Archiving or Deleting Your Website

Archive or Delete Pathway video

What is archiving?  

An archived website is no longer actively being updated but still needs an online presence. If your site isn’t regularly updated or is for a past event or project but still needs to be visible, you may choose to archive your site.

If you want to archive your site, the YaleSites team will turn your site into a “static” state where it is still visible online, but not fully functional or updatable. The archiving process will begin in 2024, and more details will be communicated then.

If your site no longer needs to have an online presence, deleting your site is the option for you.

    What is deleting?

    A site can be deleted if it no longer need a visible online presence. ​For example, maybe your site was never completed, was abandoned, was consolidated, or is longer necessary.

    The YaleSites team saves all files, the codebase, and the website’s database in case there is a reason to bring the site back online in the future.

    You can delete your site at any time by reaching out to the YaleSites team.

    Should your site be archived or deleted?

    Ask yourself or your team the following questions:

    • When was the last time this site content was updated?
    • Do you see this site’s content being updated in the future?
    • Is this website for a past event, conference, or research project?
    • Is there a legal reason the site needs to be online, i.e. terms and conditions of a grant, ongoing reporting, matter of public record? ​Is it the whole site or just part of the site content?
    • If a short synopsis of this site’s content were moved to another existing and active site, would this site still be necessary?

    Based on the answers to these questions, determine if your site can be archived or deleted.

    Communicating with your stakeholders about site archiving or deleting

    It is important to let the people who were invested in this site know that it is going to be archived or deleted. Begin by identifying who they are, and then make a plan to communicate with them about the archiving or deleting process.

    Questions to consider

    • Are there any stakeholders who need to approve or sign off on a site being archived or deleted?
    • Do those stakeholders need any content from the site (text, images, files) extracted and saved for their records?
    • Do you need to inform any partner organizations, related sites, or other offices that this site will be archived or deleted?
    • Do you anticipate any pushback on archiving or deleting the site?
    • Are there any other options or solutions to consider that could help assuage stakeholder concerns?

    Site redirect considerations

    You will also need to establish a plan for redirecting anyone who lands on the old site’s URLs. Is there a new or evergreen site where they should go? Or should there be a static message on the page indicating that the site is no longer active and has been archived or deleted?

    Site archiving or deleting checklist

    1. Communicate with stakeholders that the site will be archived or deleted
    2. Fill out the site archiving form (coming in 2024) or site deleting form and submit to the YaleSites team to initiate the process
    3. Save and/or distribute any necessary materials or content from the site, if applicable
    4. Establish a plan for redirects
    5. Confirm to YaleSites once the site is ready to be archived or deleted