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Keep Your Access Current

Bookmark and Search Best Practices

Bookmarking your favorite resources provides a quick and easy way to access resources you use the most. But did you know that, depending on what you bookmark, you could be accessing an outdated resource, or the link may not work and you end up with a page not found message?

Likewise, we've all come to rely on search engines as the go-to tool to find what we need quickly. But did you know that using search engines doesn't always provide results that are current? Of course, it wouldn’t be technology if there weren’t quirks, right? 

Below are two practices for bookmarking and searching, followed by additional information and tips.


Best Practice: Bookmark a webpage, not a document

Why should a bookmark not go directly to a document?
It's very convenient to get to your desired destination with just one click, but if your bookmark goes directly to a document and something changes in the document's title, your bookmark will no longer work. Changes to the title occur for a number of reasons other than an update to or revision of the document. As technology changes, so too do best practices for naming files posted to the web.

How can I tell from the URL if a bookmark goes directly to a document?
If your bookmark ends in .pdf (like this: https://wicworks.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/document/Infant_Nutrition_and_Feeding_Guide.pdf), your bookmark goes directly to a document.

What should I link to instead?
To make sure your bookmark stays active, link to the webpage where that document resides (e.g., https://wicworks.fns.usda.gov/resources/infant-nutrition-and-feeding-guide). It may be one more click, but could save you from having to relocate the resources your trying to access down the road.


Best Practice: Use the Filter and Search Tools within a Website

Why should I not rely on search engines to find WIC Works resources?
Search engines such as Google and Bing keep “archives” of websites and documents that may be out-of-date or removed from where they were once published. For example, you may come across the WIC Works Sharing Gallery in a search result, however, this WIC Works section was retired several years ago when the site was redesigned. While the Sharing Gallery itself is no longer part of the site, most of the information is still available - it has just been reorganized.

How do I find what I'm looking for if I shouldn't use a search engine?
To avoid using an out-of-date document or web page that is no longer active, use the tools within our site, such as the search and filter options to help you find what you are looking for.

WIC Works' Tools for Exploring and Locating Resources

Search - located in the top navigation bar

Resources - located in the top navigation bar, this page allows you to quickly search popular topics or resource types with the click of a button

Explore Resources - allows you to use one or more of the filters to search by topic, resource type,  who developed a resource, and/or language

Clickable Topic Tags - located under the title of a resource, these tags act like filters. For example, clicking the Food Packages tag under a title, will bring up all other resources under that topic.

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