Web governance is a critical part of a successful content management program. As you grow your content team and support larger websites, more customer touch points, and higher volume and velocity of content development, it's important to put the processes and capabilities in place to make sure your content meets the brand, quality, and accessibility requirements you defined.
Web governance simply means your content is properly reviewed and tested before you publish it. You need to make sure your web content is high quality, does not have any broken links, meets the design and branding requirements or "style guide" for your website, works well on all devices and form factors, and is accessible for people with disabilities.
Web governance encompasses editorial processes for reviewing content and programmatic processes for validating your content. Thus, a web governance program takes into consideration both people and the training required to support your content standards, as well as the tools to manage that content and maintain consistent standards and user experience.
What should you have in your web governance toolkit?
- A well-defined content strategy that outlines what content you will create, how it's organized and its associated taxonomy. It also defines the voice and tone you expect so that there is a consistent voice across all your content.
- A content planning and development strategy that outlines who your authors and editors are, what roles they play, the processes for creating, approving and publishing content and more.
- Quality Assurance processes that ensure your content is well written and conforms to standards. QA includes link management, spelling and grammar, adherence to editorial guidelines and security.
- Accessibility guidelines that outline how to maintain your site to ensure everyone can view it. A lot of accessibility guidelines are automated.
- An SEO plan to ensure the right people to find you and your content easily.
- Performance Guidelines that outline expectations for responsiveness of your website.
Tools for Web Governance
There are third party tools you can integrate with your website to monitor and actively manage your governance policies and procedures.
Site Improve's Content Suite offers tools for quality assurance, accessibility, SEO and web standards and internal policy adherence. Site Improve provides a CMS plug in that you connect with your web content management system to actively monitor and catch problems when you are creating and managing content. It can also test content after it's live to ensure it remains in compliance. Other tools include that provide some or all web governance capabilities include Monsido, AChecker, Wave, Simply Accessible and WebAIM.
In addition to third party tools, some web content management systems, like Ingeniux, offer many of these capabilities out of the box. It's important to ask your CMS vendor what they can support and what third party tools they integrate with to provide the capacities they don't.
How Ingeniux Supports Web Governance
Ingeniux provides many web governance capabilities out of the box. We call it web lifecycle management. Our goal is to help you provide the best content experience for your audiences. We understand that you can't always be actively checking for issues, so some of our capabilities run automatically and resolve issues as they are found.
Here's a look at some capabilities we provide:
- Page Types: Ingeniux Page Types define content structure and layout, ensuring that your content meets the brand requirements for your website.
- Page Builder: With Ingeniux Page Builder trusted users can create new layouts or modify existing layouts using approved content blocks.
- Smart Paste: Smart Paste allows website managers to define content import rules that validate XHTML, clean up content to remove artifacts such as SPAN or MSO formatting from Microsoft Office, and other invalid formatting.
- Workflow: Create multiple types of workflow and apply them as needed to your content.
- Content scheduling: Always ensure your content is available at the right time and that stale content is removed automatically using Publish and Perish Dates.
- Spellchecker: Ingeniux includes a native spell checker, so you will always have the correct spelling in your content.
- In-CMS Accessibility Checker: Ingeniux CMS includes the AChecker Accessibility Checker. It will validate content using Section 508 or WCAG 2.0.
- Site Improve: Ingeniux provides integration with the Site Improve web governance suite.
Ingeniux CMS provide 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.
Web governance is an important topic for every organization with a website experience. We've highlighted the main elements of a governance strategy but we'll go a little deeper into each element in blog posts over the next few months.
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