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MSU-Northern students, faculty and staff - Use the ITS Help Desk as the first point of contact for your technology problems, questions & services!

Information Technology Services Help Desk
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Last Updated: 18-Jun-2009
Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services: Web Publishing

Web Publishing

The World Wide Web is an excellent means of getting your department or personal information out into the public forum 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Creating a web site does take time and effort to plan and design. To effectively meet the goals and objectives of your web site, it is important to plan the site's content and layout. Viewers' needs should be a primary consideration when planning your page or site. Sites should be informative, easy to follow, and attractive.

Steps to publishing

  1. Read Northern's Web Style Guide and Recommendations & Tips.
  2. Plan your site -
    • Discuss your web site with others in your department and the customers of your department.
    • Determine your web site objectives (i.e. who is the site for/what is its purpose);
    • Who is your audience? External vs Internal
    • Gather your content. Decide what you already have, and what content you will need to develop. You want to include documents, photos, charts, tables, forms, etc, in this process.
    • Plan the structure, organization and navigation:
      • draw a flowchart,
      • list your resources,
      • Designing a usable navigation structure uses a balance between two "don'ts": Don't make your visitors travel too far to get to what they want, BUT... Don't overwhelm your visitors by presenting too many choices at once
    • Design the visual layout of the site.
    • Collect/create visual components.
  3. Web tools: MSU-Northern has a site license for Microsoft SharePoint Designer, however, any WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web development program can be used to develop web sites - Dreamweaver, Adobe GoLive, etc. You should also have some sort of graphics package such as Adobe ImageReady, Photoshop, or Fireworks.
  4. Build your site.
  5. Read Northern's Web Style Guide again to see if you meet the requirements.
  6. Test your site thoroughly prior to publishing - see how it looks in various browsers and at various screen resolutions.
  7. If your pages are for your department or program, get the approval of your supervisor/dean before proceeding to publish the pages.
  8. Request an account and space on a Web server by contacting the ITS Help Desk. Be sure to be clear whether the space you are requesting is for a department or program, or if it is for a class (or classes).
  9. Publish to the Web server via FTP.
  10. Plan for periodic reviews and maintenance.

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See the Style Guide to see what needs to be incorporated into an MSU-Northern web site.

For even more information, read the Recommendations & Tips page.

The Resources Page includes some Northern Graphics, information about Color on web pages and links to external resources.
Design Tips
Organize your site from the beginning. If you organize the folders for your site before you begin creating your pages, then you will always be able to find your pages when you need them.

Create folders for different types of files. If you are adding pictures to your site, you should have a folder named something like "images" or "pictures". This is where you will always place your pictures.
Things to keep in mind
Not everyone is running the same browser you are. Test your pages with other browsers.

Web publishing is not a one time task. Please keep your pages up to date.

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