Building a new website is an exciting project! It's also a great deal of work, as any major update project tends to be. If you are an existing School Site customer updating to a new designed site, you have the choice of doing a New site, or a Wrapped site.
"New" is where you start with a blank account. We put the new theme or custom design on a new account and you get a clean slate to build your content. You can have your new account free for up until you take the new site live, or until 6 months, whichever comes first. You're able to build new content and images without the new site being live until you are ready.
"Wrap" is where we take the new design and wrap it on top of your current site. Your home page content will be completely replaced (the old will be archived and available to you in Site Manager, but not on the live site), and your main navigation changed, but your content will be there. This will require some clean-up - any content that may have been copied and pasted from other sources will likely have funky formatting. But any content that was built using just the format tools in the Site Manager editors will simply transform to the new design - font, color and all.
The pros include the ability to build new content and images with a fresh new approach and without the site being live (you move to the new site when you are ready to take it live!).
The pros also include that when you start with a new account, it's easier to build a new sitemap on a blank (or new) account, and organize your content and your navigation flow. If you have very old content (over 3 years), its a good idea to review all your content and update it, and building a new site can be the best way to accomplish that. You can still copy and paste content in from your current (soon to be old) site*, but having a clean account in which to build new order and flow can be a big advantage.
Besides the obvious con that you need to build new content, other cons include having to manually rebuild any interactive forms, blog posts, message boards, etc. If you are a school and your teachers / faculty are using faculty pages (teacher pages, classroom sites), those pages will not be migrated over - requiring a manual rebuild of all those pages / classroom sites.
NOTE: School Site can copy your Members Database and Site Manager Calendar event data from your old site to your new site for you! This is a one-time service included with a website setup update, and can be a huge timesaver if you are using any of those 2 database modules.
The pros include not having to rebuild all your content - particularly things like form creators, profile tools, and announcements, as well as your teacher sites, and more.
The cons include the fact that we have to wrap your site while it is live - which means your site will be "messed up" for about 3 hours, and then have pages or images that may look a bit off while the clean-up process happens. At no time will the site be fully down or un-usable though.
Another con is that there is content clean-up and you need to dedicate some time for that. Most of our customers find that setting aside a day is adequate for this. The clean-up that you'll need to do would be any text that was entered with additional format code and/or any content that was not created using the tools properly. The amount of clean-up work varies greatly for each customer, but if your site has been built for over 3 years and/or your organization has had a number of administrative users on the website, we find that nearly every page will require at least a small amount of clean-up work.
NOTE: because we do this live, our team will clean up your main landing pages right away. We want visitors who happen to hit the new site seeing the best foot forward, so we jump in and get those pages done for you. But all the other subpages would need to be something you would do.