The other day a Salvation Army truck pulled up to a house on my street where professional movers had just moved in a new owner. The driver and his colleague carried several large pieces of furniture and some smaller items into the truck to haul them away. I wondered why my new neighbor had paid to move all that stuff, if he was just going to get rid of it a week later.
This scenario reminds me of website redesigns and the importance of content inventories. Why would you want to move outdated or irrelevant content into your new website? It’s much more efficient to decide what to keep and what to get rid of well before you migrate content to a new website. By making these decisions early, you reap the following benefits:
- make the process of organizing your site (information architecture) smoother
- help focus the scope and purpose of the site and reveal any content gaps that need to be filled
- get writers/editors started and finished well before you need to move content into the new site
- get the full benefit of your new site, without the embarrassment and negative brand impact of old, crummy content
If you are looking ahead to a redesign, inventory your content early in the project, so you’ll know what you have and what you’ll need. Review each content item for timeliness, relevance, and quality, and decide what should and should not be published on your new site.
Your new website should be filled with your best content, not all your old junk.
Image (c) Amanda Weston, Flickr Creative Commons