Remove or unpublish content and content from previous governments – Content design: plan, write and manage content – Guidance

If you remove content, it will still be on GOV.UK but will not appear in internal search results. The removed content will appear under a call box that tells the user that it has been removed and is no longer relevant.

Guidance formats should be changed and updated when they become obsolete. Do not create a new piece of content unless a new, separate user needs it.

Other content, especially time-limited pages such as press articles, press releases and newsletters, may be removed when they are no longer relevant (for example, if they have more than a year).

You should also remove expired programs and services, or policy documents that are not up to date or relevant. If you have policy documents that are mostly correct, but a link to an expired program or service, edit the page to update it and remove the link.

“Historic mode” notices will appear higher on pages that were published under a previous government, but which have also been withdrawn.

A general test to keep in mind when deciding to remove a piece of content is: “Will leaving it as is bother a non-specialist user?” For example, an old police ad for a benefit that appears in the search above the guide on how to claim that benefit.

Find out how to remove content.

Consultations

Consultations are an important part of the policy making process and are useful for those who control government. Only remove them if you know that a subsequent consultation directly replaces an existing consultation.

Frequent changes to the infrastructure plan

Remove content items that show an earlier iteration of a plan, such as old HS2 train line route plans. Remove everything except the most up-to-date plans.

Include a link to a collection that includes the most recent version, rather than an individual post page. When linking to a collection, your link will always lead to a canonical list of up-to-date plans.


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Jenny T. Curlee

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