I go swimming on a (fairly) regular basis as an enjoyable way to exercise. I hadn’t been for a month or so and therefore I went onto the website of Coventry Swimming Pool Timetable. I found the opening times so content knowing that the pool was open I went to the pool, only to find it was closed for two weeks for refurbishment. As you can imagine this was a bit annoying especially as there was no mention of the closure on the website.
This appears to be a common problem on the Internet and to be fair to Coventry Sports Trust they do now display gala events that result in the Olympic Swimming Pool being closed, which is an improvement on last year. If you look around the Internet you can still find websites listing “Future Events” which are scheduled for 2003, and information pages that haven’t been updated.
The reason for this is likely that a different department or company has been used to put the site on and then nobody has responsibility for keeping it up to date. Many companies don’t want webdesigners on their regular staff, but this can be achieved in a number of different ways:
- Use the external dept / company to update the site (perhaps have updates included in the original contract).
- Have a easy to use interface that allows none-techies to add news items.
- Have a completely modular site where none-techies are able to update any of the content. Such as by using a CMS (Content Management System).
Each of those have their pros and cons, but any could be used to provide regularly updated data. Just as important there also needs to be a process where someone responsible for publicisng the information ensures that the website is updated. Whenever a poster or notice is being created on paper then someone should have it as a trigger to ensure that the information also gets published on the website.