Full site re-branding - We keep it simple
There are effectively three methods for re-branding your entire web presence. In essence these involve updating your style sheets and templates. Because we do not want to impact upon the content contributors while this is being done we have established the following standard approaches to re-branding:
If you are happy with the template structure, and only want to update the HTML and CSS for the templates this is probably the best route to go. This mode can be turned on through the user interface, and once on, we are effectively in a state of Template Freeze for the duration of the template work. This may last 2 days or 2 weeks depending on the changes required and number of templates that need changing.
Once we have moved into Site Migration Mode we must then set-up a separate publishing server to actually see the changes in the templates. This is because if we were to publish the changes to the test server our content contributors would be editing using one template and previewing using another!
Creating a separate site allows us to run a full analysis of the changes on every page and QA and test effectively without impacting on any of the content contributors. From a content contributor perspective, they will be publishing as normal without any knowledge of the changes going on behind the scenes.
When you are in a position to go-live with the new templates, it is simply a case of switching IIS to point to your new Site Migration Live server or coming out of Site Migration Mode and republishing the site.
All-in-all you will be able to re-brand your site entirely with both template changes and code changes without affecting the current editors.
If you find yourself in the position where you need to restructure the templates, for example you may wish to change templates for entire sections, then Template Switching is the way forward. In essence you can create a completely new set of templates as you would have done when you first started using Contensis, with new CSS and possibly new Web Controls too.
You will create a set of test pages that the templates can be tested with and, once happy with the implementation, the template switching can occur. In essence all you need do is write a small API script which changes templates based upon your requirements. When changing templates on this scale there is normally criteria for changing the templates that cannot be provided through a standard user interface.
For example, we recently ran a Template Switch for the European University Institute. In their case they wanted to switch the templates based upon meta data that was defined at page level.
This method is designed to be used for simple every day changes; let’s say, for example, you wish to make a slight change to the layout of the homepage.
In this case all you need to do is edit the homepage template, make your changes, and then preview your changes to the homepage. Presuming you are happy with the changes, a simple authorisation is all that is required to make the change live. Bear in mind if you have approval rights, you can approve your work in a single click from the editing interface.