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Plan a CMS Conversion


Take the following measures for WSDOT staff and contractors converting a site or page to CMS.

How to plan a site conversion

Part of site conversion is to make clear the site's purpose. All site elements must support that purpose. Because we need a site is not an organizing principle. Content managers must participate and be available for this process to be successful.

  1. Discuss the site's purpose with the site owner. Get them to be specific about its audience and use.


  2. Analyze how the site gets used. The Web Team can help you with this.

  3. Clean up and get rid of unnecessary or unused aspects of the site. This includes running an orphan file report the site's folder on the Web server. Again, the Web Team can help you with this.


  4. Conduct a sticky note exercise to tweak, restructure or otherwise improve the navigation.


  5. Wireframe the results of your research. Get buyoff on the wireframe(s).

  6. Put together a sample home page and get feedback and buyoff from the content manager.


  7. Map your navigation.


Convert a site


Make sure your content is not already presented on other WSDOT pages. Duplication is a misuse of the Web. Build according to OneDOT branding.

  1. Email  or call Web Help to request a channel (CMS folder for your pages). Unless, of course, one already exists.


  2. Build your page elements from scratch in CMS, rather than copying them from the exiting site.

  3. NOTE

    It is often easier to build pages from scratch than to copy. Copying can bring over unwanted, troublesome code, wasting time on cleanup. If you do copy, use View Source in your browser to grab the HTML, and paste text using the CMS Plain Text tool.

    You can edit in HTML, or use an HTML editor other than CMS, such as Dreamweaver, but stick with the WSDOT design. That includes using the agency Web font (Verdana) and colors.

  4. Optimize all linked files, such as PDFs  and JPEGs , for Web publishing. Use clear and consistent file names . You will have to add all your files to the CMS Resource Gallery before linking them to the new CMS pages. This can be time-consuming; plan for it.

  5. Once your site pages are ready for publishing, if your channel is new, you will need to email Web Help and make a switch request for that channel.

    In the email, provide the channel address. The moment the switch is made, if previously approved in CMS, your pages will be live.

  6. Once the site is published, set up redirect pages . Targeting a few key pages is usually enough.

  7. Copy the old HTML pages onto a CD. Label the CD with the site name and date archived, and store it. Delete the old HTML pages from the server.