Updating your web content is vital for students’ online success

With so much change happening at work and in the larger world due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), it has never been more important that you keep the content on your website up-to-date and fresh. Updating your copy on a semesterly basis is a good goal to have for your department. However, with the continuous change our community is experiencing, we recommend you review all of the content you have published on your website now, and continue to check back and make updates more frequently. The internet is the primary source of information for our campus community right now. It is important that every department works to make sure the information they’re providing is current and accurate as this situation continues to evolve.

Below we’ve included a few recommendations and things to consider as you review your web content.

Is your information current and accurate?

With events postponed or cancelled, and deadlines adjusted, it is important to make sure the information on your website is up-to-date. Users will be referencing your webpages for this information, especially since they cannot stop into your office to ask their questions in person. Please take time to review all content you currently have published on your page to make sure it is still true. Pay specific attention to deadlines and due dates, events listings and other time sensitive information. Update this information immediately. If you do not have a new date for an event or a deadline has not been confirmed, remove the old information and include text that indicates more details will be coming.

Is it presented in a way that is accessible and readable?

Inclusion is one of Millersville University’s EPPIIC Values. An important part of inclusion is making sure our webpages are accessible and readable for all audiences. This includes making sure all images utilize alternate text, link text is descriptive and useful, and that all documents are accessible as PDFs. Find specific information on how to make your webpage accessible here.

Additionally, it’s important that your content is written clearly and is laid out in an order that makes it easy for the reader to get the most important information first. Now, more than ever, it is important that you put the most important information at the top of your page so that readers don’t have to search for what they need. Keep your audience in mind! Look at your webpage and ask yourself, who is visiting my page? What do they need to know? You can find more tips on writing for the web here.

Are there misspellings, broken links, etc.?

Misspellings and broken links are never good things to have on your webpages. Proofreading and testing links should be a regular part of your web practices. That remains true now. Taking the extra step to make sure all of your links connect to the correct pages will minimize frustration for your users, and will decrease the number of emails and phone calls you receive asking for this information. Once you’ve reviewed the page, it’s a good idea to have another person in your department read over it. It’s easy to skip over mistakes when you’re the one writing the copy. A fresh set of eyes can help catch errors. Click here to find more tips on preventing and fixing broken links.

Is there easy-to-find contact information?

Make sure that your contact information is up-to-date and easy to find on your webpage. People are still going to have questions, and it is better to give them a way to contact your office rather than making them search for an email address. How would you prefer to be contacted during this time you are working remotely? Is email the best? Make that clear on your website. Learn how to add a contact block to your website here.

Need help?

There are training resources available to help with this process. Follow the links below:

If you need additional help, or have questions, please contact the Help Desk at 717-871-7777 or email help@millersville.edu.

The content of this blog entry was accurate at the time of publication. You can find the most current information about updating content and other Cascade-related topics in our Cascade wiki documentation.