Opinion How to create website policies and procedures that will improve your website

By Tim McQueen Published on 25 Mar 2019

A guide on implementing website procedures and policies

  • key point: A website that is backed by good processes and policies will provide a better experience for the website visitors
  • who will benefit from reading this article: people who work in large organisations, that are responsible for maintaining large volumes of web content
  • website policies and procedures will support your content strategy: Content requires ongoing maintenance.

Website professional in a meeting in a Sydney office

Why website policies and procedures are important

Since reputation and branding is affected by the quality of an organisation’s website, website procedures and policies are essential for any company with large volumes of web content that requires regular updating.

Even though there's a lot of up-front setup involved in rolling out website procedures and policies, you'll be saving your company time and money in the long term.

This article will walk you through how and why website policies and procedures will improve your website and your brand.

Highlights of this article

  • Build a business case for investment into website policies and procedures
  • Get support from the top
  • Create the documents
  • Get buy in from the people that will be following the policies and procedures
  • Implement the new policies and procedures
  • Tweak and improve over time.

Common problem

Professional woman in Sydney
Website policies and procedures are often considered important but not urgent

Website policies and publishing processes are not the most exciting parts of the website production process. The step of documenting processes is often over looked and instead more exciting areas of websites e.g. visual design, attracts focus.

I've found that website policies and procedures and web publishing processes are kind of like road rules.

And most people would want to jump straight into driving rather than having to jump through the hoops of getting their licence.

This article gives you tips on building a strong business case for a new website, and some of the ideas should help you build a business case for a content maintenance alert system.

Step 1: Get support from the top

Students looking at a university website
Ensure high-quality, engaging content through planned site maintenance.

A critical step of rolling out website policies and procedures is getting ‘buy-in’ from your senior team members. This doesn’t have to be C level executives but if you can get at least one person with authority on your side, then the rest of the steps will be much smoother.

 

Support from senior management is critical

Getting support from the top is critical when rolling out website policies and publishing processes – especially in large organisations.

If you don't have support from the top, then it makes it very difficult or sometimes impossible to actually implement website policies and procedures.

How can you get approval from the top?

To get support from the top, start with a strong business case for website policies and procedures. There are a number of common ‘selling points’ for website policies and procedures and to make them more compelling you should link them to cost savings.

Step 2: build your business case

Students looking at a university website
Ensure your content management system is implemented well by a cooperative team.

If you need to create a business case for the implementation of website policies and procedures, the following points are usually appealing to senior management.

Benefits of website polices and publishing processes

Website polices and publishing processes are critical in large organisations because they:

  • Establish ‘who does what’
  • reduce duplication of effort
  • make the most out of resources available and
  • improve the quality of your content. 

Results website policies and procedures

Students looking at a university website
Constantly engage your audience with quality content by carrying out regular updates.

Website policies and web publishing processes:

  • result in efficiencies and therefore save time and money,
  • reduce legal risks
  • yield better quality content
  • improve your brand
  • mean less chance of complaints about out of date content
  • usually result in more website traffic
  • ensure everybody understands who does what
    • reduce overlap of roles and responsibilities and
    • reduces wastage.

Less risk of legal problems

Students looking at a university website
See greater success with a well-informed, unified team.

Websites that have ‘well oiled’ production processes typically produce more accurate and timely content. Website policies and web publishing processes reduce risk because websites that have checks and balances built into their processes, will have less chance of publishing incorrect or misleading information.

More timely content

Content inevitably becomes out of date over time. To combat this, you could implement a

process that involves:

  • periodically reviewing content for relevance and accuracy, and to
  • remove outdated content.

There’s a separate blog post that covers this topic.

Time savings

Your content will have a faster time to market because the website publishing process will become faster.

Branding

Good quality content will improve or at least maintain your brand name.

On the other hand:

  • out of date content,
  • spelling mistakes
  • broken links,
  • inaccurate or misleading content

will all work to damage your brand.

More people visiting your website

Content is king and Google will send more traffic to websites that have better quality content. More website traffic means more chance of new customers. The fundamentals of good quality content are well understood processes and procedures.

These are some selling points you can take with you when you are meeting with the people that can potentially support you in rolling out website policies and procedures.

How to create your website policies and procedures

To make this process easier for you, we’ve created an online tool that streamlines the process for you.

You save time

Creating documents like this can take weeks or even months

This online tool will mean that after just a few minutes, you can have the building blocks of your website policies and procedures. Instead of starting from scratch, this online tool will save you time and effort in, producing web site policies and procedures and publishing processes.

Once you’ve downloaded your documents, all you need to do is:

  • review them
  • tweak them, and
  • then get them approved by the relevant people within your organisation.

Feel free to send us any feedback about this tool - we're continuously looking to improve our online tools.

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