University of Wisconsin–Madison

Content maintenance

2 minutes to read | Last updated January 11, 2021

Maintenance, including when it might be time to make an update, is part of the content lifecycle.

When to check in on your content


It’s bad form to post content and leave it. The web is a living thing, we should strive to keep content useful and alive. Maintenance is one of the phases of  the content lifecycle, and it can lead to the next round of improvements.

Consider reviewing your content:

  • On a regularly timed cycle, like every 6 months
  • When new initiatives begin that could affect existing content
  • When new services, products, or features are added
  • When you’ve collected feedback that says your content might need improvements

Assess what’s needed


If this is the first time a review of your content has happened, review the steps in Planning Content.

If you are revisiting your content plan, use your existing documentation, and revisit your content with a (qualitative) audit of the quality of your content

Archive what’s not needed


The web is not a good place to archive content, because its too easy to confuse accurate content with content that is out of date.

Instead of saving old content online, consider saving that information in a cloud storage tool like Box, Google Drive, Research Storage, or File Storage. If access to the old content is still needed, link to the storage folder where have organized your archive content.

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Common items that can be archived

  • Old news articles
  • Meeting minutes
  • Old documentation
  • Old procedures
  • Old data collections