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.
UNDERSTANDING NEW AND WRAP
"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. It's a great option to ensure your content is fresh and up-to-date.
"Wrap" is where we will create a clone of your website (all of the content and current design) at a designated time. This separate account will act as a staging environment where content can be moved around and the new design applied around it (think of it as having a house repainted while the inside furniture will stay the same) before being taken live on your primary domain.
Your new home page content will be replaced with default or “filler” content (the old will be archived and available to you in Site Manager, but not on the live site), and your main navigation updated to reflect any new changes, but your content will be there. 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.
We will only perform one instance of cloning of your website so you wouldn't want to schedule this until you are fully ready. This option would be best if you have the ability to add new home page content and move content around in a short amount of time, and have the availability to stay in contact with a member of our team to keep things moving
PROS & CONS:
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.
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 and more.
A 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.