Research & Downloads

The best (free) advice & commentary for digital managers

Learn it. Use it.

Web Governance is a system for managing an online presence in a controlled & orderly way. Fundamentally, it delivers the stability Web & Product Managers need to focus on business goals.

Web Governance Infographic

Something's wrong with Web Governance. Too much to do & too little resource. Let's start to put things right!

» Learn how in this Infographic

Free downloads

After theory comes practice. Use these practical guides to learn how to manage a site of any scale.

» Browse ALL free downloads

Web Manager's Handbook

An image of the cover of the The Website Managers Handbook'

The first practical guide to Web Governance. The Website Manager's Handbook has sold hundreds of copies.

» Get your FREE preview now :)


Research articles (& suggested reading list)

NEW ... Drinking from the digital firehose

December 2016 ... Digital management is opening up to scrutiny as never before as more and more tools gather insights about operations. ut there is a real danger that the quality of decision making will decline as data volumes increase.

» Read how to drink from the digital firehose...

Blog latest... Get 3 things right & stop worrying about web governance

Mar 2017 ... For a large and ambitious web presence, 3 critical factors will determine whether your governance system will work. Get them things right and you can stop worrying about administrative conflicts or an inability to get necessary things done online.

» Read more on my blog... (updated randomly since 2001)


Essential bundle for website management
Web manual, operations handbook & video guide

'How-to' guides to better web management & governance

3-in-1 bundle ... for $24.99

Full Web Manager's Masterclass (usually $14.99)
Plus Web Manager's Handbook  (usually $9.99)
Plus Online Governance Manual  (usually $9.99)
Includes full Masterclass transcript & self-assessment quiz
» Free samples: Masterclass & Handbook & Manual...

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3 most recent bundles sales . . .

Anna in USA, 30-Apr
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Kim in Sing. 3-May


Past research articles

Digital governance for digital transformation (Oct 2016)

Those who are best at online in future will be those who are best at digital governance. The reason is that they will be the ones who can react most quickly to new circumstances, at the lowest cost and in a predictable way.

» Read about digital governance for digital transformation

The Tao of Web Governance (July 2016)

Web Governance is a system for managing an online presence in a controlled & orderly way. The principal benefit is that it delivers operational certainty and stability. That is, when you get governance right you can take it for granted that operations will (or should) always work, ie that the right people will follow the right processes to do the right tasks in a timely manner.

» Read an amazingly simple explanation of Web Governance

Stop being a digital atheist (March 2016)

Lots of organisations *claim* to want better online operations, but really they're just going through the motions. No-one actually believes in it all. Converting your peers to Digital Governance can be done. The first step is to get the High Priests of senior management back onside. Learn how to start re-building belief - and access a FREE offer from Sitemorse.

» Read why you need to believe in Digital Governance

Are poor site auditing systems killing the market? (Dec. 2015)

Recently I spoke with Lawrence from Sitemorse about the incredible variety of tools now available to support online management - but also about the relative lack of sophistication of many. Could the providers of such auditing and monitoring systems be in danger of killing the start of the market?

» Read Are poor site auditing systems killing the market? now

4 MEGAtrends in Web Governance you need to know (Nov. 2014)

Web Governance is finally catching-up with online needs, primarily as the result of 4 Megatrends. Underlying these Megatrends is a realization that if the trajectory of ever improving online experience is to be maintained, a better approach to governance is needed. And not just for aesthetic reasons. The real motivator is competitive advantage.

» Read 4 MEGAtrends in Web Governance you need to know now

5 ways to Local government & Web Governance business case (Nov. 2014)

Local government is hard! Not only are budgets always under pressure, but you have to cater for a huge array of topics and accommodate diverse internal stakeholders. This new guide describes 5 practical ways an updated Web Governance Framework can help your local authority be more successful online.

» Read Local government & Web Governance business case now

Why weaponizing web tools improves decisions (April 2013, updated Jul 2015)

One impact of the ongoing arms race in web technology is the diversity of tools now available to assist with online management. Not only does this includes dumb systems like CMS and newer "smart" technology that can both automate operations and act as decision aids.

» Read Why weaponizing web tools improves decisions now

The Website Manager's Handbook

An image of the cover of the The Website Managers Handbook'

The best-selling guide to Web Governance. The Website Manager's Handbook equips you with a practical model for the management and maintenance of your site. Described by leading commentator Gerry McGovern as 'Very clear & well written', it appears on the reading list of several universities.

