Site/page relocation

It is likely that a site and/or pages within a site will need to be relocated over the life of that site. Techniques to accommodate this should be applied appropriately. These include:

a) A site-specific Cname or Domain Name Service (DNS) entry. For example “http://” This allows “mysite” to be changed to a different set of systems in a transparent way. This can also provide for redundancy, fail over, and similar capabilities. Where possible, accesses to the old location should resolve or be redirected to the new location. b) Site-specific names should not include a specific machine name, location name, or other element that is likely to change with time. c) Physical Internet Protocol (IP) addresses should not be used, except in maintenance applications where a specific physical target is essential. Be aware that the application of dynamic addresses on the client side may not provide desired physical target even with specific IP addresses. d) Documents of enduring relevance that are accessed via a Web site should be provided with URLs that are similarly enduring. For example, the path coded in a URL should not mirror the transitory organization of the Web site. The organization of the Web site may change; the URL to access enduring documents should not. e) If, when HTTP Error 404 (page not found) is encountered, an informative page with links to key parts of the site (and a means of searching the site) is provided, the site will be much more usable following relocations of material. f) Relative URLs and host relative URL servers can use the “redirect” capability of either HTTP or server scripting to ensure that the user receives the right page. This can be used to accommodate changes in page location. Other uses are outlined in 7.10. Relative URLs allow for:

1) Migration of pages within a site. 2) Maintenance of a replica or development version. 3) Consistent digital signature/integrity validation (see 6.4).


Well-engineered Web site maintenance planning shall consider, as a minimum, the following factors: a) Eliminating obsolete information or services. b) Updating the status of information or services. c) Changing and periodically validating links to related information. d) Changing client or server environments that may require or warrant well-engineered Web site reengineering. e) Changing policy (e.g., organizational, regulatory, legislative, etc) that may require changes in information content, protection, designation, or access. f) Updating well-engineered Web sites to remain in conformance with applicable standards

Style sheets may be used to indicate obsolete pages or other classifications (e.g., “draft,” “confidential”) as “background.” If style sheets are not available, the well-engineered Web site design shall use an alternate method for indicating page classifications. An alternate method for accessibility to users with physical disabilities should be included.

In some cases, a well-engineered Web site may approach the complexity of a software project, particularly if the site implements interactive functionality. In such a case, a software maintenance process should be adopted to provide a disciplined basis for the maintenance activity. The software life cycle maintenance process of IEEE/EIA Std 12207.0-1996 [B15] should be considered for this purpose.

Appropriate content

Content of a site shall be considered in the context of ethical and legal considerations recognizing that these may vary throughout the jurisdictions and cultural environments where the site is accessible. Exclusion of content, selective delivery, or limited access shall be implemented to reflect such evaluation. Specific consideration shall be given to content that may not be appropriate for minors, to topics or pictorial content that is deemed offensive (or illegal) for distribution in given environments.

The site design process shall recognize that the legal and cultural norms of one jurisdiction may not apply in other jurisdictions. Where applicable, a profile for Internet content selection (PICS) designation should be included in the site to facilitate indexing and filtering operations by user services. Sites should include a meta statement declaring the jurisdictions in which the site is intended for use: “”.

Site presentation

updates Web pages that present data to users (such as product descriptions, product availability) for purchases and related actions must accurately represent the product that can be shipped and the timeliness of the delivery. Thus the data, including representative images, should accurately reflect the item that will be provided.

Thus, the data should include an indication of “out of stock” when appropriate. The user should be advised if “equivalent” items may be delivered in lieu of the item described on the Web page.