The Website Redesign: What to Expect

Posted on 7/8/2015 5:27:09 PM

Today (Thursday, July 9) is the last day to make updates to the website before we begin rolling out the redesign of

If there’s any content you’ll need on the website between now and the week of July 20, please make sure it is submitted to the Web Team by 2:00 p.m.

Getting Your Site Ready

Today is also the last day to finish getting your website ready for the conversion process, by taking the three steps we outlined last month:

  1. Make sure you’re using quicklinks
  2. Check your summaries
  3. Publish all content you need on the new site

What Happens over the Next Week

While staging is locked down, the Web Team and IT Services will be working hard on the update to the new design. Here are some things to know about the road ahead:

  • Our production server ( will stay online while we work. There will be no interruption to the website for the outside world.
  • Meanwhile, the Web Team will be converting sites to the new template one at a time.
  • We don’t expect to have all sites complete by the week of July 20. When we launch the new site, there will still be many pages that still use the old template. However, it’s our plan to address the top 35 sites first. That will mean we have the top 100 pages covered, and 86% of our daily traffic will be seeing the new template.
  • We will continue to convert sites over the following weeks.
  • When a site is transitioned to the new design, we’ll let its web maintainers know. If you’re a web maintainer, you’ll want to inspect it at that time to make sure everything is in place. You may want to do some resizing of images or change the way that your content is laid out at that time.

The Payoff

There’s a lot of work going into the redesigned site, but the results are going to be worth it. The new look of the site is going to be the first thing you notice. It will be in line with our branding standards in print, on TV, and elsewhere. But there’s lot more going on, too. The site features:

  • A responsive design automatically optimized for mobile devices. With 34% of our outside traffic coming from mobile devices over the last year, this is a vital upgrade.
  • Automatic addition of new pages to the menu and the elimination of breadcrumbs. These changes will make things easier for web maintainers and improve navigation site-wide.
  • A content area that’s 41% wider on desktop computers. Photos and videos will look great at this larger size. (And on smaller screens, the content area slims down to fit.)
  • Visual layout of pages. Our new templates use Ektron’s PageBuilder feature to allow web maintainers to assemble pages visually, instead of having to make those changes via metadata or a multizone form. And changes will be visible before you submit content for approval.
  • No more numbered URLs. We’re using auto-aliasing to automatically create friendly URLs for every page on the site. URLs are going to be much easier to understand and share, and they’ll help bring traffic from search engines into our site.

Thanks to all our web maintainers for their help in getting the site ready for this big leap forward. We’re looking forward to sharing the new site with you!