Website Building Process

The time to take a website project from a dream to fruition depends on many factors, including how much time your staff have to work with us and respond to our questions, how large the site is, and external factors like how difficult it is to schedule photography. However for a medium-sized site, in general, you can expect:

  • A week or two to get the initial meeting scheduled. 
  • One to three months for you to write, edit, and have your text approved internally before giving any of it to us.
  • Once you give us final content that has been edited and approved by your organization, you can expect one to two months before your site goes live. This includes:
    • Time for us to build the text, images and multimedia in your website
    • A few days for you to review and provide us with one list of edits
    • Time for us to input the edits and do QA
    • Time for a final site review meeting
    • Time for us to push the site to the live server, request and program vanity URLs, search collections, redirects, and integrate faculty profiles
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Step 1: Establishing the Project

Contact Web Planning

Contact the web planning group via the website request form or call (203) 737-7932 to set up an initial meeting.

Initial meeting

In the initial meeting, you will meet with members of the YSM Web Group to discuss the various aspects of the project, your responsibilities, and answer any questions. A typical meeting covers the following:

  • Review the process of building your site in the content management system (CMS)
  • Establish your needs and requirements for the website
  • Create the draft navigation (from which we will build the site shell) 
  • Assess photography and other multimedia needs for your site
  • Go over responsibilities and work to be performed
  • Set initial production schedule
  • Set the scope for the project
  • Review the cost, both for the base site building and any additional web-related services

Follow-up Tasks

  • Set up an account and access to Basecamp, the online project management tool you'll use to communicate with the web group and track progress on the website. 
  • If necessary, YSM Web Planning will build a site shell for your review to finalize navigation.

Step 2: Revising and Generating Content


  • The Web Group sends you a word document via Basecamp containing content from your old site divided into the new navigation as determined in the initial meeting. 
  • You edit the content in the word document and add any content as you would like it to appear on your new website. You then have the content approved by your departmental leadership.
  • Upload the finalized, approved, revised version of the content to Basecamp. The primary contact in your organization is responsible for organizing content according to the site map and verifying that all content is correct and accurate.  

Multimedia (for medium and large site builds only)

  • Schedule headshots and “action” photography for your site.  Note that some photography is included in the “base” site building fee, which is usually sufficient for most websites. Additional photography will have to be covered by your organization. Read more about this process.
    • Note that any images for the banner need to be high quality, professionally processed, at least 1,000 pixels wide, and represent YSM in a professional manner.
    • No images that depict animals are allowed, as per Yale University policy. 
  • Generate and edit other multimedia, including videos and general photos to use on the website. If you have questions about multimedia standards, please see our guidelines page.

Step 3: Initial Site Build

  • You’ll deliver compiled, finalized content including text, video, audio, and still images. If you need assistance writing the content, the Web Group can recommend freelance writers to assist you.
  • The Web Group will take your finalized content and build your website with it. We cannot build a website for you until you provide complete, approved text.  Depending on the size of the website, this could up be four to eight weeks, and longer if the site is substantial. Your newly-built website in development will be visible (only to the Yale community) at

Step 4: Editing

  • The Web Group's project manager will meet with you to discuss changes you would like made to the site before it goes live. You are allowed one round of edits.
  • The staff members from your office who will be primarily responsible for keeping the website up to date will attend a SiteEdit training session before your site goes live. However, your organization can choose to pay someone at the university, including the Web Group, or an outside vendor to maintain the site, but it is not necessary to incur any cost for maintenance.

Step 5: Go Live

  • Once your organization is satisfied with the content on your newly built site, the Web Group will initiate the process to make the site available to the public (“go live”), which will take about a week.
  • Editing privileges will be given to the staff members in your organization who were trained in SiteEdit.