4.1 Developing a content inventory
A content inventory is useful in the Planning stage of the development of a Web site. The collecting (and auditing) information about the content of your Web site will streamline the definition of the information architecture, the interface design and the technical requirements for implementation.
At the planning stage, a content inventory will help you estimate the work required to build and then maintain the site.
A content inventory is not static, but should be constantly updated. When updated over time, it is a good tool (for small to medium Web sites) to keep track of content freshness on the site.
A content inventory is aimed to:
What is in a content inventory?
A content inventory can take any form that is useful to the developers, authors or editors of the Web site. When developing a content inventory, the following information should be captured:
The level of detail will depend on the type of Web site being designed or analysed. For example, in the case of a site redesign, you might want to make an inventory of the site categories or sections first, and then start from there to do the page-level review. There might be content which has been tagged or described with metadata: you want to capture that as well.
Here are some tools that could be used to capture the information:
See a content inventory template that you might like to adapt to your needs.
How to approach a content inventory
There is a difference in developing a content inventory for the:
In the case of a new Web site, you should identify the content you need, define the original content that needs to be created and conduct research of existing content at the level of:
In case of a redesign, the content inventory is the perfect opportunity for an audit, i.e. selection, validation, archival and update of the existing content. Of course, nothing prevents you from identifying new content. In this case, keep in mind existing sources in the Organization.
See also in the guide
References and resources