- C&M staff
Website project guide
Whether you’re looking at launching or updating your current website, we have guidance regarding capacity planning, process, Content Management Systems and templates.
The steps below outline best practices for end-to-end website creation and the approach we recommend for building websites. The benefits of following these steps include:
- Support and feedback from IT Services and Communications & Marketing at key stages of the process
- User-focused website and content
- A web strategy that informs maintenance of your website
1. Website request
If you’ve determined you need a new site, please complete the website request form. We’ll review your information and advise you on the best way forward based on your needs.
Background research is important to help inform the strategy for the website. We recommend including the following types of research:
- Google Analytics data
- Competitive analysis
- User feedback
- Content audit
Find out more about how to conduct website research.
3. Content strategy
A content strategy will outline key areas to help guide your project throughout the process of site creation and after its launch. You should develop two key pieces of strategy:
- Website plan
- Content plan
A completed website plan is required by IT Services in order to request your production website. In the plan, you'll want to clearly identify the roles and responsibilities of each team member including who will need to give sign off before the new site launches.
Find out more about creating a content strategy.
4. Site map
With a content strategy in place, you’ll be ready to create a site map. This is the key element that will help your audience find the information they are looking for on your site.
Find out more about creating a site map.
5. Content development
Once you’ve created a site structure, you can start working on content. When writing or editing content, you’ll need to follow best practices for:
6. Requesting a production site
To request a production site please fill out the form on the Communicators Toolkit. Once you submit your request you will receive a confirmation email from eSupport that your request has been received. After the production site is provisioned you are ready to start building your pages.
7. Site build
With all content in place, you’re ready to move into the site build. This step involves creating new pages and adding in new or updated content. Each page needs to follow best practices for:
- Images, icons and files
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Google Analytics
- URL structure
- Style guide, if using the horizontal template
8. Initial review
Once you have completed your first few pages (no more than 5) please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like Communications & Marketing to review and provide recommendations for page layouts. This is entirely optional but we are happy to provide a second set of eyes before you build out the entire site.
9. Site testing
Thorough testing of your site before it launches is crucial to ensure that all pages display correctly, best practices are followed and there are no mistakes in the content.
Find out more about site testing.
Once the site has been thoroughly tested, you will need to ensure that all relevant stakeholders have approved the build before the website goes live.
When you’ve completed the testing of your site and have all necessary approvals, you can schedule a launch date with IT Services. IT Services will carry out a technical check before launching your site. If any technical issues are found, you will be asked to correct them before the site can be launched. Please note that IT Services needs at least one week notice to test and launch your site. This should be added into your timeline.
As soon as your site launches it is recommended to do another test to check that the site is functioning properly. Please use the post-launch testing checklist. If there are any technical issues that you can't fix in AEM, please refer to the AEM documentation. If you still require support, please contact IT Services at email@example.com.
While the majority of work will happen before you launch your site, it’s important that you regularly check your site's performance and look for ways to optimize its content.
Ongoing maintenance of the site is necessary to provide your audience with up-to-date information. Using the site map, a schedule will be created to determine how frequently sections of the site will need to be updated and by whom.
Find out more about site maintenance and optimization.