Application forms, stationary, letters of notice, contracts. These are just a few examples of the document templates your organization might be hosting on your website. So how do you keep track of them? And more importantly, how do you make sure they stay up to date?

One local council in Denmark had at one point no less than 8,000 unique document templates in across the organization, as reported by Version2 (IT industry news in Danish). Some were intended for internal memos, others for external communication. Every time there was a small change in legislation or a department changed their name or logo, all related templates had to be manually updated, one at a time… In other words, their template situation had developed into an unsustainable chaos.

You can avoid ending in a similar situation, by applying basic web governance to your document management.

1. Map your inventory

Firstly, with web governance in place, you will have an accurate overview of your website’s inventory including all documents and media files. By knowing the number of files available for download on your site, you will be able to determine whether or not you have a document issue.

Further, by taking some time to look at your inventory, you will learn more valuable details about the individual documents, including:

  • Size: Is the document download-friendly?
  • Age: When was the document created and has it been updated since the last changes to your organization, brand, products, etc.?
  • Location: By knowing whether the document is located on your website, you will know whether it is intended for internal or external use and can handle it accordingly.

2. Ensure consistency

In the case of the council mentioned above, they implemented a template management software to reduce the total number of documents. Pair this with your web governance system and you can make sure the wording and information in your templates are aligned with your website and vice versa. By setting up content policies concerning outdated information, like old department names, you can be notified when these are violated.

3. Delegate tasks

By having a well-defined web governance system, you will know which documents are whose responsibility. In the abovementioned case, roles and responsibilities concerning the thousands of templates were all over the place. Web governance will help you delegate responsibilities both by team roles (web editors, web masters etc.) and by groups of individual pages divided among your team.

For more tips on how to manage documents and other content across your website, consult our free-to-download "Web Editor's Survival Guide" here.

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