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10.2 Website Maintenance Tools

Web is a dynamic medium and a website grows with time with addition of new content and features. The website therefore requires regular maintenance to ensure that the quality is maintained and it meets the expectations of the visitor. With the increase in content size and complexity, it becomes difficult to manually maintain the site and therefore automated tools should be used for updation, analysis and checking the site. It is intended that the practice of using these tools may be adopted from the beginning as it avoids difficulties later.

Some such tool categories are suggested below:

10.2.1 Website Authoring Tools

Website Authoring Tool is a software for generating well-engineered web pages. Lots of web page authoring tools are available in the market, as well as in the free domain. One can choose any tool based on the requirements, however, the following should be ensured while selecting the tool:

  • It generates pages that conform to all of the requirements, recommendations and options of this guideline.
  • It conforms to the Web Consortium’s Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines.

10.2.2 Web Content Management System

A web Content Management System (CMS) is the software used for creating and managing web content. It is used to manage and control a large, dynamic collection of content on a website/portal (HTML documents and their associated documents and files). CMS facilitates content creation, content control, editing, and many essential content maintenance functions. Usually the software provides interface where users with little or no knowledge of programming languages and markup languages can create and manage content with relative ease of use. A wide variety of CMS solutions are available right from customised CMS to enterprise class CMS software available commercially as well as in free domain.

Ease of use, support for a variety of content, automated templates, content workflow management are some of the features to be looked into in CMS software. For small scale websites, developers could also develop website specific CMS solutions, as it may turn out to be cost effective in many instances.

10.2.3 Web Analytic tools

Many organisations rely on statistics regarding site usage to measure the impact of the site and also for reorganising or enhancing their website further. Some use simple counters while others use more sophisticated Web analyser tools to obtain data. Counters add little value to a site and often appear to be self-congratulatory. Web analyzer tools provide more information and are virtually transparent to the end user, therefore Web analyser tools should be the standard means of collecting site usage data. Counters should not be used to perform this function.

10.2.4 Validation and Testing

The code of the webpages, scripts and applications may be tested manually or with automated tools to ensure that the quality of web content is maintained and all compliance related guidelines are adhered to.