You think you're ready to create your new Mason website. Where do you begin?
Get a Grip on What You've Got on Your Current Site
Creating/updating a website is a bit like planting a flower bed.
You're eager to get all those bright blooms into the ground, but there's a lot of prep work involved before you get to that step.
First up: Find out what you have now and what you'll need to gather to complete the process. Ask yourself these questions:
- Overview: What is your site's goal? What is your unit/department's mission? Who are your audiences?
- Current site: What’s on your site now? You'll need to conduct a content inventory of every page, every link, etc. You'll need to decide what stays, what needs an update, and what can go. You’ll also start getting an idea of what might be missing. Do you consistently get the same calls and questions? If so, there's an obvious need for that information, but people can't find it. Now's the time to see if you can provide those answers on your site in an easy, intuitive way.
- Resources: Do you have people who can write/edit? Do you have photography? How about videos? Do you have someone designated to keep your site up to date? Is there someone you can detach from part of his or her job to lead this project, and will you give them the power they need to make sure others meet deadlines? There will be major demands on the time of all involved.
- Social media: What resources do you have? Facebook? Twitter? Etc.? If you don’t have any, do you want them? If so, are you willing to devote the resources needed to maintain them? Remember, many of our students communicate with us through such avenues as Facebook and Twitter. Our alumni might keep in touch through LinkedIn.