New Website Start-Up

The following is the process departments or areas must undergo either to transition an already-existing website to the USD templates or to begin a new website. All transitions will be assigned a Web Team representative who will work exclusively with you to complete this process. To see a completed site within the new design, please refer to the Undergraduate Admission website.

Getting Started

  1. The department will need to identify a single project lead so we can coordinate work between the department and ITS teams; this person will be responsible for all content, navigation choices, and general site direction.
  2. Selection of a new web address (URL) for your departmental website, if desired. Your current URL can redirected to your new URL, so you will not lose visitors or need to redo business cards if you opt for this change. Note that we ensure that URLs are SEO-friendly (e.g. /presidents-report/ versus /presreport/).
  3. Selection of a maintainer for your new website. Please see below for required training in order to gain access to the maintenance tool (Cascade Server CMS) for the website.

Site Specifics

  1. Creation of new primary navigation (i.e. information architecture) for your site. Maximum 5-6 categories in your navigation (depending on length of navigation items). This determines your primary (horizontal) navigation as well as your secondary (sub-page) navigation. Your navigation can have drop-downs, no drop-downs, or be a mobile menu.
    • If you opt to use drop-down menus, you will need to have sufficient sub-pages under each primary navigation item.
    • You will need an introductory statement for each drop-down section.
    • Each drop-down can also contain an image or a set of quick links pertaining to that section of your website.
  2. Selection of audience navigation to be listed in the top right-hand corner of your website. Maximum 5-7 items.
  3. Selection of calls to action (CTAs) for your website to be listed in the top right-hand corner. Maximum 1-3 items.
  4. You will need to select a page banner for the following. This can be a high-quality image that represents your area or topic, or a video. Please work with University Communications for assistance with photo selections. In addition, you can check the USD Gallery for professional photography provided by the university for web and print purposes.
    • Your site's home page
    • Your site's sub pages
  5. General contact information for your department which will be placed in the footer of your new site:
    • Phone
    • Fax
    • E-mail address
    • Office location
    • Office hours
    • Social media
  6. Included will be creation of a staff directory for your department. If desired your department can also undergo a headshot session with an on-campus photographer. Please contact Allen Wynar to schedule a session.
  7. Your content will drive the design of the site. The web team will use components from Camino, the university's online digital library, for the layout and design of your pages.

Site Build

Once the above is collected and/or confirmed, ITS will create your new site or transition your content into the designated navigation structure and post your new site in a development area for review. 

No work will commence unless we receive the content intended for your new home page and any interior pages.

Content Management Training

ITS also provides training for maintenance of your new site. The USD website is maintained via the Cascade Server Content Management System (CMS) and on-demand training is required prior to gaining access:

On-Demand Training

At the completion of this process your department will have a streamlined website that is more useful for site visitors, is branded like the parent institution, and is easier to maintain.