Content governance and life cycles

Last updated: February 28, 2021

Content governance helps us create, publish and maintain accessible, secure and useful content.

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Do a content inventory and audit

Before creating new content, it's important to check existing content for accuracy, duplication and relevance. Doing an inventory and audit helps you assign staff and set timelines for review.


Identify what type of record the content is

The website is not a record keeping system, it's a communications tool. Key records you create for the web must also be filed in your branch’s record keeping system (PDF, 466.6KB).

Just like other types of government information, website content and assets must be managed using the Information Management Act and relevant policies and standards.

Do not lose important information

You may need to save content for legal, fiscal, audit or historical purposes. This may include information related to what was posted and when. Filing content and metadata in an appropriate record keeping system ensures that the information will be available when needed.

When removing content from the site, follow managing website content (PDF, 3.1MB) to find out if it needs to be saved or deleted.

What are my responsibilities?

Your team must:

  • Record policies and procedures: How do you manage your content?
  • Define roles and responsibilities: Who is accountable for what?
  • Make sure people understand their roles
  • Keep up to date with guidelines and monitor for compliance

Classify the record type

Before posting web pages and assets all teams should first be classifying the content using an information schedule. If you aren’t sure how to classify it, check with your ministry’s records officer.


Identify roles and responsibilities

When you manage content, you need clear lines of responsibility. This helps everyone know who is managing what part of the content life cycle.

Common roles may include:

In some teams, the responsibilities of these roles may overlap. However, the content designer and the editor roles should always be separate. Ensure you establish who is the backup for each role in the event of personnel changes or absences. 


Define content life cycles

Content should never be published and forgotten. Using content life cycles means planning how, when and who will manage what your team publishes. This helps us reduce duplicate and out-of-date information and improve existing content. This in turn helps people find what they need faster.

What is a content life cycle?

A content life cycle moves through all the stages of your content’s life. From planning to archiving. The seven stages are:

  1. Planning what you're creating and why
  2. Drafting and designing the content
  3. Editing and revising
  4. Putting it through approvals
  5. Publishing
  6. Maintenance and continuous improvement
  7. Removing content from the site

Who is taking care of it?

Once you publish content it's your team’s responsibility to keep it up-to-date. Each branch will have different requirements for how often their content needs to be reviewed. Having clear roles and responsibilities will keep your team be accountable. You need to know:

  • Who will review the content? How often? Create a schedule with clear accountabilities
  • Who will approve edits and revisions?
  • Just because something worked in the past doesn’t mean it still works. How often will you check your audience is getting what they need from your content?
  • Our guides are routinely updated. Who will monitor and make changes based on the Web Style Guide and the CMS Lite Manual?

Life cycles improve your SEO

Keep in mind that updating content regularly improves your search engine optimization.


Removing content

Content that's duplicated, outdated or no longer relevant should be updated or removed.

If you’re removing content from a website check your inventory to see if it's covered by an information schedule. If it hasn’t been classified, it’s not too late, check your information schedule or ask your records officer for advice.

Some significant dormant websites may need to be preserved in their entirety in government archives. For more information on preserving websites, contact your ministry records officer or check out the managing website content (PDF, 3.1MB) guide.


Content standards

All B.C. Government content must meet our Web Content Standards.