Content Analysis Database > Dispositions > Active Delete and Forget
Opportunity for improvement: low

Active Delete and Forget

How to use dispositions


Delete in current source system, and a request for the content now fails

Whereas a drop is when you do not move content to a new system, an active delete is specifically removing it from the current system (removing the record in the CMS or removing the file from the filesystem).

This difference is more important than it may initially appear. Sometimes teams want to start working on their site before the new system is in place — actively deleting underperforming content is an excellent activity before the primary transformation starts. This can also ease an actual migration since less material (perhaps for example outlier content structures that would have needed to be massaged for the migration) needs to be transformed.

Active Delete and Forget is the most aggressive (the most pure delete) since, not only do we actively delete it but we forget it as well: we don't even try to usefully redirect if people try to access its old URL.

Note: the distinction between active delete and drop is mostly relevant when changing systems (either the underlying CMS or other systems such as the publishing interface or templating model). That said, even when staying in the same infrastructure there is a slight difference: an active delete means actually removing from the system (for instance, removing the file from the filesystem) — if a file is just orphaned (the file is still kicking around in the system but it isn't linked to) then you have only dropped it.

When to assign this disposition to content:
  • Only use this for truly very low value content (otherwise consider deep redirects)
  • Usually only for extremely-infrequently accessed content
  • In general consider less aggressive deletes
System-wide startup effort

This is such a complete and permanent delete that there is no initial setup, except for helping teams to decide when this disposition makes sense (especially since there are many cases where you don't want this deep a delete, and actually want redirects).

Average per-item manual effort
0 minutes
Effort per (potential) handling step:
Step Effort What is this?
Sort skipped Decide what to do with content item
Place skipped Place in IA
Edit skipped Edit text/content (NOT technical)
Move / Transform skipped Physically move/enter/transform content (NOT the words)
Enhance / Tag skipped Prepare the metadata, especially tagging/retagging
QA skipped Review content for quality
More on estimating effort: article | webinar | slideshare | mini-report.