All About…Web: November 2020

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a wild ride for nonprofits and associations. Planned initiatives were revised, impact measurement KPIs faced reevaluation, and planned meetings and conferences pivoted to a virtual experience. Adrenaline has been running high for months now.

As we settle into this new normal and accept that the world will look different for some time now, it’s time to pause, take stock, and plan for the new year. I am hearing more from organizations ready to plan a clear upgrade path for Drupal or WordPress (more on that here) and to assess content to ensure it is easy for target audiences to find and take action on the information needed. Read on for resources to help you audit your site traffic and review your content in preparation for a new year, as well as other news in the web world. If you’d like to talk more about strategies for a content audit, upgrading your CMS, or otherwise planning your roadmap for 2021, please reach out to us!

– Erin Rickard, Digital Services Manager

BLOG: Audit your site traffic, and you may reduce your hosting costs

Web hosts measure traffic differently than Google Analytics, and the difference between the two may reveal hits that aren’t beneficial to you but count against your hosting bandwidth. Reducing those hits could translate to savings on your hosting costs. Our blog post explains how web hosts count hits against traffic limits and how to audit your traffic for savings opportunities.

BLOG: 4 Things to Look for During a Content Audit

A content audit assesses what content is on your site, how it’s being used, and how it should be handled to optimize your site (which can include removing, editing or restructuring content). This article from Association Success outlines steps you can take to manually review and update your content. 

Before you begin, don’t forget to define your target audiences for your website and the goals for each that you want your content to achieve. As you review content, assess whether it aligns with these goals and plan to make changes accordingly. To dive deeper, a review of your Google Analytics and other tools such as CrazyEgg or HotJar will help you understand how visitors are interacting with your site and what content they are — and aren’t — finding. 

BLOG: How to use RACI charts to improve your content operation

Once you have a clear content strategy for your site, a governance plan is essential to ensure content added to the site in the future is adding value, not contributing to bloat. Defined roles and responsibilities for content governance are a key part of the plan, and GatherContent’s November 12 webinar will show you how a RACI chart can help you set up a workflow for content stakeholders.

RESOURCE: New On-Demand Lessons from recently launched a new portal for lesson plans and on-demand recorded workshops. These free resources are mostly targeted toward WordPress developers at the moment, but more resources are being added over time and there are several worth checking out if you’re a site administrator new to WordPress. For example, see the Dashboard Overview, Classic Editor Overview, Pages vs. Posts, Categories vs. Tags, Keeping Your Site Secure, and Troubleshooting Basics.

ARTICLE: Opening Links in New Browser Windows and Tabs — What’s the Standard?

The seemingly minor question of whether to set external links to open in a new tab or window has been hotly debated in the web world over the years. On one hand, there’s the argument that a new window is preferable because your site remains open for the user to return to once they’re done with the external site. On the other, user experience (UX) gurus have countered that new windows and tabs disorient users and introduce accessibility challenges for screen reader users. UX industry leaders Nielsen Norman Group outline in this article the arguments for and against links in a new window, and the limited circumstances in which they recommend the practice.

NEWS: Wayback Machine and Cloudflare team up to archive more of the Web

We love the WayBack Machine as an archive of internet history — and it comes in handy as an occasional tool for troubleshooting site issues by accessing a snapshot of what a site looked like in the past. We’re also fans of Cloudflare, a content-delivery-network service and denial-of-service attack mitigation tool. The two have joined forces on a new service for Cloudflare clients with the “Always Online” feature enabled. The WayBack Machine will archive and serve static versions of a site’s most popular pages in the case of a server outage. The archive will also be added to WayBack’s trove available to the public. Win-win!

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