In developing a website there are six key stages, beginning with the investigation of the project where the business case is established through to decommissioning when the website is retired.
These stages are not always sequential. For example, many websites are never decommissioned but are instead redeveloped (many agency corporate websites are seen as permanent and will be required for as long as the agency exists).
During each of the stages of the lifecycle, agencies should be aware of the need to consolidate content and websites. Consolidation can improve the user experience by simplifying resource discovery while also lowering development and maintenance costs.
This investigation should consider the whole internet portfolio of the agency, and not just the proposed website, so that any opportunities for consolidation are considered in context.
When planning a website you should:
In this stage the structure of the website is developed built and tested with users and the agency stakeholders. The website is then launched and goes live.
In this stage, the website is maintained and monitored regularly for possible improvements. This involves keeping everything up to date and reporting on performance, to ensure that the website is a success. One element of the maintenance plan should be periodic evaluation of the website. This evaluation might lead to a decision to redevelop or decommission it.
Also within this stage is a requirement to archive material as it is no longer required.
If a website evaluation has led to consolidation of content or sites, or it has been determined there is no further requirement for the site, it will need to be consolidated and / or closed.
Last Reviewed: 2012-09-04