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Start a new project

Before starting a new website project, please make sure that you have approval to request a new site.  Approval must be received from a department manager, director, chair or dean.

Have a plan

We have provided a basic outline of the phases and project activities that you should undertake as part of your web development project.  Before you request a new development site, be sure you have a plan in place.  Need help with your web project? Contact us.

  • Determine brand requirements (i.e. what colours can I use?)
  • Outline project needs, goals and objectives (e.g. promote a new program, increase program applicants, feature distinguished alumni, improve access to courses, etc.)
  • Identify primary and secondary users (and goals for each)
  • Gather/document requirements
  • Review requirements/deliverables from Discovery phase
  • Conduct competitive reviews
  • Review site analytics
  • Review existing content
  • Make content decisions: keep, edit, delete
  • Write new copy, edit existing
  • Develop information architecture, external link, opens in new window (IA) 
  • Start sourcing high resolution imagery
  • Document any required redirects (if redesigning an old site)
  • Learn about the CQ development environment
  • Get approval on everything before moving to the next phase!
  • Request development site
  • Develop navigation and functional wireframes (i.e. page layouts) based on planning phase deliverables
  • Choose layouts and content placement based on needs/goals/best practices as found in competitive review (i.e. Discovery/Planning phases)
  • Develop visual design (review the Web Style Guide)
  • Select colour palette/sample images for wireframes
  • Review and seek approval from stakeholders before doing a full-build
  • Create new site structure, based on information architecture developed in planning phase/design phases
  • Choose navigation style to be used on the site
  • Configure navigation and site colour in page properties of homepage template
  • Determine what templates are required for each page
  • Create all news pages with proper page titles
  • Once pages are created, determine page layouts (use layout components)
  • Add all copy and imagery to web pages
  • Digital Publishing (DPU) will release site during scheduled release period
  • Redirects will be implemented after the site release
  • DPU will add new users to site permissions
  • DPU will notify client once site has been released

Client should:

  • Review live site
    • Run a link checker
    • Run accessibility check  (focus on alt text)
    • Check every page for spelling, missing images, etc.
    • Check all links, including navigation
    • Check cq author permissions in production (
    • Make any necessary changes
  • Communicate to stakeholders
  • Training
    • Draft as-built or training documentation for colleagues
    • Train colleagues on how to login, find, create, edit and activate content
    • Outline more complex features in detail, such as news lists and events
  • Post-launch changes
  • Request Google Analytics


AEM/CQ is available to Ryerson employees for use by all Ryerson Departments, Faculties, Schools and Programs.

It is not available for student or personal websites.

Request a new site

Things to consider before engaging with your vendor

If you are considering hiring a vendor to develop a website in the Web CMS (AEM/CQ), there are a few things you should consider and discuss with your potential vendor.

Web Skills

Before your project begins, consider the individual(s) responsible for maintaining your site and discuss their experience with your vendor.  If your resource is HTML savvy, is a great designer and has basic programming skills, this may give your vendor more room to be creative in their web design and development. If your resource has little to no web experience, it is critical that the vendor know this before designing a site that will be challenging to maintain.

Training and Documentation

Include training and documentation as a mandatory deliverable of your project. Once your site has launched and your vendor has moved on to other projects, you are now responsible for updates and changes to your website. You need to know how they built your site in order to make updates.  If you do not include training and documentation, your department may find it difficult to make changes to your site.

Custom Code 

External developers often add custom CSS and JavaScript to your pages to achieve a specific look or function.  Depending on the level of customization, the code can impede  your ability to update the site.  It can also interfere with how different browsers display your content, and how the CMS components are meant to function. 

The responsive templates do not permit developers to include external code, including CSS, JQuery, JavaScript, etc. The ability to add external code is only available in legacy templates such as the 960 template.

Issues created by custom code (CSS, JavaScript, etc.) are not covered by Digital Publishing's support services.  If you experience issues with custom code, please contact your vendor first. Changes to these sites can be accommodate on a chargeback basis.

Digital Publishing provides the Ryerson community with a full range of website planning, design, development and maintenance services at very competitive rates.

Digital Publishing charges $55/hour for its web design, consulting and programming services. We work exclusively with Ryerson clients and all sites are built using the university supported web content management system, AEM (previously named CQ).

Web design, site updates and consulting

Our services include:

  • Site maintenance/content updates
    • Let us help you create new pages; remove or update text/images/PDFs; add new features such as slideshows or news & events, etc.
  • Website migration & planning 
  • Competitive reviews, content audit, and information architecture (IA)
  • Website design and development 
  • Project management, consultation, usability, training, documentation & quality assurance