Lost Navigation, Tired Designs, Broken Links, Oh My!

Sites begin to show were when the are not maintained properly.  Like that surprise summer storm that hits when we least expect, you look at your site and find an onslaught of new broken links, either by the frantic updates that happen or a slightly longer than meaning time to check such things.  The reports hit me like a bolt, “My God, how did this happen, why and can’t we fix these before they happen?”


Unless you have a CMS with a fail safe way to check broken links you will run into this issue again and again.  Working with sites and maintenance means constant checking of broken links, refresh of content and a standardized look and feel.  There is nothing more obvious in a website, than browsing around and seeing page designs that look antiquated, yet still exist on the site, nothing more frustrating than finding broken links or references to articles over 2 years old.

It’s when you stroll your site, and you suddenly feel like you are Dorothy, going through her travels to Oz…

lions, bears and tigers , oh my!

Lions, Tigers , and Bears…Oh My!

But it is your site…

Here are habits that can help tame the beasts and calm the storms…

1. Constant and timed broken link reports

Make a monthly habit of going through your website with a link checker and fixing all those bad links with regularity. When looking at broken link reports, look at the content holistically, why is there a broken link,. Is it user error or did we more the content and why was it moved or removed, will that make this page that references the broken item a useless page on our site?

2. Content audits

Read, look and study you site content.  If you encounter broken links on pages, usually that is key to refresh the content on your pages.

Redesign or Scrap?

Knowing that page designs come and go with the latest trend or whim of upper management, makes you aware that you will have entire sections of a site build on an old look.  Sometimes it’s maybe only noticeable to you, but sometimes it’s glaringly old, and you will need to think about the options of revamping the look or removing the pages all together.

Don’t throw or do throw… the baby out with the bath water?

It is sometimes called for as the cost of spending time to create an updated design, then rewrite content to fit into that new page design and create all new graphics and collateral for the pages – will outweigh the benefits of keeping that content in the first place.

In the world of technology things change constantly, so it’s best sometimes to start from scratch rather then spend your time mending material that is even 6 months old.  Think about your line of business, how drastic do things change, are you doing something that needs to change constantly or are you working on stable ideas with products that change hardly at all.

It’s something to work on and think about if you are maintaining an online presence of any kind.

Creating a vision statement

If you own a large or start up business, creating a vision statement for your company can be very daunting. When you work on creating it, use brainstorming sessions with your team or deep thought if you are doing it by yourself. It should be a statement that includes what your companies values, beliefs, and aspirations for your customers is. This short statement should be the basis of why you started your company and what your company stands for. Easy right?

It’s anything but easy.

You should plan to review your mission statement every year especially if you are a technology company, because times are fluid and so should be your changing vision on yourself and your product and what it offers to customers and the world.
I found some very interesting mission statements below to share that might inspire you.

Remember your statement should be your own. In some of the examples below, you can get a feel of how visionary the company is, if there is care around humanity in that company, or if they are stale and devoid of emotion. It’s pretty clear in some examples below.

“Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.”

“Organize all of the data in the world and make it accessible for everyone in a useful way.” Google also has an unofficial motto to avoid being evil.

“Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”

“To share great coffee with our friends and help make the world a little better.”

Harley Davidson
“To fulfill dreams through the experiences of motorcycling.”

“To protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially with reference to the inalienable right of the individual American citizen guaranteed by such Constitution to acquire, possess, collect, exhibit, transport, carry, transfer ownership of, and enjoy the right to use arms.”

A good article that shows some inspirational vision statements is on the found on hubspot. If you are familiar with the Life is Good clothing brand, they have an excellent vision statement and it relates to their core company values of charity and how charity is a central core in their business and operations.

Life is good
“To spread the power of optimism.”

Getting Started

To start you should map out the goals of your company. Goals may build out key objectives and focus areas that will lead and funnel into your vision statement.  Try to build the thought structure for your company out in a visual approach. A good way to view this process would be to take a look at the chart on the below site –

They show this process to group your core values and initiatives.

Vision > Value > Focus Area > Strategic Objective >Goals

Once you have those items mapped out the best you can, you can follow the path up to create a vision statement, or if you have a clear message you can do the inverse and create down the path.

Good luck on your journey and remember to review your statement, once you have it yearly to make sure you are keeping up with what and how you are selling and what you want the world to believe about you.


Sometimes all you see is the ground and it feels like you are in the dirt, locked in place by a furry of work hitting you at all sides.  Take a breath, step away from your computer and try to calm yourself, if you are feeling panicked.

Sometimes the best thing to do when you are frustrated is to talk to others in your group and toss out some ideas on how to solve problems, hash out the information you have, or just distract yourself with a new activity or scream out some song you love. Then get back to the work with fresh eyes and fresh mind.  Nothing is impossible, really, there is always some way to do it, even if you can’t quite yet see the answer in front of you right then.

Management of this workflow?

What tools do you use to manage this workflow. Content Management tools seem lacking in this day and age in the enterprise level. I still use the eRoom product in my organization. It’s been our standard for a long time to log and work through workflow databases using the eRoom platform. It helps because it’s our own tool, built and owned in house. I have not been able to find any other tool that makes use of versioning, databases that are workflow enabled and content storage. 
I’ve tried so many tools that either lack in workflow functionality, or versioning or use, it’s hard to find anything that would be a good replacement for eRoom.  I understand why I’ve heard rumors that NASA still loves and uses eRoom even though it’s an EOL product.

I absolutely can’t find anything better? 

I’m looking to post project content, version the documents in folders, allow only certain people in organizations to move projects from step to step.  

I would love to hear what anyone else is using out there….

Coffee, Tea, Caffeine me…

Working with code and on last minute projects that finally come through, which is normal in the web production cycle, means you’re up at all hours. I work with a team that is located in various regions across the world and sometimes it’s only in the middle of night, or wee hours of the morning I can connect with them. I’ve had days of many cups of coffee, but found a nice tea that is rocked with caffeine. The good folks at Republic of Tea, thought of me when they created this lovely cinnamon tea – branded as “Cinnamon Toast”… It’s amazing, hot, cold, with milk, double strength, and really pops me to that zone of clarity when I need it. HI CAF YES!