1 – Prepare for On-Boarding
Follow Industry Best Practices
Customers are encouraged to follow industry best practices for a web site migration. Please keep in mind the CAWeb team is not involved in any way with customer web site cleanup. The following links may assist in the site cleanup process.
1. Broken links, orphaned pages, spell checker tools: http://www.inspyder.com/products/InSite (purchase product).
2. Follow the Google webmaster guidelines: https://varvy.com/tools/
3. Xenu’s Link Sleuth (open source link checker): http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html
4. Search the Internet for “pre-migration website cleanup” for more helpful best practices and tools.
Sites Built on the State 2007 Template
The old 2007 State Template allowed for many top-level navigation menu items. CAWeb utilizes the latest State Template versions which allow for fewer main navigation links. Consequently, 2007 Template sites may need the top menu reorganized to reduce the number of links.
In addition, the 2007 State Template allowed for an “aside” column on both the left and right sides of a page. The CAWeb State Templates currently allow for an aside column only on the right side. The left side column content will need to moved to the right column or incorporated into other content areas of the site.
CAWeb Publishing runs on WordPress and can use a number of approved plugins for “web application”-like functionality. However, if your web applications cannot be migrated to work with a WordPress plugin, you will need to host them under a sub-domain of your site utilizing:
– one of your own servers
– one of CDT’s On-Premise Web Hosting solutions
– one of CDT’s Off-Premise Cloud Services solutions, like AWS or Azure
– a 3rd-party hosting solution
Sites with Hosted Video or Sound Files
For hosting video content, we recommend what most government agencies use: YouTube. CAWeb Publishing does not host video files.
CAWeb Publishing can host sound files but does not provide a streaming service. Additionally, if you are publishing many large sound files you will quickly consume the base storage allocation and incur additional storage charges at the current storage rates published on the Department of Technology rates page.
Government agencies are required by law to publish website content in compliance with ADA accessibility standards. When preparing for building your content into the CAWeb Publishing service you should also plan on a review of your content for ADA compliance. Fix any accessibility errors prior to migrating your content and use the ADA compliant CAWeb Publishing content types during site migration. The Google Chrome browser Dev Tools has a free Audit feature that includes Accessibility validation.
With the passage of AB434, State of California will require accessibility certification for all state government web sites:
This bill, before July 1, 2019, and before July 1 biennially thereafter, would require the director of each state agency or entity and the chief information officer of that state agency or entity to post on the home page of the agency’s or entity’s Internet Web site a signed certification that the agency’s or entity’s Internet Web site is in compliance with specified accessibility standards. The bill would require the director to create a standard form that each state agency’s or state entity’s chief information officer would be required to use to determine whether the state agency’s or state entity’s Internet Web site is in compliance with the specified accessibility standards.
For more information on ADA compliance and tools, review the resources at: http://webtools.ca.gov/web-content/web-accessibility/
Too Many PDF Documents
Many government agencies still heavily utilize “old school” content publishing methods, including an overuse of PDF and other document types, rather than utilizing HTML equivalents. But these “document” base publishing methods create a number of problems:
1. They often are not ADA compliant.
2. They are not “responsive” in their design, meaning they are not optimized for viewing on mobile devices.
3. Some PDFs even have embedded web links which are not managed well and become broken over time.
4. PDF document content is not, by default, “search engine optimized” (SEO) and can be impossible to find in searches, especially on mobile devices. Search engines do not index an entire PDF; therefore, using PDFs as web content delivery documents actually prevents much of the content from being found via search engines.
CAWeb Publishing provides specialized content types that are highly SEO with semantic attribution. Key examples include news type articles and events. These content types should be considered as alternatives to PDF and other document formats when migrating content to the CAWeb Publishing Service.
Archive Old Pages
By viewing the data on your site analytics dashboard, you will discover that some pages receive very few hits. These pages are candidates for archiving or removal. Site traffic measurement tools provide the needed information to make archiving decisions based on user demand. The tool available for most State websites for obtaining this information is Google Analytics.
Note: In order to produce meaningful reports with Google Analytics, GA must be configured correctly and collecting data in the “no Bots” mode for at least 30 days. The “no Bots” setting keeps traffic related to web crawlers filtered out of the results. Only real “human” traffic gets counted in your metrics.
To configure “no Bots” mode in Google Analytics, under the “Admin” tab, go to “View Settings” and check the “Bot Filtering” check box.
Reports to pay attention to:
Google Analytics – https://www.google.com/analytics/
Behavior/Site Content/All Pages – This report shows traffic to your web pages and can be configured to show 30 days, a year, or even multiple years worth of data. You can increase this report to show up to 5,000 pages, and sort it in a “least traffic” order. Then you can consider these “least traffic” pages for archiving.
Behavior/Site Content/Landing Pages – Like the report above you can configure it for “least traffic” results. Additionally, this report implies human page demand because people came directly to these pages via a search engine, a link from another site, or they manually typed in the URL. Whereas the previous “All Pages” report includes this traffic, and people who may have browsed over the page as they looked at other pages.
Google Webmaster Tools – https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/home?hl=en
Search Traffic/Search Analytics – This report can be sorted in reverse order to see what is searched for the least. These least desired pages may be candidates for archiving off of your site. Furthermore, those pages that are never searched for should be considered for archiving also.
Inventory Site: Storage, Page views, Applications
Do your best to estimate total allocated site storage space and page views. Also, note any applications hosted on your current site infrastructure. CAWeb Publishing WordPress can host some smaller web applications using a plugin called ToolSet, but large apps that currently require dedicated server resources cannot be hosted on a CAWeb site.
