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 meet with the CMS team to plan for resource needs, site features and functionality, content creation, building pages and the site launch. The longest part of the process is usually creating/finalizing content and building out your 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.

Initial consult

You will be contacted by the Web Customer Success & Training Professional to set up an initial consult to kick off your website project.

Identify your goals and audiences

After the initial consult, we will ask you to complete a few worksheets to identify your website goals and your site audiences.

Review sitemap and URL recommendations

After sending us your completed site goals and audiences worksheets, our Information Architect will create an initial sitemap and identify a recommended site URL. We will share these recommendations with you for review.
During your site build, the Web Customer Success & Training Professional will check in with you regularly to make sure you have the support you need. Sign up for an Open Lab session if you need help as you're building your site.

Site creation

After you finish reviewing the recommended sitemap and URL, the Web Development team will create your site in Sitefinity. We'll let you know when the site is ready and you can begin building.

Start building

Once you have access to your new site, you can start building your content and navigation structure.

Get help

You may have questions once you start working in Sitefinity. The CMS team holds weekly Open Labs on Monday mornings to provide one-on-one help with visual/user interface design, web accessibility, technical questions and more! Our @Web resource site is also a great reference guide for widgets in Sitefinity.

Plan your site launch

When your site build gets close to the finish line, you will work closely with the Web Customer Success & Training Professional to identify a launch date.
When your site build gets close to the finish line, we will need to plan the site launch. Review the checklist below and reach out with questions via Open Lab or

Schedule your site launch

Pick a launch timeframe and work with the CMS team to schedule the specific launch date. We schedule launches 2-4 weeks out and generally launch sites every other Wednesday.

Check your site's navigation

Click through 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. Sign up for an Open Lab if you need help or advice!

Make sure each page has an H1

H1 Headers are important both for accessibility and search engine optimization (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. Learn more about accessible headers.

Check that all headers are in ranking order

Headers on each page should be in ranking order, starting with 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. Learn more about accessible headers.

Add alternative text to all images

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, select the option on the image to "Edit properties". Learn about accessible images and alt text.

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 using “Click here” and “Read more” links as these do not have enough context for the user. Learn more about accessible links.

Complete page descriptions and keywords for each page

Add page descriptions and keywords in Title & Properties for each page. Page descriptions help Google know what your page is about. They help your site's SEO and support users in finding the content on your site that is relevant to their search. Learn about setting up pages.

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.

Get stakeholder approval on content

Be sure stakeholders have seen and approved the content on your new site. Anyone that needs access to edit the site will need to complete Sitefinity Training. If stakeholders just need to view the site before launch, submit a request to so that 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.

  • Web Customer Success & Training Professional – client's primary point of contact; provides training and Open Lab session information, facilitates new site or site transition processes, and manages the @Web resource website.
  • Information Architect/User Experience Designer – provides site URL recommendations, sitemaps, homepage wireframes, business analysis and user testing.
  • Visual/User Interface Designer – consults on homepage designs; advises on best practices for displaying content.
  • Senior Product Owner – gathers new feature requests and manages our development backlog.
  • Web Analytics Support Specialist - provides insight on site-related data via reports; customer support for Siteimprove, Looker Studio and Google Analytics applications.


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 new site). 

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