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Site Migration Guide


This checklist will help facilitate your task of migration to the new responsive content management system (CMS) templates.

  • Establish a migration team and leader.
    These should be experts who know details about your program, department or unit. They will be able to determine the accuracy of web content and what should or shouldn’t move over to your new site.
  • Review and clean up the site before migration.
    Using your existing website, assign sections of your site to the most appropriate team member for them to update.
    Pages containing inline CSS must be removed before migration. Using inline CSS overrides approved styling as set by Web Communications and can interfere with functionality across various browsers and platforms. Also, as site owners change, those who are not advanced users may not know how to update content correctly. The purpose of a CMS is to provide an easy to use publishing system for our clients.

    Any inline CSS left behind will be removed.

    Again, this is the best time to correct and update content BEFORE it’s moved.

  • Revisit existing content and update or purge old information.

    These questions should be asked during the review process to refocus your content if necessary:

    • Who is your primary website user?
      • Is the audience internal or external? Is it comprised of staff, faculty and/or students? Does the content speak to your audience?
    • Why do they visit your site?
      • Is the purpose of your site easily accessible and clear?
    • What are the opportunities for users on your page?
      • If there are actionable items, are they easy to find and process?

Download a detailed Web Task List worksheet.

These changes should be made before moving your content and/or site structure to your new responsive template.

Guidelines for web content:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips

URLs and Files
To help boost SEO rankings, name pages and files (web pages, documents and images) clearly and succinctly such as the examples below:

  • Webpages: /forms-and-applications
  • PDF: campus-annual-security-report.pdf
  • Images: campus-annual-security-report.jpg

File Formats

  • If possible, strive to create content that is accessible to anyone or anything. Those who use assisted technologies may not be able to access Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or PDFs.
  • Forms that do not require a signature or collect sensitive data – use webforms.
  • Forms that require a physical signature – use an accessible, fillable PDF.
  • Note that reports or brochures should be formatted as webpages unless an accessible PDF can be created.

Optimize images
To help ensure quick downloads for mobile device users, optimize images by reducing their size in Photoshop or other photo editing tools.

Our templates and stylesheets have been developed to meet WCAG 2.0 AA rating which we are required to maintain. This is critical for those users who use assistive technology devices to access the web. To help us maintain this rating, there are a couple of items we need our web editors to do on a continuous basis.

  • When placing images – enter a brief description of the photo as will be read to the user in the Alt Text box.
  • Do not use line styling to override our approved formatting.
  • If you must include a brochure PDF, make sure it is optimized for accessibility. Otherwise, try to include a web page version with an option to download as PDF.

Estimated Timeline



Pre-migration discussion Post content updates two weeks before the CMS move
Kick-off meeting Week One, choose homepage and content layout
Training, if required
Client migrates content
Week One
Midpoint review Week Three (Web Communications and
website owners review migration status)
Final Review/Go Live Week Four