ACF’s website must feature quality content that is both timely and accurate to deliver reliable information to our stakeholders and customers. This depends on managing the content lifecycle and following archiving guidance.
When ACF’s website archive launches this year, it will only contain historical documents, data, and other information that has continuing value to researchers and the public. Historical content refers to original ACF content of historical interest that have been superseded and preserved as federal records or per the archive schedule. The idea is to separate historical content from current information, providing quicker access to timely, relevant content on the live site while allowing citizens to access legacy information about past programs, administrations, initiatives, and activities in the archive.
This guidance applies only to the main site and the program office sites on acf.hhs.gov. This guidance does not apply to internal websites like ACF Connect or SharePoint. This guidance does not address non-public or unpublished documents, whether digital or paper, related to the management of websites, which are covered under HHS’ Records Management Policy. Visit disclaimer page
Content Lifecycle Management
There are several schools of thought on the different stages or phases of web content lifecycle management. ACF follows the six-stage approach that requires our digital content to be thoughtfully planned, created, managed, published, preserved, and evaluated with our users, communication goals, and analytics in mind.
To effectively manage content on ACF’s public websites, we should conduct ongoing content reviews. Digital liaisons should establish internal processes working with their respective content owners and program office leadership to complete annual reviews for all live-site content. Annual content reviews must be completed and certified to the Office of Communication by June 30th every year.
During this process, we identify what content must be updated, deleted, or archived and take the necessary steps to make sure the information on the live site is the latest and greatest.
Only content that is available to the public can be archived. When preparing content for archive, make sure all relevant tags are checked, remove or fix broken links and outdated contact info etc. before sending archive requests to OC. Content once archived, will not be edited and will remain in the archive in perpetuity. OC has the ability to restore content from the archive under limited circumstances. There is no process for the routine deletion of archived material at any future date. When the ACF archive site launches, the historical indicator will disappear from program office resource library content. All existing historical content will move to and reside on the fully-searchable, public-facing archive.
Broadly speaking, we recognize two categories of archived content.
- References: Documents issued annually (ex., budgets, performance reports, etc.), per-annual batches regularly issued content (ex., blogs, news releases, etc.) and other groupings of related content (ex., program guidance and policies) are moved to the archive according to the archive schedule.
- One-offs: Individual pages or content items that are no longer maintained but provide context of historic background are typically moved to the archive at the time they are superseded.
Learn more about ACF's Drupal archiving process.
The archive schedule provides guidance for standard categories of archive-designated material. It is a living document and will be modified/expanded as experience dictates. Review the ACF archive schedule and other National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) guidelines Visit disclaimer page relevant to your content to determine which and when content should be archived.
The standard retention schedule for dated reference materials is to archive annually, retaining two full years on the live site. This time frame may be extended with valid business justifications for relevance i.e. statute/mandate or when content owners demonstrate that older content is regularly and routinely accessed by the public.