Maintaining Your Genealogy Website
Now that you have published your genealogy website to a server, you need to think about maintaining your site. Websites require regular attention to ensure that they remain up-to-date and in a operational condition. Maintenance means making sure that your files and directory structure are up to date and running properly, and that all your links are functional.
If you make changes to file names, directory names or change the names of your graphic images, and do not double check the links to those pages, your links may no longer work. If you make the changes from within FrontPage or Expression Web, your links are updated automatically. If it is a small site, maintenance might not take long. If it is a large site, you could be spending some time on maintenance. Remember at the beginning of each year to update the copyright date.
Keeping Your Site Up-to-Date
Your genealogy website needs to be updated to make sure the information is kept current and is useful.
- Check the technical aspects of the site -
- If you are using forms, do they still work?
- Do your links still work especially those that link to outside sites?
- Did you remember to add new pages you create to the site map?
- Did you add any new sections to your navigation structure?
- If you are going to use Date Last Modified on your pages, make sure to keep them updated. Do you really want the date to show that you have not worked on the site/page for over a year?
- If you delete files or change the names of files, remove the old ones from your site. Same with graphic files you are no longer using. If you are hosting your site on a paid server create a 301 permanent redirect page when you delete or rename pages. If you are hosting your site on a free server, creating a 301 redirect is NOT an option.
- Add a custom 404 error page if possible.
Nothing is more frustrating to a viewer than to click on links that go nowhere. Keep your website up to date and make sure your links work.