New Designs and WCM Templates

Working in web publishing and development you have to work hand in hand with the IT and Design teams when using or creating templates in you WCM system.  Flow of this process works best when the project starts in the UI team.  I’ve create a simplified overview of a process that works well for myself. Also it’s good to note, that there should be a project manager moving the project along and gathering needed resources through each step.

A good project flow to follow:

UI & Content Strategy – Where questions are asked and answered about what is the function of the page, what kind of content should show on page, what is purpose of the page on site, where will it live in the site, what is the taxonomy of site related to this page…

Design – Wireframes are first designed for optimal viewing of content on page, once wireframe and layout is done, then design is added.  Make sure wireframes are signed off before going into any design.

Editorial – reviews the wireframe and creates and suggests character limits for sections on the page, gives review and feedback and eventually signs off on project to go to IT development.

IT Development – This phase goes between many groups – IT, Design, Editorial, Web Production Manager, International Web Production Manager, SEO, Metrics)  Template development for page in your CMS, hand in hand with the Web publisher to make sure labels on the templates are intuitive, located in correct order for optimal entry, and so that the web production manager can start creating the web training documentation for the web team on how to use the template.  It’s key that the IT group work right with the Web publishers in this step so that the template can be given feedback and testing for use from the team that will be using the template.

This is also the step in which cross browser and platform testing is done.  Responsive layout is checked on all platforms available.

Content Owners that will be creating copy for this design should submit content in this testing and template building phase, so that real content can be added to the template in staging area to make sure it accomplishes all needs of the copy.  Issues I’ve seen are a content owner may want 3 call to actions in a promotional area – but that area was only built to show one call to action.  Promo placement was overlooked on page and there is always a need to feature a promo for cross promotion or announcements.

SEO team also tests the page in staging and make sure the template is optimized for SEO purposes.  This could be testing that H1, H2 items are set in code or that the meta data is publishing correctly, images are set in page in way they can contain ALT tags.

Metrics team should validate the page has metrics tracking in it.

Design and Functional Sign Off – All groups sign off on template (Design, IT, Web Production Manager, Editorial, SEO)

Web Production Manager – Finalizes the Template Training Document

Editorial – creates and finalizes the copy template document that content owners will use to fill out with copy for the web page.

Web Publishing and International Review – Training documentation and meetings are set up with web publishers (US and International) to show them how to use the new template and where the documentation is stored.


You are then ready to use the template and have all the required documentation teams will need to use it.