Our Process

Working on a website migration is a collaborative process.

These steps outline our general process for website migrations. Actual services may vary and will be discussed in advance of our collaboration.

Migration overview

Design and discovery phase

This phase is available to departments with a marketing focus. Informational sites will generally be migrated as-is and not undergo this process.

  1. We will assess your current site.
  2. We will ask you to review and resolve certain issues in advance, including broken links, web accessibility problems, and occurrences of custom code.
  3. We will work with you to determine which framework options are appropriate for your site, and we will set up your website framework.
  4. We will collaborate with you on design and layouts for high-level landing pages.
    1. If your site needs considerable updates, such as a major redesign or overhaul of site architecture, you will need to manage this process. Although we can assist in an advisory role, we are not staffed to provide hands-on marketing and content strategy services at the level required for full website refreshes.
  5. We will collaborate with you to determine whether custom development will be required for your site, and we will schedule custom development as needed.
  6. You, or your website coordinator, will work with the individual units within your school or division to set up, review, and approve landing pages for each area as needed.
  7. You, or your website coordinator, will receive approval as needed from your dean, assistant dean, or other key stakeholders.

The design and discovery phase is often the most time consuming aspect of a website migration. In order for us to work together effectively, you must provide a marketing leader who can dedicate time and effort to this process.

Content migration

  1. For a specified period of time, your department will stop making edits on your site except for emergency edits.
  2. OIT will migrate sub-page content using a script paired with human review. We may resolve certain issues with accessibility. We may also remove customizations you have previously added to your pages, including inline and page-level CSS, borders and spacers, and non-supported code.
  3. We may remove slide shows with content that fails to meet our accessibility standards.
  4. We will launch the new site.

Ongoing support

OIT provides regular in-person classes for Sitecore editors as well as on-demand webinars and individual instruction.

We also regularly update our documentation.

Please note: this service is only available for websites built with components we have created. We are unable to support custom elements you have added to your site. This includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What content will OIT modify?

As we migrate websites, we may reformat certain elements related to SMU's web accessibility guidelines. We may also request you modify certain elements in advance of a migration.

Page titles

All pages must have a descriptive page title. This field can not be left blank or hidden. Page titles are necessary for web accessibility and can also improve your search engine ranking. Learn more about how page titles relate to accessibility.


Page headings label content and make it easier for your site visitors to browse your content. We may make the following changes to website headings:

  • Addition of headings when missing
  • Modifications to existing heading hierarchy and/or capitalization (headings should be presented in sentence case)
  • Removal of improper headings, such as paragraphs presented as headings simply to make the text larger (i.e., headings used as a design element rather than structural element)

Learn more about how headings relate to accessibility and readability.


Tables should be used to showcase tabular data or information that is read left-to-right, row-by-row.

Tables may not be used for page layouts or to create columns. When we migrate sites, we may remove tables that are not used properly and restructure your content into a single column.

Colors, borders, and spacers

Removal of custom colors, borders, and spacers when not in line with SMU's brand.

Improperly formatted links

  • We may modify email addresses if they are hidden behind a phrase, such as "contact us." Email addresses must be visible when linked.
  • We may modify non-descriptive linked phrases such as "here" or "click here." Linked phrases provide descriptive context.

Read more about how to how links relate to accessibility and readability.

Slide shows with inaccessible images

We may remove slide shows with images that fail to meet our accessibility standards.

Custom code

We may remove custom code you have added to your site may need to be removed. This includes:

  • Code copied from third-party libraries, such as Bootstrap or Font Awesome
  • Code written to create non-supported design elements, such as slide shows or custom page layout elements
  • Inline, page-level, or site-wide CSS meant to change fonts, colors, borders, padding, or other features

In certain cases, we will ask you to find alternative solutions ahead of our work. It is time consuming for OIT to remove custom code. We cannot prioritize working on sites that have intentionally been modified to deviate from our supported framework, nor can we guarantee your custom code will perform to your expectation in the new templates.

What content will OIT leave as-is?

We generally migrate sub-page content as-is.

Prior to our engagement, you will have the opportunity to fix a number of items. If these items are unresolved when we migrate your content, they will generally be left as-is:

  1. Broken links
  2. Improperly formatted links
  3. Inconsistent formatting of headings and other content
  4. Broken implementation of custom code you have created or copied from other sources.

What's out of scope?

Because we have limited resources to dedicate to website migrations, we do not provide these services:

  • Implementation of wireframes or designs the OIT Web Team did not create (this includes wireframes you create, or wireframes an agency creates)
  • Implementation of custom code without prior agreement
  • Content creation, including copy, photographs, or videography
  • Content editing and maintenance (images, text, videos, etc.)
  • Copy editing