Preparing to Launch a UBCMS Site

Before your site is ready to go live, familiarize yourself with these required steps to ensure a successful launch.  

1. Site Owner chooses a preferred date for the initial 'soft' launch

A soft launch allows the website to be live but not in the public eye, so that final adjustments can be made before the final 'hard' launch with any formal promotion. (Your soft and hard launch dates might be the same.) See glossary below for definitions.

Before committing to this date, please be aware:

  • Avoid freeze dates when no site launch or redirect can be implemented.
  • Allow sufficient time for you to do accessibility testing and remediation: we suggest 1 week but you really should be integrating this throughout the whole process.
  • Review the redirects you gave us at Site Creation. Are there any others? If so, add them to the form
Success Tip:

Review the redirects you gave us at Site Creation. Are there any others? If so, add them to the form.

To get started: Site Owner submits their soft launch date using the UBCMS Website Launch (Activation) Request.

2. If the dates are viable, DCT Help Desk coordinates with UBIT and updates the Site Owner.

  • DCT Help Desk checks testing and launch dates then confirms with Site Owner.
  • DCT Help Desk schedules removal of SiteImprove block on soft launch date (protects your site from prying eyes during testing).
  • DCT Help Desk schedules implementation of any redirects on hard launch date.

3. Site Owner is responsible for ensuring that the site is complete.

  • Site Owner ensures every page of the site (including header and footer) is reviewed.
  • As pages are complete, Site Owner activates each page to start accessibility scanning
  • Does everything work?
    • Check forms
    • Check links
    • Check any code or snippets you might have added to your site
  • Check that there are no unfinished pages or “placeholder text or images”
    • Any pages that are unfinished should be deactivated in navigation and lists so they do not show when your site goes live 
  • Did you activate all your pages?
    • Do not worry. We have blocks in place that keep your pages from being seen by anything but Site Improve UNTIL your Soft Launch    
This tip will save you MANY problems later on

When linkin to pages within your site (or within the UBCMS shared content) use the magnifying glass to find the page in the UBCMS directory tree rather than typing in the URL directly.

4. Site Owner ensures accessibility testing is completed in order for soft launch to proceed.

  • Site Owner is responsible to ensure your team uses SiteImprove scans to identify and remediate identified accessibility issues.
  • If a new site launch is required to address remaining accessibility issues contact the DCT Help Desk. We will work with Site Owner to identify a new date.
It's the Law

Your team is responsible for doing pre-launch accessibility tests on your site using Site Improve.

5. Fill out and submit the affirmation that your site is complete and accessible.

When the site is complete (see step 3) and all accessibility issues have been remediated (see step 4), Site Owner confirms via the SUBMIT AFFIRMATION button to move forward with soft launch.

Make sure you submit your affirmation on time.

If we do not receive the Website Affirmation Form by 3pm the Thursday before your planned soft launch date, your soft launch will be canceled and it will be up to you to reschedule.

6. For soft launch, SiteImprove block is removed (published site is now visible to the public).

  • UC alerts Site Owner that site is soft launched.

7. For hard launch, any redirects are implemented and your site is live and visible to the public.

  • UC alerts Site Owner that site is hard launched.
  • Soft Launch: Your site is live before our "official" launch date. Usually the monday before but you can pick your date. You use this time for final quality review and testing (accessibility and other) which makes it more of a seamless launch when your hard launch date arrives. During a soft launch
    • Your site is visible to the public
    • Your site can be searched by Google
    • No one knows about it unless you link to it or announce it
  • Hard Launch: Your site is "officially" launched. All redirects are added from old site to new. You start decommisioning your old site (if applicable).
    • You can start promoting your site
    • Your site is visible to the public
    • Your site can be searched by Google
    • People who come to your old URLs get sent to your new site