Is the Homepage of the Website Updated/Maintained?

High or highest quality websites stay current. Most continue to add high quality content on a frequent basis. For example, most news websites add content continuously throughout the day and archive content that is relevant.

Users can trust high quality websites because they maintain their content. For example, medical advice changes all the time. A High or Highest quality medical information site will remove information that has become outdated and will quickly correct errors.

The frequency of maintenance should depend on the purpose of the website. We would expect the homepage of a news website to be updated many times a day. Other websites might have a much slower cycle. Most homepages should be updated at least every few years.

The website check question you will answer in the rating task is this: Is the homepage of the website maintained or cared for?

Homepage Checks - You cannot check every page on a website to make sure the content is maintained, but please do inspect the homepage. Make sure that at least the homepage looks reasonably maintained and updated. Do the following:

• Check copyright dates, if available. These should be recent, or at least not more than 2 years old. Note: Some amateur websites may not be vigilant in updating the site’s copyright date. If you see an old date but strongly feel the page is OK, you may consider the site maintained. For example, it’s probably OK and even expected if a website of family photos does not have a copyright date. It’s also OK if a small volunteer organization website has not updated its copyright date if the group is obviously still updating other parts of the homepage and website. But we would expect business and professional websites to have recent copyright dates.

• Look for a "last updated" date or other indication that the website is maintained. Most homepages should have evidence of recent updates.

• Check to see if links on the homepage work and that basic functionality of the homepage works. (One broken link or so is OK- every website has those now and then.) Do a few random clicks to check. The images and formatting should also look OK. The page should feel cared for.

Medical Information Examples - Here are two examples (both from medical information sites) that do not appear to be updated/maintained. Note that medical websites require up to date information and a high degree of user trust.

Unmaintained website example
: The information at the bottom of the page indicates it was last updated in 2005. It does not look like anyone is taking care of this website/maintaining the accuracy of this information.

Site for sale example
: There is a note at the top that the site is for sale. There are many other indications that this page is overall Low quality, but the "for sale" notice should make you suspicious about updates/maintenance of the information.

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