A-Z Index

Web Planning

This section is intended to help plan a new website or reorganize an existing site.

Note: There is no template to fit all web projects. This is an example to provide a starting point. View a collection of available web templates. Also, check out our glossary page to familiarize yourself with new concepts or vocabulary. 

Website work overview (example)



This is where you can provide input/needs/wants. You can prepare with these considerations and answer some questions: 

  • Reviewing other sites at Northwest for similar content. Also, find external reference examples. We can help with this part, too.
  • Be sure to determine your audience.
  • Set your website's goals and objectives.
  • Determine the benefits of the existing site, if any. We will want to continue doing what works well! 
  • What's missing? Are there any new program topics or events to include?
    • Do we need to develop new tools? Are there any unique needs? 
  • What needs to be removed? Is there anything you know that needs to come out?
  • What needs to be highlighted/stand out?
  • Consider long-term maintenance of any removals or additions. 


After making some important decisions, it's time to plan some next steps. A significant factor in planning depends on if the work is to update or is this a new site.

If updating:
  • The web team can pull a list of existing content (a site map/outline) to share. 
  • We may use a "red, yellow, green" method to do some initial cleanup. Marking elements of a sitemap red for 'needs removed', yellow for 'keep but needs updates,' and green for 'good as-is' helps us get started. *Note: If you have trouble identifying what is needed or used, the web team has tools to help make these decisions.

If new:

  • Plan out the organization/topics/pages needed
  • In a sitemap/outline, keep notes on any content that may be a starting place for the page. 
For either type of project, here are some additional considerations:
  • Download our example website outline template to establish the new or revised site map. You'll find an example with some recommendations in this document. 
  • Rework any supplemental site navigation(s) - if a segment of your site would benefit from its own navigation, treat it as a separate website and create its own site map/outline—for example, Student Employment, within the Human Resources website. 
  • Consider if the new or existing content, pages, or site should be "public or internal." Do you need to implement internal content on MyNorthwest?


  • The web team will work to understand the scope, expectations and resources, and begin to identify and collect assets.
  • Estimate timeline, the volume of work, number of pages, features, etc.

Most projects are ready to prepare the prototype or foundation, commonly known as a "site skeleton."

  • From a web design aspect, we will start with the following:
    • Building a new structure for review.
    • The web and design teams will mock up webpage wireframes for new or overhauled pages as needed.
    • Proof out to the client for feedback.
  • From a content aspect:
    • The content team will work with you to gather and make changes/edits while creating new content as needed.
    • Proof out to the client for edits and review while implementing.

Both aspects drive the work of the other. Sometimes, the content drives design and vice versa, so this is somewhat of a fluid process. We will work closely in this stage to refine and complete the project.



After an initial prep... you will have the chance to review before anything goes live. 

  • Populate and final pieces of content
  • Test and seek final edits/approvals

Launch & Handoff

At the launch of the new or reorganized site, the web team will take action to implement the approved site creation.

The web team will work to make the transition seamless, but it is also important to consider and review a few things over the next year or so: (we may not be aware of everything, so it's helpful to inform us just in case) 

  • 3rd party partners or software - do they link to your site? Reach out to have them update their links if needed.
  • Be sure to review the context of your content and that links still align with any restructuring that may have occurred.
    • Print pieces may need URLs or QR codes updated
    • Email or digital communication

In the handoff, train on anything as needed. For example, if a new events page is created, we may train your team on how to update the content of this page regularly. Don't worry we are still always here to help!  

Ready to get started? 

Reach out to webteam to get started. Let us know what you have in mind and we can connect you with the right people to start building a new or refreshed site.