» Buy the Handbook for $9.99 (pdf)
» Or Download a FREE preview now
» Or try 3-in-1 Bundle for $19.99: Manual+Handbook+Masterclass (save $50+)

3-step journey to Web Governance stability (Nov 2013)

Progress in Web Governance occurs in 3 steps: Discover, Organise & Optimise. Use the new Web Governance Roadmap to work out the distance you have covered on your digital management journey - and what remains to be done.

» Read A New Web Governance Roadmap now

Web Governance vendor interview: Sitemorse (Aug 2013)

Recently I chatted with Lawrence Shaw (CEO at Sitemorse) about all things Web Governance. As a leading innovator in digital technology, I discovered him to be a treasure trove of insight - particularly regarding the effects of the EU cookie directive on online management.

» Read Web Governance: We have the technology now

Web Governance vendor interview: Siteimprove (June 2013)

Back in 2004 I was appointed Webmaster for a leading site and needed a bit of help to get things under control. Enter Siteimprove from Copenhagen who had exactly the tool I needed. A few weeks ago I caught-up with Torben Rytt (CEO of Siteimprove's US operation) whose insight into current governance pressures & trends is second to none.

» Read Web Governance: We're all in this together now

Web Governance vendor interview: TerminalFour (May 2013)

Way back in 1997 TerminalFour CEO Piero Tintori speculated that content would soon become one of the biggest challenges of online business. He has yet to be disproved. Last week, he took some time to chat with me about current trends and challenges in Web Governance.

» Read Web Governance politics & practicalities now

Roles & Responsibilities on a Web Team (Jan 2013)

On a Web Team where everyone knows what they should (& should not) be doing, nobody has to worry about stepping on a colleague's toes. Find out how to achieve the industrial peace that clearly defined Roles & Responsibilities can bring.

» Read Roles & Responsibilities on a Web Team now

A new Web Governance Framework. Psst... It actually works! (Nov 2012)

The first step in changing Web Governance is often the hardest. Nevertheless, change must happen eventually. The framework outlined here provides a starting point for this conversation.

» Read A Web Governance Framework that actually works

Planning a new system of Web Governance? Start with 'Website Scale' (Oct 2012)

If you have to create a new system of Web Governance for your own site, there is no need to start from scratch! Simply work out the Scale of your site and build from there. There's lots of patterns to work from. Find out how!

» Read Planning new Web Governance? Start with 'Website Scale'

How to build a successful Web Team (Aug 2012)

Hire good people and they will generally find clever & innovative ways to get maximum bang for your buck. Yet for all their hard work, more thought often goes into buying some new technology than into creating a good team. This can't go on!

» Read How to build a successful Web Team

3-steps to healthcheck your Web Governance (July 2012)

Sick with worry about your Web Governance? Popping pills to get some sleep at night? Time to get over it! Use this 3-Step Healthcheck to diagnose whether your Governance is fit for purpose - or in need of urgent treatment.

» Read 3-steps to healthcheck your Web Governance

The 3 elements of Web Governance: Scale, Activity & Resource (June 2012)

The elements of Web Governance are the same on all sites (the same primary activities, the same pillar resources) - it is merely their granularity & sophistication that change. The concept of Website Scale helps you plan for these differences.

» Read Activities, Resources & Scale: Governance 101

Web Governance. It's so hot right now! (May 2012)

The flurry of debate & commentary on Governance in recently times is nudging people towards a shared understanding of what it means. Yet, there is still plenty of confusion.

» Read Web Governance. It's so hot right now!

After a busy few years, I am back writing about Web Governance. (Mar 2012)

Web content: highlight benefits, not process (Mar 2008)

A story from a colleague reminds me of an old saying in copywriting - "Sell the sizzle not the sausage". Web managers would do well to remember that.

» Read Web content: highlight benefits, not process

Intranet Content and Information Architecture (Jan 2008)

What strikes me is not the differences between most intranets, but the similarities. In contrast to Jakob Neilsen, I find that the commonality of content from one intranet to another is remarkably constant. This feature appears on the iQ Content blog.)

» Read Intranet Content and Information Architecture

Web archiving - Save your site for your children's children (Nov 2007)

A website archive prevents the loss of your hard-won online experience. It also preserves your site as a working model for the rest of eternity!

» Read Web archiving - Save your site for your children's children

Desiderata for world-weary webmasters (Oct 2007)

Webmasters! Feel like nobody cares?! Don't give up! The famous motivational poem 'Desiderata' has been rewritten to give you a new sense of purpose and belief.

