Once you have your website up and running, you need to ensure it is and remains free of errors.
Your visitor experience can't be hampered down by broken links, unreadable content, basic grammar or spelling errors, etc. In the fourth installment of our blog series on web governance best practices and strategy, we're going to take a closer look at some of the main aspects of your web exprience to check as a part of your quality assurance program.
Here are a few things to think about after you've published new content, or updated existing content, on your website:
- Do all the links work?
- Is everything spelled correctly?
- Does the content follow editorial guidelines?
- Is the content readable?
- Are you exposing sensitive information?
These are just some of the things you must check for when you publish content and every time you update content. Let's look at these a little closer.
Spend some time thinking about the linking strategy for your website. You want to provide a mix of internal and external links to relevant information in your content. Often, though, links change. You might archive or delete content and break the links. External content may change, and your links break. You also should consider the age of the content you link to.
Develop a linking policy that outlines how authors should include links in their content. Have a policy for how internal links are managed (e.g. opening in the same tab, what text to link). For example, linking to the text "click here" doesn't work well with screen readers because it doesn't provide adequate context on what the link points to.
This one is simple - your content should be spelling error-free. Ensure you use a spell checker on your content before you publish it and each time it's updated.
Authors have different writing styles, and while you don't want to force everyone to write the same way, you do want to ensure your content is readable by all of your audience. Readability testing will tell you how "readable" your content is.
Here are some things you want to consider including in your editorial guidelines:
- Avoid complex sentences. Shorter sentences are easier to read.
- Don't use big or long words. It takes longer to read content when the words and sentences are long and complex.
- Avoid jargon. You may understand what a certain phrase means, but your audience may not.
- Break up text with headings, bulleted lists and other formats that produce more white space and make your content much more readable.
- Include (in your editorial guidance rules) number of headings to include, suggestions for how to write good titles and headings, when and how to use lists, images and other digital assets.
- Keep the size of any downloadable content to under 10MB.
- Do not offer downloadable content in editable format unless you want people to be able to edit the content. For example, your datasheets, white papers, and ebooks should be PDF. However, on the Ingeniux website, we provide an RFP Guide as a Word document because we want our audience to use it as a guideline, modifying it to suit their needs.
- Don't expose sensitive content like email addresses, PCI (credit card info) or PII (personally identifiable information) on your website.
These editorial guidelines should be considered when content is created and updated, but you should also have a mechanism in place to regularly monitor your content to ensure these guidelines are followed.
So what features does Ingeniux offer to support QA?
Ingeniux CMS provides automatic link management, eliminating 99% of the issues that arise due to broken or incorrect links.
- Auto Redirects: When you move content from one location, Ingeniux CMS automatically creates redirect links to ensure that links to that content aren't broken.
- Vanity URL and overall redirect page management: Vanity URLs are search engine friendly URLs that make your content easier to find.
- Broken link checker, asset checker: A broken link checker runs automatically and reports on broken links so you can resolve them. The same happens for broken assets such as images or videos no longer in the system but referenced in the website.
- URL history traffic: Ingeniux CMS provides a full history of URL traffic.
Learn more about web governance in our Guide to Web Governance.
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