Site Updates and Maintenance

by Tina Holmboe 18th of October 2010 archive

From time to time we get feedback from clients and contacts which suggest that we do a poor job of updating our websites. This is particularly relevant to the news–sections; the argument being that when nothing is said or done for months, Greytower appear near defunct.

Nothing is, of course, further from the truth — but we have no difficulty seeing the point. A site not updated for a long time does make a decrepit impression.

So we’ve taken a step up, and done something about it. First, we did an internal reorganisation of the source material, taking out the crud that tend to accumulate over time, and archiving what might come in handy for later.

As part of this process we upgraded the tools we use, to make the publishing process less time–consuming. This’ll add incentive for more frequent and relevant updates.

The second task was more important. We have, at the moment, two sites: — which is what we call a “focus site”, and — which is our corporate information site.

A focus site contains information on one, and only one, topic; in this case the siteSifter Journal product. The corporate site, on the other hand, contains a wide range of information on Greytower the company, what we do, our products, and so forth.

Logically, then, news on reflect development and changes in siteSifter Journal; news on the corporate site is far more generic in nature. At the same time, news regarding siteSifter are news regarding Greytower.

We therefore decided to tweak the way we publish. When something is added to the site, we also add it to; the reverse is however not true, and is kept entirely out of the loop.

This, hopefully, will tie the two sites together, and increase the flow of information.

The two sites were created at different points in time, and for various reasons run different Content Management Systems (CMS) — a fact which makes cross–site updates just a little bit tricky.

Luckily we’re a Linux–shop, so we added a bash–script which take the output from, change the format a little, and add it to the CMS on It’s all controlled from a second script.

Now all we need to do is actually remember to make the news! :)