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Closing down: What to do if you have a website or social media presence

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Your website and social media accounts are assets of the organisation. You need to think carefully about their closure, just like you would with any other asset. Remember, you may need the website and social media accounts to share information while you’re closing.

You should decide whether you want to keep the website or social accounts as a legacy of the organisation’s activities or if you wish to close them completely. You should avoid cancelling all services and instead plan a clear closure for each platform.

Depending on your digital activities, you should consider the following.

Closure information

Update your website and social media accounts with details of your forthcoming closure. Share your closure timeline and any other relevant information.

If you’re keeping any information on your website as a legacy, ensure there’s a clear statement informing users that the organisation is now closed.

It’s also good practice to include a closure statement on the home page. Include details of when the information was last updated.

Add a final message to all social media accounts or remove the accounts completely.

Terminating services

If you’re taking down the website completely, you may be able to cancel all services.

However, if you want to keep some website presence you may need to prepay for this. You may no longer need all services so might be able to negotiate to go onto a basic package.

Your website domain

Your website URL is a registered address. This will lapse unless you take action.

If you’re leaving a legacy site you may need to prepay for its use in advance. If you cancel the domain, any individual or organisation will be able to buy it. This could lead to others impersonating your organisation once it’s closed.

Plugins and widgets

Any plugins or widgets on your website should be disabled. They risk being hacked without regular updates.

Email

Think about whether you’ll close all email addresses or set up forwarding to new email addresses.

Newsletters and web forms

Turn off any data collection forms like newsletter subscriptions or referral forms. This avoids collecting data you don’t need or have a purpose for.

Digital advertising

Turn off any search term adverts or boosting and paid social media advertising. There's no reason to direct users to your website now that you’re closing.

Website back up

You should ensure there’s a saved hard copy of all website files.

Last reviewed: 07 July 2023

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This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 07 July 2023

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