While this same philosophy applies to a multitude of platforms, I’m using WordPress in my example because the idea behind this blog came from…you guessed it, a website built with WordPress.
We live in a “delete-happy” world and, while I’ll admit to being as purge-happy as it comes to making old files vanish, there is something (actually, a lot) to be said for prudence when it comes to deleting pages and posts from a website.
For instance, imagine the following scenario: you have a website that you manage (either for yourself or a client) that has a large number of posts that vacillate between “live” and “dormant” on their site at any given time. In my particular, real-to-life situation, it’s a client with a job board.
A client that is constantly hiring, all around the country.
A client that routinely posts jobs that are either very specific, or very broad, depending upon the job in question.
And it’s also a client that called me up the other day and said, “hey, you can get rid of XYZ job on the website – it’s not something we’re going to be hiring for anymore”. I happily agreed to take the job down off the website and that was that.
But, what did I really do on my end? Did I log in to the administrator portion of their website, find the job post in question, check the box next to it and click the “Move to Trash” button?
The answer to that, my friends, is NO. That’s not to say that at one point in time I wouldn’t have blithely done that exact thing, thinking “well, I’m glad I could get rid of that!” But, those days are long gone. (And, for the record, I am aware of that fact that discards can often be recovered BUT…there’s no need to go through that heart-sinking “Oh no, what did I just do?!?” moment if you don’t have to, right?)
These days I do the prudent thing – I simply switch the post from “Published” to “Draft”. The post itself was still there, albeit hidden – it could be seen and accessed on the Admin side of things, but wasn’t visible to anyone viewing the front end of the website. And, it’s a darn good thing that I did, too, because roughly an hour later the client called back and said “Never mind! I made a mistake! We need that job put back up ASAP!”
You know what I was able to do in response? Calmly say, “Not a problem! It will be back up on the site in about 2 minutes!” And then I logged back in and switched the post from “Draft” to “Published” and all was right in the world again. Well, for me, anyway…let’s not get carried away here.
Anyhow, the moral of the story is this – if you ever, ever, EVER have something on a website that you want to remove because it isn’t relevant at the moment but could, conceivably, be relevant again at some point in time, DON’T DELETE IT! Just switch it to “Draft” status and move on with your day.
Would it have been the end of the world if I had deleted the post? No. But it would have caused quite a bit of extra work for several individuals on my team because it just happened to be a post that was custom coded with all sorts of fancy add-ons and whatnot. The post would have needed to have been recoded and rewritten – a chain of events that was completely avoided because I didn’t delete it in the first place!
If everything I’ve just said resonates with you and you’re now nodding in approval with the sage wisdom you’ve just been imparted with…GREAT…I’m glad I could help! However, if the last 646 words have been nothing but Greek to you, no worries – that’s what we’re here for!!! Transformation Marketing specializes in website management and content creation, as well as so much more (like social media management, website optimization, digital media, traditional media, etc). If you’d like more information, give us a jingle and let us show you what we do best, so that you can get back to doing what you do best…running your business!