Managing your web presence
One of your core responsibilities as a unit will be maintaining content on your website.
You'll have to learn how to write, edit and organize your content simultaneously. Keeping your website up to date is crucial in order to keep students, faculty, and staff in the know, and updating it is usually a daily chore. However, with the right strategies and resources, you can develop a plan for maintaining your website.
Remember, you are responsible for creating, editing and maintaining content on your unit's website. Before you dive into this, make sure you've read through your unit responsibilities on the CSE web overview page.
It's important also to adhere to the University of Minnesota's guidelines on style and accessibility. Visit the Style and Editorial Guides webpage for more information regarding style and the University's Accessible U website for more information regarding accessibility.
In order to consistently manage your web content, you'll need a to-do list of items to check up on periodically.
- Once weekly: Update the homepage with news, events and other information as needed; add upcoming events to an events calendar; make edits to individual pages
- Once monthly: Check faculty and staff listings to make sure information is updated; review page content for accuracy
- Once yearly: Review web analytics and user feedback; adjust content or organization accordingly
All websites must have some sort of navigation so that users can figure out how to move from page to page and find the information they are seeking. A large part of making your website accessible and usable is using links and menus to connect content across pages. Always look for areas to add links to relevant content throughout your website, whether that be through internal links in the text or menu links.
However, at the same time, don't overwhelm your users. Avoid putting too many links in your menu bar. A good rule of thumb to remember is "7 plus or minus 2"—in other words, have no fewer than five and no more than nine top menu links. Think about how someone would logically move from page to page. Ask yourself these questions when creating and organizing content:
- Where can this content fit into the existing structure of my website?
- What links to other pages should be included within this content?
- In what other areas of my website should I add links to this content?
Another important thing to remember—avoid putting external links, or links to other websites, in your menu. Your goal is to help users navigate your website, rather than direct them away from it.
To learn more about how to add menu links and navigation in Drupal, visit the Menus links and URLs page.