Let’s suppose you’ve been getting complaints on your website from frustrated users. Or you’re getting it from front line staff and managers who are using the site and they’re hearing from confused customers, members, or donors. And, your people who are publishing web content are feeling the pain of using a clunky system.
You know it’s high time to upgrade or replace your content management system and, while you’re at it, redesign the site to make it work better for all concerned. But, it’s daunting! It’s more than just a redesign. You figure it will probably be expensive and it’s a monumental task. You have so many questions it’s hard to know where to start.Whether it’s been your baby over the years or you’ve inherited it, there is key information you should gather as you prepare to tackle the beast that it’s become:
- Pull some web stats reports going back a year or two to identify which pages are most used and least used and the search terms used most (at the very least).
- Gather available user feedback (e.g. survey, emails, and comments from those tasked with supporting your users)
- Determine how large your site is, how many html pages, pdfs, image files, and other content types exist on it
- Find out what your web publishing team dislikes and likes about the existing CMS.
- Gather key website planning documents that were used to build the existing site or were created since you launched.
Whether it’s outdated website design and functionality that’s driving the change or an outdated CMS that’s hampering your efforts to manage the site, you’ll need to identify your objectives, what works, what doesn’t work and what would make it easier and better for your external and internal users. Knowing this will help inform your planning phase and determine what else needs to be identified.