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Three Types of Updates

There are three types of updates: Content Updates, Site Additions, and Site Makeovers.

Content Updates

Content is by far the largest task required for keeping a site from being "dated." The more information that is "current" on the site, the more involved the task of keeping that information current.

Update Strategies

There are several methods available that make the task of "staying current" less of a burden. The task can be outsourced, so all that the people responsible for the changes have to do is send an email request with the new information to a service provider and the changes are then placed on the web site. This approach leaves the "lightest footprint" on the organization.


By whom? How often?

  • Content
  • Site Additions
  • Site Makeovers
  • Templates
  • CSS
  • Reusable Page Designs

The other end of the spectrum is to move the entire site maintenance operation in-house and hire personnel with the experience needed for the task.

Most organizations try to go somewhere in between these two extremes by using systems and software that allow staff within the organization to add portions of the updating tasks to their existing duties.

Site Additions

Let's say there is already a site in place, but a new level of functionality or service is being added. That means this new site addition must be incorporated into the design elements, motif and navigation of the existing site. Many of the components to this task mirror those of developing a new site. The ease with which existing design elements can be applied to new pages depends on how well these needs were planned for during the original site set-up.

Site Makeover

Every so often, it is time for a "new look" to the site. Sometimes the only change desired is the "look" of the site and the information remains unchanged. As in site additions, the components of this task mirror those of a new site. How easily these changes could be implemented depends on how the site was constructed. See more about these techniques below.

Page Templates

If page templates have been used in developing the site, changes on elements that appear on many pages of the site. The pages of this site use templates as a design base.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)

CSS is another tool that can make a site makeover fairly easy to implement. For an example of how flexible CSS can be, visit CSS offers a high degree of web page design control.

Reusable Page Designs

As discussed in one of the Interactivity topics, database information can be "fed" through a reusable page "envelope". Changes to the "envelope" design comprehensively effect the appearance of all the data viewed using that envelope.

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