Web Renewal Project Resources
- Web Template & Migration Guide
- Migration Guide
- Web Frequently Asked Questions (382 KB) (Revised June 26)
Create a Work Plan
The quote “he who fails to plan, plans to fail” can also apply to rewriting or re-launching a website.
Planning allows you to identify and list all the steps necessary to review, edit, and write new web content as well as the tasks required to migrate, launch and maintain your current site on the University’s new web content management system (WCMS).
The work plan for your project outlines in detail major steps required to review, rewrite, and migrate your website. Although different experts and web design books may use different names, your plan will likely encompass the following six stages:
- Stage 1: Define the project and create a plan
This includes gathering information at your kick-off meeting, creating a project charter (described at the end of this page), allocating resources and determining timelines for your project.
Nearly all experts agree that tasks involving content (reviewing, editing, researching and writing) are consistently underestimated. To help you estimate time and resources involving content, review this writing estimating chart (368 KB) from writingassistance.com.
- Stage 2: Review content and develop information architecture
This includes inventorying the content on your current site, identifying and classifying what content to move or keep on the new site, determining what new content to develop and developing the information architecture (i.e., site map) for your website.
In this stage you begin writing your new content, and continue to write content throughout the remaining stages.
- Stage 3: Choose which web templates and layout to use for your content
The U of R’s WCMS has a variety of templates and layouts for you to choose from. These are described in the Web Template and Migration Guide Handbook (3.2 MB) .
The templates also allow you to choose different photos for the banner across the top of each page; contact AV Services Photography Department to select photos that best reflect your faculty or department and suit the banner format.
- Stage 4: Migrating and developing your site
After you have approved your architecture and decided which templates and layout to use for all your content, complete the U of R’s Migration Guide (56 KB) . The Migration Guide is a listing of the pages you propose for your site (both current and new), the template to be applied on each page and the location of each page on your site. Send your Completed migration Guide to Integrated Web Services to reviewed. Once the review and any revisions are completed to your plan, Integrated Web Services will create your new site structure based on your Migration Guide, and will migrate existing content to your new site.
Once the site is created, you will need to enter any new content into the WCMS. To be able to do this, you will need to complete Cascade Level 1 training from the Technology Learning Centre.
You may wish to conduct usability and focus testing of your site at this time to ensure the site is meeting your user requirements.
During this period you may wish to have others review your site for typos, missed content or broken links. You will also want to ensure your project sponsors have approved and signed off on your site.
When your site is completed, it will receive a final review by Integrated Web Services, and feedback will be provided to you. Revisions based on feedback will be completed as the final step before launch.
- Stage 5: Launch activities
Inform Integrated Web Services of the day you wish to launch your site, so they can update links on other University sites to automatically redirect users to your new site.
You may also wish to send an e-mail through the U of R e-mail list serve announcing your new site and encouraging all faculties and departments to ensure their site’s links to your site are still working.
- Stage 6: Evaluation and ongoing site maintenance
Every month after your site is launched, you may wish to do the following:
- Add any new content required for your site.
- Remove any old or dated content no longer required on your site.
- Check for broken hyperlinks to other sites.
- Review web statistics for your site to see if more users are coming to your site and determine what they are looking for or tasks they are doing. (The University's new websites are automatically assigned a Google Analytics account to track website statistics. Contact Communications to learn how to use this application.)
You should plan to review ALL content on your site (pages, pictures, PDFs, documents, slide shows, videos, etc.) at least once a year to ensure all content is up to date and reflects current information.
If you wish to look at the work plan created for during the University's pilot web project involving the Faculty of Social Work, please contact Communications.
Along with your work plan, you may also wish to create a charter for your project. A project charter can contain the following information:
• The project sponsors
• The people assigned to the project and their roles and responsibilities
• Reporting, authority, and approval structure
• Goals and objectives of the project
• Scope of project
The project charter helps to keep your team focuses on your goals and objectives, which in turn should reduce the chance of scope creep impacting your project.
Read the Web Style Guide 3 from Yale University if you want to learn more about project charters.