DfT cannot be trusted to maintain weblinks

Memorandum (about 4 pages) to the Transport Select Committee from the Department for Transport answering questions about the closure of websites, long term online access to research and policy documents, and "the Department's position on the loss of bookmarks and links from other websites following changes in URLs".

DfT states that:

The migration of content from one site to another normally entails mapping each document on the original site and providing destination information on the new site. This can then be used as the basis for bookmark re-directs. This works well providing content is not subsequently moved. Websites continually need to be updated, restructured and amended; once the location of a document changes, the re-direct fails to work because the path is broken. Due to the size of Departmental websites (www.dft.gov.uk has approximately 37,000 pages) it is not practical or feasible to maintain re-directs as content is re-positioned. Re-directs are only of any real use immediately after the initial content migration. Bookmarks will need to be updated and reviewed periodically to ensure validity.

For further information or advice please contact Franck Latrémolière.

Filed under DfT.

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