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Web development process

“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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.

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Website development process

Figure 1: Sample development process.  (Click on image to enlarge).

  • 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