Starting a Web Site at UAA

This guide is intended to get you started managing your website. The most important part of creating any website is preparation. These are the steps you and your group should take before anything actually goes onto the web. Much of this work can be conducted informally in small groups. The main point is to collaborate and record information about your site well before you put anything on the public web.

  1. Determine the management roles for your site
  2. Determine your target audience(s)
  3. Determine the purpose or objective(s)of your Web site
  4. Make an Outline of your pages
  5. Organize your pages in your site
  6. Collect all the content for your Web pages
  7. Finally...Publish!
 

Determine the management roles

First identify a Publisher, Content Owner(s), and a Site Administrator. These roles help you maintain your site and inform the University who is responsible for the various UAA Web sites. Small sites might assign multiple roles to a single person. Example: the Dean is the publisher, sub-department heads are content owners, the computer person is the site administrator, and a couple of other people in the department are contributors.

 

Determine your target audience(s)

Your web site should target an audience. Identifying this group will help you make decisions about the organization, language, and look of your web site. Some well known audiences at UAA are groups like staff, faculty, students, engineering majors, grad students, the public etc.

 

Determine the purpose or objective(s)

Determine what your site is meant to do. Is the site meant to drive action (enroll, donate, get on the mailing list, get involved)? Does it provide facts? The purpose of your site should be made clear on your homepage.

 

Make an Outline

Identify the titles of all the pages you will create and their subject. This will help you determine how large your site will be. It will also help you identify what pages are the most important. You may find you are able to eliminate or combine pages. A great way to do this is by creating an outline of your site in a word processor.

 

Organize your pages

Once you have all your pages outlined, group the pages into categories that make sense for how audience will use your site. These categories become the menu (or left nav) of your web site and the pages become sub menu items. This model is your site map or site architecture.

 

Collect all the Content

The most important part of any web site is content. Create your content before you start putting anything on the web. This work should include information gathering, writing text, acquiring images and media. “Under Construction” pages are not a best practice and should be avoided.

You do not have to create content in complicated web software. Start simple. Write it in a word processor or scribble it on yellow legal pads.

 

Finally...Publish!

Now that you have pages, a site map, and content. IT Services can help you begin to build your web site. Please don't hesitate to contact University Advancement if you have questions or need help with any parts of the above process.

Now that you started a website, it is very important to consider how you will maintain your website