The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Website Development Process

The website development process includes the following steps.

Project Assessment

When you contact us to request help with a website project, your project information will be evaluated to determine the best web development approach

Initial Planning Meeting

When staff are available to start the project, we will schedule an initial planning meeting with you to discuss your project. Prior to the meeting, we will send you a customer survey and Drupal Overview. At the meeting you will meet with the project manager, a web designer, a web programmer, and a writer/editor (when appropriate) to discuss your project and review the completed customer survey. Be prepared to identify photography and new content needs. We will also review your current site and/or model sites to formulate a preliminary editorial and design concept to fit your project needs. Based on the outcome of the meeting, we will then build a preliminary schedule and designate a single point-of-contact.

Sitemap or Outline

Following the initial meeting you will be asked to create and submit a preliminary outline or sitemap for review that clearly shows your desired primary and secondary navigation, and your desired content elements such as news items, events, people profiles, photo galleries and video. We will provide feedback and recommendations, and when you approve the final sitemap/layout, your site will move into production.


We will build your site according to the approved sitemap, including specific content types (i.e. news items, profiles, photo galleries, etc.). Additional content needs such as photography, editorial review of current content, or the creation of new content will be identified and scheduled. The web designer and programmer (when appropriate) will work with you to build the site. A schedule for your project, including regular check-ins, will be formalized, and if appropriate, we will provide Drupal training during this phase.


Once much of the site is built, we will begin the design phase. While the overall design of your site must meet established university web guidelines, you do have flexibility with elements such as a custom site banner and styling of content elements. You and the web designer will work together to reach an approved design.


Once the site is completed, you will be asked to review the site and submit corrections and revisions. The UR team makes revisions and receives sign-off on the completed site. 

Test and Launch

Upon sign-off, your site will be moved to the OIT test server for final review.  When the final testing is successfully completed, your site will be scheduled for launch.