
    14. 14. Columns for your Content Plan Spreadsheet<br />Dates:<br />Draft Due Date<br />Approved Date<br />Publication Date<br />Last Modified Date<br />Checkup Date<br />Archive Date<br />Deletion Date<br />Tasks:<br />A task can contain a date, a person assigned to, and some instructions <br />People:<br />Author<br />Co Authors<br />Subject Matter Experts<br />Reviewers/Editors<br />Approver<br />Descriptions of the content:<br />Category <br />Keywords or Tags<br />Audience<br />Goals<br />
    15. 15. Write & Publish<br />Note the URL in your Content Plan document<br />Should look like this:<br />Not this: Entry&review_state%3Alist=published<br />Update your Content Plan<br />Subject Matter Experts, contact information<br />Estimate Expiration Date, Checkup Date<br />
    16. 16. Maintenance<br />Use Content Plan spreadsheet to remind you of upcoming tasksand record the who completed task. <br />
    17. 17. Archive<br />Old news makes your organization seem stagnant<br />Archive Aggressively<br />No need to break links<br />Commit to Archive Dates in your Content Plan <br />Give staff the authority to archive <br />You can archive articles, pages and photos in two ways:<br />Visible to the public<br />Not visible to the public, but saved for use by staff<br />
    18. 18. Your Archive Strategy<br />Work with your technical staff to create a process for archiving your content without changing the URL.<br />If someone wants to find older info, how will you help them navigate the archives?<br />Simple search<br />Search form with fields, categories<br />List of links to old newsletters<br />“May Newsletter” not very useful<br />“May: Book Drive; Graduation Event” article keywords or titles<br />
    19. 19. Thank You<br />Christin Boyd,<br />Patrick Tewson,<br />NPower Northwest<br />Website:<br />Facebook:<br />Twitter: @npowernw<br />