This is a little survey to find out what MSU webmasters do to manage
link rot. If you wish, please send me a private response and I'll
summarize answers later.
-- Do you have policies in place to try to minimize how often
popular URLs change?
-- How many major reorganizations of your site have you done?
-- Have you changed the host name of your Web server, rendering
the initial part of all URLs different? Did you keep a small
forwarding Web server at the old address?
-- Do you use aliases for your server with and without the "www"
prefix? (e.g. www.etruscan.msu.edu and etruscan.msu.edu)?
-- When you do a major site reorganization, do you try to schedule
it for slower traffic periods, e.g. during the summer?
-- What steps do you take to inform your site visitors of impending
or recent changes?
-- Do you use redirectors so that popular entry points that change
will continue to lead users to the right spot?
-- If your site offers frequently updated content, e.g. a weekly
newsletter, does each new edition appear at a single URL (such as
www.etruscan.msu.edu/newsletter) or does each edition get its
own unique address?
-- Does your site include a number of links to external pages
whose content and location are beyond your control?
-- How do you do link checking? (A server-side tool; an external
link checking service such as the W3C tool; a desktop tool such
as a commercial product for a Windows desktop?)
-- Do you combine link checking with service monitoring?
-- Do you have any sort of Error 404 handler to intercept
attempts to load non-existent pages, offering the user some
helpful hints? FYI, we offer ready-to-roll code for Apache/Unix
and for IIS/NT|2000 servers. See: