Your team is responsible for building your site. You can find
resources to help you learn at: http://ubcms.buffalo.edu.
We suggest everyone involved in building your site take our
Your site optimization is booked to start the morning of
When your site comes in for your optimization date your site
needs to be done. By this we mean that you are ready to make
your site live. (We want you to be successful. See below for
hints on what you need to keep in mind when you are getting your
site ready to for optimization).
We will be giving you a Site Launch Form that needs to be
filled out before you come in for Site Optimization. The
reason this is so important is that we have a team of experts to
review the Site Launch Form to make sure everything goes smoothly
for your deployment. The Site Launch Form will ask questions
regarding choosing your URL, redirects, responsive web design
(RWD), Google Analytics, Site Activation (Quiet Rollout), Full
Launch (Redirecting Traffic) and Communications.
Your site is scheduled to deploy [3.5 weeks after your
We suggest your team touch base with the DCT Help Desk [2
weeks after you start production] to affirm you are on
This guide addresses the following:
- What your team is responsible for
- Expectations for Content Development
- Expectations for Site Production
- Expectations for Optimization Readiness
you can expect during optimization and site deployment
And what you
need to keep in mind after your site is live
When developing your content
o Watch these
· Writing for the Web and
while we are at it, creating a site that works
Part 1: goo.gl/fYbqCS
Part 2: goo.gl/uPVVTs
Use this as a checklist
o Make sure
your content is written well for the web
o Make sure
your content is message-rich
o Perform an
editorial review of content for style, tone, and
· It is critically important
that copy is edited and proofed
o Check for
duplicative content and see if it makes sense as shared
o Check to see
if university-wide shared content can be used.
o Check links
for common sense.
· Is it valuable content?
· Will that content be there
next year (if not this is a stewardship issue)
· Did you give a proper
description so that the user knows what they are clicking on (and
will be motivated to click)?
· Do your links, bring users
to the top of sites you link to, stranding your user or did you
link deep enough to place them in a relevant portion of the
During your site production
o Watch these videos.
Lessons for Optimization: Tips you wish you knew before you
Responsive Web Design (RWD) Lessons Learned: goo.gl/NDhVGN
o Look at how others have
accomplished creating similar types of pages. You can find ideas
Solutions Group presentations: goo.gl/dtKznY
• Use this as a
o User Experience
Evaluate your general user experience (UX).
o Does your site make sense to a new user?
o Did you set it
up the way you think? Or in a way that is intuitive and make sense
to audiences that know nothing about you.
· Is the way your site
organized intuitive? (Don’t make users think!)
· Will users know what
they are getting when they click on a navigation item?
o A sure fire way
to lose a user is use labels for your calls to action or navigation
that are “market speak, inside baseball or
your inspiration sites within the UBCMS, how did they solve
treating their architecture or handle the type of page you are
o Lead pages in a section (the
page you get when you click on the TOPIC navigation)
sure the first page in every section lists all the content in the
section unless there is a compelling reason to set it up a
o List pages
sure every “list page” teasers show relevant
· Hint: the default is
to pick up the first image and the first paragraph on the child
page it is teasing. If you want something else add the description
or image in properties of the child page
o Promoting other pages in your
sure you are using teasers or modules to promote relevant site
content in pages throughout your site (If you like this, you might
also like this)
sure content isn’t overflowing in carousels, slide decks or
other limited text components.
o Using images
sure photos are message rich, look good, are professional
and nicely cropped. (see new training: http://ubcms.buffalo.edu/preparing_your_content/selecting_strong_visuals.html
sure that when images need context they have a caption and you have
taken the time to make it message-rich. Instead of “Classroom
in Department X” use “Our students are challenged in a
variety of ways including learning in the classroom, online
learning and opportunities for experiential learning”
Spot-check photo alt tags — if they are missing, add them
o Does everything work?
every page in your site
forms to see if they work
links to see if they work
tip that will make a difference: One common issue we see that
can be avoided by following this advice: When you link to pages
within your site (or within the UBCMS shared content) make sure you
use the magnifying glass to find the page in the UBCMS directory
tree rather than typing in the URL directly. That will save you
MANY problems later on during testing and stewardship.
that there are no unfinished pages or “placeholder text or
· Any pages that are
unfinished should be hidden in navigation and lists so they do not
show when your site goes live (You can find these check boxes in
• If you need
o We suggest you work on your
site about 2 weeks (at earliest) before you contact us. Often when
you are more familiar with the system some of the solutions seem to
fall into place.
o Resources that can help
at our demo site on the training server. You can open up examples
and see how they are set up: https://ubcms-training.buffalo.edu/content/demo.html
sure to check if there is documentation or training available on http://ubcms.buffalo.edu
· Caveat: this is
important as if this is something you should be able to do, we will
ask you to look up the documentation
o If you still need advice fill
out the appropriate form: http://ubcms.buffalo.edu/help/all-forms.html
Check that your site is ready for optimization
• Before you come in
for optimization your site should be done and should be ready to
• You will need to make
sure you have reviewed every page in your site for all the
checklists we outlined above
During the optimization and go live period:
In order for Optimization to start:
• Our DCT Team will
review 6 pages. Please indicate which 6 you need reviewed
(one must be the home page)
• Submit the Site
Launch Form via email
o The DCT help desk will make
optimization, RWD, redirect and activation arrangements with EAS
based on the information you have in your completed Site
Week 1 of Optimization (week of _____)
• The DCT Team will
review your site and size what is needed
• We will flag what
needs to be done by YOUR TEAM
with ORANGE annotations.
Weeks 2 and 3 of Optimization (_______)
• If our comments are
extensive or complex, at the beginning of Week 2, the DCT Team may
ask you to meet with us to go over our annotations and answer any
remaining questions you might have. We set up a meeting just in
case, but we don’t always need to use it.
• Our feedback
(ORANGE annotations) need to be completed by your
team within one week, or prioritized for completion at a later
there are some critical issues we will ask you to address
immediately (e.g. proofreading, branding, issues with user
• Your team should plan
be available to address any critical issues we identify in a timely
Go live week: (week of _____)
CAVEAT: This assumes we found no show stoppers the week
before. This schedule is built assuming you have brought the
ORANGE annotations identified into good shape.
Monday: Your site will have a Quiet Rollout
- The site will be activated and made live between 6:00-8:00
- Your representative (identified on the site launch form) will
- An email will be sent to you once this is completed with the
- Any further changes can be made by you with no intervention by
activating your pages/changes that you make in author when you are
ready to have them go live :-)
Monday and Tuesday: Your team will test your site
- Every page needs to be looked at and "blessed" that it is
truly done and ready for the public.
- Every link must be clicked on to be sure it works
- Any pages that draws information from other sites (Facebook,
video, RSS, databases, third party vendors) needs to be looked at
to see if the "feed" is working
that you put in must be looked at in Firefox, Safari, IE, and on
mobile devices to see if it is displaying properly (If no snippets
- All forms should be tested (check that email is sent properly,
data is recorded, etc.).
- Any search results pages using UB’s Google search
appliance should be temporarily deactivated until the new site URLs
have been indexed by the search (probably a day after the real
deployment with redirects).
- By 3pm TUESDAY the site MUST freeze and if you are not ready
for deployment email firstname.lastname@example.org by no
later than 3pm and we will work with you to reschedule your
- You must let ANYONE who links to your site know the new URL for
DEPLOYMENT DATE WEDNESDAY AM
- Redirects will be put in place from the old site to the new
site between 6:00-8:00 am
- Your representative (identified on the site launch) will be
available to test the redirects and affirm everything went
- Not all sites have any extra steps to perform for the
Wednesday deployment (brand new sites with no old sites or
redirects will not have anything to do here).
- Search results pages can be re-activated once the new site
URLs have been indexed by the search (probably a day after the real
deployment with redirects).
From this point forward
• Hooray! You
are now stewarding and growing your site.
• Any further changes
can be made by you with no intervention by activating your
pages/changes that you make in author when you are ready to have
them go live :-)
• Be sure to read our
documentation on moving and deleting live pages!
• Please use the
following forms to request help.
o We have a support team filled
with people of different skills who will quickly triage and respond
to your questions.
o OR on the rare occasion there
is a severe problem or bug: http://ubcms.buffalo.edu/help/all-forms.html#report-problems
• And finally keep
aware of changes and keep growing your skills and remember you are
now part of a community of digital communications practitioners and
your thoughts and experiences matter.
o Read our bi-weekly email
UBCMSCETERA that overviews:
features or components
for feedback and ideas (magic wand sessions)
Solutions Groups meetings
o Take a moment when you visit
the UB Web Management site to see what changes there are to
documentation or new features that will help elevate your site
o Attend our bi-monthly Solutions
Group meetings. We share best practices, demo new ideas and
components, teach new skills and share ideas. Who knows, we may be
demoing your site!