So you've decided it's time to give your old website the boot. You want something that's easier to maintain, with more features and less hassle. Web Services provides services to any group in the College of Engineering. Here's how it works.
- Identify your needs
- Check out our features
- Request a site
- Web Services creates a website instance.
- Build your site (content creation is up to you)
- Launch your site
- Ongoing - Maintain your site
Step #1 - Identify Your Needs
When you write a paper, design an experiment, or build an engineering project, you start off with an outline or plan for what you want to accomplish and how you are going to achieve it. Websites are no different. Figure out the answers to the following questions.
What are the goals of your site?
- Who are you trying to reach? (audience)
- What do they want out of your site? (user needs)
- What do you want to tell them? (your message)
How are you going to achieve those goals?
- How might you organize your site to deliver your message to your audience in a way that efficiently satisfies their needs? (site map or outline)
- What is your desired domain name?
Who will maintain your site?
Every site needs one or more editors. Normally, this is someone within the group. They do not need to know HTML or any form of programming. Although Web Services will manage the software behind your site, we will not update content.
Step #2 - Checkout our Features
Step #3 - Request a Site
Next, let us know you'd like a new website by completing our new site request form.
Step #4 - Web Services Creates a Website Instance
After we've reviewed your request and resolved any questions regarding it, we'll often create an instance immediately. However, particularly for larger sites (departments, centers), we usually try to setup an in person meeting. After we create an instance, we'll also notify you of any upcoming training sessions.
Step #5 - Build Your Site
The work of configuring your site and creating it's content is largely up to you.
On the configuration side, you'll want to:
- Set your site's name/contact info.
- Customize the appearance of the theme.
- Add header images or rotations.
On the content side, you'll need to:
- Create pages
- Create news stories (if news feature enabled)
- Create events (if event feature enabled)
- Add people to your directory (if directory feature enabled)
- Organize your content within the site's navigation.
Step #6 - Launch Your Site
For the convenience of editors and reviewers, virtually all of our website instances are publically accessible the moment they are created. As a result, there isn't always a hard "launch" of the site.
However, many sites do have a launch phase in which editors (you):
- Decommission and redirect an old site.
- Request others update or add links. For example, many research groups have links on department sites.
- Promote your new site through other channels.
Ongoing - Maintain Your Site
Although Web Services maintains the software behind your site, it's up to you to maintain your site's content. In general, you should expect to do the followiong:
- Review and update all pages at least yearly.
- If using the directory feature, have your people update their research in view profiles at least yearly.
- If using the news feature, publish at least six news stories a year.
- If using the events feature, publish at least six events a year.
If you are really interested in promoting your site, you should consider adopting a results oriented data driven approach using our Analytics Tools.