2 - Site Assessment
Submit a CAWeb Publishing Service Request via ServiceNow
Submit a ServiceNow CI (Catalog Item) request for “CAWeb Publishing Service”. Select either Site Assessment or Site Assessment and Subscription. (The subscription SR indicates the customer’s commitment to continue the on-boarding process through to the go-live event.) See the online instructions in the service request definition for more information about these two options. Contact your CDT, Customer Engagement Services account lead if you need assistance. The current cost for the Site Assessment and other costs are published on the CDT Rates Page.
Schedule Assessment Report Review Meeting
The customer’s account lead from the CDT Customer Engagement Services (CES) will contact the customer and schedule this meeting to coincide with the completion of the Site Assessment. This meeting takes place after the assessment is completed and emailed to the customer, but can be scheduled ahead of time to keep the on-boarding process moving forward.
Prepare and Deliver the Site Assessment Report
The CAWeb customer liaison will thoroughly review and inventory the website to assess the types of content discovered, the volumes, and any issues that need to be discussed with the customer. The findings from this step will be compiled into an Assessment Report which will be delivered to the customer for review prior to the Assessment Report Review Meeting.
Meet to Review Assessment Report
This is the meeting scheduled in step #2. During this meeting the Assessment Report will be discussed in detail with the customer including any issues that need to be addressed before moving on to the next step: the writing of a Statement of Work. In addition, initial users of the system will be identified at this time.
Prepare and Deliver the SOW Agreement
Based on the discussions and agreements obtained during the Assessment Report Review meeting, the CAWeb liaison will prepare a Statement of Work (SOW). The SOW will identify the full scope of work necessary to complete a build of the customer’s current website within the CAWeb Publishing Service. As such, it becomes the key document that will be attached to the Subscription (or Site Assessment & Subscription) service request. This SOW is the final deliverable of the Site Assessment Phase.
Note: Content Migration Services
The SOW gives customers the knowledge of the work effort required to migrate their content into the CAWeb Publishing Service. All web sites (new or existing) require “migration services” to bring site content into a CAWeb WordPress site. The process requires manual effort and often significant time and labor. The CAWeb Publishing team does not perform these content migration or content provisioning services. To assist customers with obtaining the necessary resources to migrate content, CAWeb Publishing Service has prepared a list of CMAS vendors that have expressed interested in partnering with CAWeb customers. This list is available upon request.
3 – Site Build and Subscription
Attach Statement of Work (SOW) Agreement
After reviewing and discussing the SOW, the customer decides to subscribe to the CAWeb Publishing Service. If the initial service request (SR) was “Site Assessment” only, the customer submits a second SR for Subscription and attaches the SOW. If the initial SR was “Site Assessment and Subscription”, customer attaches the SOW to the initial SR. Billing will then commence for the following items:
- Site Implementation fee (create the new WordPress site from a standard template)
- Site Assessment fee (if not already billed)
- The monthly service subscription fee
Rates are published on the CDT Rates Page.
Site Creation and Home Page Setup
The new web site is created in CAWeb. The CAWeb webmaster liaison creates the new home page and navigation links. The remaining site content build and layout is the responsibility of the customer. CAWeb has a list of CMAS vendors who have agreed to contract with CAWeb customers to provide content build services. This list is available upon request.
Training Class and Resources
The CAWeb team provides WebEx-based introductory training class to all customers at no additional charge. A training session will be scheduled for all new customers through your CES account lead as part of the On-Boarding process.
Additionally, the following resources are provided via this CAWeb Support Site as reference materials:
- Training Overview for Editors (PowerPoint)
- Video How To’s
- More to come…
Website Content Migration to CAWeb
For previously existing websites, this effort will take the longest, and can be complex for numerous reasons:
- In the old website are many pages that should have already been archived.
- Typically there are many PDF documents, usually 10 times more than web pages, and they have not been reviewed for accessibility.
- The old website runs within a different CMS system, causing additional migration complexity due to unusual implementation structures.
- There simply are thousands of pages within the old website
Because of the sometimes difficulty and complexity of this migration effort, State agencies will need to hire a vendor to do the migration for them. To help State agencies find potential vendors for this migration work, and to provide CAWeb requirements for this type of contract, please visit the following:
4 – Release and Go Live
The Release and Go-Live phase begins with site control given to the customer and ends when the DNS change replaces the old site with the new. The customer will use the login IDs issued to them at the Training Class to access the CAWeb Publishing authoring tier. Prior to the DNS cut-over that puts the new CAWeb site in production, the customer will make all content updates necessary to keep the new site content synchronized with the current live site.
Production Ready Notification
The customer notifies their CAWeb liaison and/or CES account lead via email that the new site is ready to be cut-over into production. The customer will indicate the date and time desired for the DNS cut-over. The CAWeb team will schedule the DNS change with the CDT Network Management team. On the cut-over day, the DNS change will execute at the exact time indicated by the customer. The CAWeb team will enable search engine access to the site (and a number of other go-live tasks) and notify customer when the site is live.
DNS propagation across the Internet can take up to 48 hours; however, the CDT DNS servers will update within 5 minutes of cut-over. Sometimes a site has an alias or two that point to the site domain. The customer is advised to request the DNS change for any alias names as well. We consider the www. version of the domain name an alias (CNAME). If that is not possible for your web site, please inform your liaison prior to cut-over.
Note: Search engine vendors (Google, Bing, etc.) can take several weeks to re-crawl and index the new site into their search collections. To speed up this process, see the next Phase 4 step: Submit a Sitemap.
Ongoing Support Requests
For support, email or call the CDT Service Desk:
* For additional training resources, visit the CAWeb Support site training pages.