» Read Desiderata for world-weary webmasters

Content Features and Formats (Sept 2007)

Discover the wide mix of content features and formats you can deploy on your website. A key challenge is to choose the right formats for the list of features you are creating.

» Read Content Features and Formats

Educate Your Stakeholders! (May 2007)

An important goal for Website Managers is to equip decision-makers with the knowledge they need to make informed choices about online development. This feature appears in the May 2007 issue of AListApart.com)

» Read all my articles on ALA

» Read Educate Your Stakeholders!

Executive Expectations vs. Website Reality (Apr 2007)

Do your executives want to have their cake and eat it too?! A huge site at low cost in 2 weeks!! Learn how to manage their expectations using the concept of "Website Scale".

» Read Executive Expectations vs. Website Reality

The Web and the Law (Feb 2007)

Do you know the legal constraints of the web? If not, you better find out before someone else's lawyers do! Remember "Ignorance is no defence!"

» Read The Web and the Law

The four pillars of intranet content (Jan 2007)

Guess what? The content on most intranets is supported by four pillars: Work, HR, Corporate and Social Content

» Read The four pillars of intranet content

The time I lost my sense of (website) scale (Nov 2006)

It can be all too easy to bite off more than you can chew. If had used my own advice about Website Scale, I could have saved myself a lot of trouble.

» Read The time I lost my sense of scale

How to categorise online audience requirements (Sept 2006)

Categorising audience requirements into groups labelled 'To Do' and 'To View' provides a useful means for identifying the type of site you need to develop.

» Read How to categorise audience requirements

Types of website content (Aug. 2006)

There are just three types of website content: content that 'persuades', content that 'sells' and content that 'reassures'.

» Read Types of website content

How to write a documented site standard (July 2006)

A well written corporate Website Manual or Standard can act as a powerful aid for guiding the activities of site management.

» Read Writing a website standard

How to plan manpower on a web team (June 2006)

How many people? What skills? Here are some guidelines to consider when planning the manpower requirements of a web team. (This feature appears on AlistApart.com). Read all my articles on ALA

» Read How to plan manpower on a web team

» In Nederlands: Een goed webteam is precies groot genoeg

Your corporate web standard is your constitution (May 2006)

A Website Standard is a document that details the approach of an organisation to the management of its sites. In some ways, it is like a 'constitution', because it lists all the conventions by which online activity must be regulated.

» Read Website standards as basic law

Why you need Web Governance! (Apr. 2006)

Without Governance there is no-one to say what is or is not allowed on a site, and no standards to which Developers can refer. Ultimately, this means no control and no direction.

» Read Why your site needs good governance

Change how you control web change control (Mar. 2006)

The responsibilities of site maintenance extend beyond issues of immediate operations - they are also concerned with developments that affect future integrity.

» Read Change how you control web change control

You've got mail! How to monitor site feedback (Feb. 2006)

Feedback Monitoring is a process for regulating and responding to communications from website visitors in a controlled and timely manner. yet, an unfortunate fact with many sites is that feedback is neither acknowledged nor responded to.

» Read You've got mail! How to monitor site feedback

How to manage your website's hosting (Jan. 2006)

The objective of Infrastructure Performance Monitoring is to ensure procedures are in place for the supervision of site hosting.

» Read How to manage your website's hosting

Quality Assurance - for a life free of broken links! (Dec. 2005)

Even if all site procedures are strictly adhered to, errors can still arise that reduce the standard of the online experience. The problem is that unless someone is checking for such errors, they may go unnoticed until a customer complains.

» Read Quality Assurance - for a life free of broken links

Website maintenance 101 (Nov. 2005)

Website Maintenance encompasses all the activities needed to guarantee the operational integrity of a site. Yet, whenever these activities do not occur, the results can be embarrassingly visible.

» Read Website maintenance 101

My Articles on Alistapart.com

The web design industry's best mag Etre One of the most respected online publications Stylegala

Educate Your Stakeholders! (May 2007)

An important goal for Website Managers is to equip decision-makers with the knowledge they need to make informed choices about online development.

» Read Educate Your Stakeholders!

How to plan manpower on a web team (June 2006)

How many people? What skills? Here are some guidelines to consider when planning the manpower requirements of a web team.

» Read How to plan manpower on a web team

» In Nederlands: Een goed webteam is precies groot genoeg