Working with Digital Strategies
Digital Strategies is responsible for the development of all websites at Vanderbilt. We empower the content owner(s) to update and maintain content on their sites while providing ongoing support through our Help Desk and Open Office Hours.
The information below pertains to new sites and redesigns only. For assistance with an issue on an existing site, starting a self-serviced lab site, or troubleshooting a my.vanderbilt.edu site, please open a Help Desk ticket.
All sites are built using the Vanderbilt theme, which is both mobile-friendly and compliant with accessibility standards. Redesigns must also use this theme. You can see examples of the theme on our web standards page, which includes both college/school and department-level sites. Every page at Vanderbilt must include the brand bar, navigation bar, header, and footer. Font and color options are standardized across sites to provide a consistent user experience and adherence to accessibility standards.
We encourage you to look at the example sites below to see what might be possible on your page.
The client must provide all approved content before we begin development. Additionally, ongoing maintenance of the site is the client’s responsibility. We offer several training options, which we will communicate once you’ve opened a New Project Request. Users must be involved during the creation of their site both in developing interior pages and learning how to make updates. Please see the table below for specific roles and responsibilities:
- Approved content for homepage including text and graphics
- Optional: Approved content for 3-5 interior pages (i.e.: “About” “Contact” pages)
- Staff member(s) to be trained on site updates/building additional pages
- Information on event and news tags for RSS feeds
- Building interior pages (outside of the 3-5 pages DS builds)
Digital Strategies Provides
- Creation of beta site, behind VUNetID, with access granted to client & necessary staff
- Development of homepage & 3-5 interior pages upon receipt of all approved content
- Two rounds of revisions on all approved content
- Training resources for staff
- Taking the site live once approval is received
All new project requests are reviewed before they enter into the Digital Strategies queue. If there are questions about the scope or feasibility of your project, a member of our team will be in touch. After entering the queue, the length of time the request remains there depends on the current DS workload. Once the request moves into active development, the average length of time from initial contact to go-live is 8-11 weeks (37-56 business days). This timeline is contingent on the client providing all content and reviewing proofs by pre-set deadlines. Missed deadlines will result in changes to the project timeline. Please see the graphic and site workflow below for more information.
- New project request submitted to queue, taken on first-come, first-serve basis.
- Digital Strategies (DS) creates a blank beta site (3-5 business days).
- DS sends blank beta to client with training information & proposed schedule
- Client attends training*
- Proof 1:
- Client gathers all content for homepage and 3-5 interior pages (optimal timeline: 7-14 business days). We recommend using a Box folder to hold materials. We’ve created an example folder to show how to structure content. (You’ll need to be logged into Box to view.) You can also review the standard page elements available on all sites to begin thinking through how you’d like your site to look.
- All stakeholders approve content
- Client sends content to DS
- DS builds proof 1 of the homepage and 3-5 interior pages (5-10 business days)
- DS sends proof 1 to client for review (Review time: 5 business days)
- Client returns ALL edits at once. Stakeholders should have reviewed and given additional input.
- Simultaneously with above: client is building additional interior pages*
- Proof 2
- DS incorporates client feedback into proof 2 of homepage and 3-5 interior pages (5-10 business days)
- DS sends proof 2 for review (ideal review time 3-5 business days)
- Final Revisions
- The client returns final revisions. At this point, all stakeholders must approve the site, and a go-live date should be selected.
- DS makes final revisions, reviews with client. No further alterations are allowed before go-live. Once the site is live, the client can make additional changes. (5 business days)
- The client confirms go-live date.
- DS takes site live, communicating with VUIT as needed
- DS shares the final URL with the client along with ongoing support information
*client work continues throughout this process, building additional interior pages while getting familiar with WordPress and Vanderbilt theme