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Archive Outdated Content

[x] Standard


[x] Management


Outdated content that cannot be brought current must be marked clearly as archive material and notice provided that the content is available for reference use only, is no longer maintained, and may not be fully accessible.


Visitors come to Web sites with the expectation that information presented is current.  Outdated content that has been retained for reference purposes must be clearly marked lest the visitor act on incorrect information.  Failure to differentiate outdated material from current material undermines the Department’s credibility.





Requirements (content & style):

Archive content should be segregated from the live site:

  • On a gray-scale version of the primary site's template or by look and feel.
  • Incorporating the standard “cobweb” icon (this graphic has a transparent background). It should be overlaid top left on standard template.
  • With prominent notification at both the top and bottom of each page.
  • With a separate “Search” function that searches only the archive.
  • With clear links to the live site.
  • Archived content will not be retroactively made 508 compliant.  Provision for on-demand access will be included in the archive header.

The following image is an example of a gray-scale header with notification. Note that the search button is in color. Archive files should carry a “top-of-page” archive notification inserted in front of or at the beginning of the file:

archive header

Example of accompanying footer with notification: 

archive footer       

Retired Web sites may be archived in part or in their entirety, and their navigation will be kept intact if practical.  Archived sites having a unique header (not will retain their header but it will be similarly grayed out with the large cobweb icon superimposed and with only the search button in color.  The disclaimer below would be added to the header and all pages would carry the standard archive footer.

A site is defined for this purpose as 1) a collection of related pages and/or files linked within an existing directory structure (ex., Louisiana Health Care) or 2) a series of related files linked with a table of contents (ex., prior year budgets).

The live site template should have standard links to the Archive (footer, left navigation or both).  Live site links to archived files should utilize the small cobweb link icon immediately to the right of the link.  The alt tag for the icon should be "Icon indicating linked file is archived content."

Example (not a live link): 1999 Annual Report Icon indicating linked file is archived content

The large cobweb icon for headers, the small cobweb icon for links and the HHS archive header and footer will all be available in the image library at

Note: We recommend that the archive site be largely a flat site (with a very basic directory structure).  Rather than providing standard navigation, the archive site will rely on Google search as the sole means of extracting content. 

Related Standards:

Related Guidelines:



Archive and clearly mark outdated content.