Build Process

Planning for a New Site



The length of the process can vary greatly, depending on the size of your site, new development requirements, resource availability and the pace at which the deliverables are met in each phase. You and your team will participate in a series of planning and working meetings to identify resources, determine site features and functionality, create content, build your pages and launch your site. To date, the longest part of the process is creating/finalizing content and building out the new site in Sitefinity.

The first phase for a new site is the Kickoff/Discovery phase. The primary purpose is for our team to understand your needs as well as who your audiences are so we can help create the framework for your new site.
1

Request a website

Reach out to the CMS team by submitting a ticket to request a new website in Sitefinity.

2

Initial consult to kickoff the project

You will be contacted by the Delivery Manager to set up an initial consult to kickoff the project.

3

Identify your goals, audiences, and feature requests

You will receive an engagement package with information on the process. In preparing for the next phase, we will ask you to complete a few templates to identify your website goals, identify your site audiences and document any features or functionality you will need for you website.

4

Attend the Discovery Workshop

During this meeting, you and your team will present your goals, audiences and feature requests to the CMS team. We'll talk through them, ask questions and make sure we have a good idea of your vision before the next phase of the process. Following the Discovery workshop (1-3 weeks), our Information Architect will create an initial sitemap and homepage wireframe for your site. Once it's ready for review, you will meet with her to edit and finalize the sitemap and wireframe. At this time, the development team will also be planning for new features and timelines for releases.

The next phase is the Build Prep phase. At this point, you will have a sitemap, homepage wireframe and we will have created the base framework of your site. We will have one quick meeting to explain resources and tips before you attend training and start building your site.

During your site build, you will have quick biweekly check-ins with your Delivery Manager to make sure you have the support you need through the build process until the site launches. 
1

Register for Sitefinity 101 Training

Our CMS Trainer facilitates Sitefinity trainings weekly. You and anyone on your team that will need access to edit your site will need to attend the one time training.

2

Attend training

There is a lot to learn about Sitefinity. This training is a starting point to understand the basics of getting started.

3

You will be granted access to your site

After you have attended training, you will automatically be granted access to your site to begin building pages in Sitefinity.

4

Get help

No doubt you will have questions once you start working in Sitefinity. Our team holds weekly open labs on Monday mornings to provide one-on-one help. Our @web resource site is also a great reference guide for widgets in Sitefinity.

5

Meet for homepage design consult

Our UI expert will work with you to design the homepage of your site based off of the homepage wireframe that you finalized with our Information Architect.

6

Identify launch date

You will work closely with the Delivery Manager to identify a launch date. We will then create a pre-launch schedule to plan for launch.

Use the following checklist to prepare your site for launch.
1

Schedule your site launch

Pick a launch timeframe and work with CMS Team to schedule the specific launch date. We schedule launches about a month out and generally launch sites on the first three Wednesdays of every month.

2

Confirm your pre-launch schedule

Once your launch date has been scheduled, your Delivery Manager will send you a pre-launch schedule that includes an accessibility review of your site before it goes live.

3

Check your site's navigation

Click throughout your site to be sure the navigation is consistent. Primary navigation should display the same throughout your site and whether you are using side navigation, breadcrumbs or both, there should be consistency on the child pages. Come see us in an open lab if you need help or advice!

4

Be sure each page has an H1

H1 Headers are important both for accessibility and SEO. Each page throughout your site should have one H1 Heading that is a short, descriptive title of the page. These can be added in Hero Images or in a Content Block on the page.

5

Check that all headers are in ranking order

Headers on each page should be in ranking order, starting with the H1 and then moving to H2, H3 and so on depending on your content. They should not skip from H1 to H5. If you find yourself using a header for styling, instead use paragraph text and change the size from the inherited size to the desired font size in the Content Block.

6

All images need alternative text

As you add images to your site, please add alternative text for each image. Alternative text should be a description of what is seen in the photo (ex. Nursing Student on Anschutz Campus). If you need to go back and add alternative text to an image, click the option on the image to "Edit properties".

7

Test your links and check that they are descriptive

All links should be working on the site and the text should be descriptive of where the link will take the user. Please refrain from “Click here” and “Read more” links -these do not have enough context for the user.

8

Complete the page descriptions and keywords in title and properties for each page

Page descriptions help Google know what your page is about. It helps your site's SEO and users get to content on your site thats applicable to their search.

9

Publish all pages on your site

Publish all pages on your site that you want to go live with your site launch. If there are any pages that aren't ready for launch, please unpublish them.

10

Get stakeholder approval on content

Be sure stakeholders have seen and approved the content on your new site. Anyone that needs access to the site will need to attend Sitefinity Training. If stakeholders just need to view the site before launch, submit a ticket to the CMS team so we can grant them site shield access before the site is live.

Teams involved


CMS team

The CMS team is made up of staff from OIT Web Services and Web Development. These web professionals will guide you through the site build process.

  • Delivery Manager – facilitates transition process, client's primary point of contact
  • Information Architect/User Experience expert – provides sitemap, homepage wireframe, business analysis
  • User Interface Designer – consults on homepage design, best practices for displaying content
  • Sr. Product Owner – Gathers new feature requests and manages our development backlog
  • CMS Trainer and Content Developer: facilitates weekly Sitefinity 101 trainings, Open Labs and manages @web resource website

 

Client team

Members from your school/college/campus unit who will be most involved in the planning and creation of your new website. Some or all of the following roles may overlap depending on the size of your campus unit and what resources you have available (many smaller departments just have one representative working on their website transition). 

  • Project sponsor
  • Project lead
  • Web content writer
  • Website owner/builder
  • School/college/unit communicator