Step 3. Build Your Website

The purpose of this step is to build your website by integrating all its components into a finished product.

Activities

  • Filling CMS* or html pages with content;
  • Programming, coding;
  • Creating files (CSS, SHTML, ASP, XML, RSS, PDF etc.);
  • Adapting websites for different devices (smartphones, tablets, printers, etc.)
  • Uploading data, installing application database;
  • Proofreading all site content (in all languages);
  • Testing functionality of database(s) and programming;
  • Testing and verifying database reporting features;
  • Testing of site reader support features;
  • Making archives/backup of all site components including: HTML code, programming code and any other site materials;
  • Requesting tailored access log statistical reports to the relevant responsible authority;
  • Mapping (redirection, flexible redirection, short address – alias, reverse proxy).

    * Content management systems (CMS) such as Drupal and Wordpress have recently become more frequently used in the building of United Nations websites.

Quality assurance/ evaluation criteria

Quality Plan

  • Validate html;
  • Check functionality of links;
  • Test accessibility;
  • Test compatibility across platforms (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.)
  • Test cross-browser compatibility (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, IE)
  • Test usability;
  • Test performance;
  • Test integration;
  • Test security of website;
  • Stress test for multi-user applications.

Outputs

  • Finished html pages (static sites)
  • Database tables and programming (Queries, procedures, etc.);
  • Finished navigation link structure;
  • All programming in place and linked to pages, ready for beta testing;
  • All database components in place and linked to site pages;
  • All graphic design, illustration, and photos in place;
  • Designed and tested customised search functionality;
  • Test reports;

Testing Your Site

Before launching your site, you should test it thoroughly and make sure that all applicable guidelines have been taken into account.

>> See the Prelaunch checklist PDF

Content related issues

  • Site includes the common UN branding bar, search function and footer on all pages;
  • Content is accurate;
  • Language versions of the site have a similar structure;
  • Navigation is user-friendly;
  • Complex sites have site maps;
  • Links have been checked;
  • Links to non-UN websites are accompanied by disclaimer;
  • Links to language versions and credit footer are in place.

Technical issues

  • Print style sheet is available, so that pages would print properly;
  • The layout is flexible and works for all screen resolutions;
  • The site looks good in different browsers;
  • Text is scalable;
  • Content is accessible when JavaScript is disabled;
  • Multimedia download time is acceptable;
  • Closed-captioning is available for videos;
  • Accessibility issues are attended to and all files are validated;
  • Pages have proper metadata and page titles;
  • Google Analytics tracking code is included in all pages;
  • Contact forms are working properly;
  • Dynamic content is functioning;

It is highly recommended that designs and navigation pages be “user-tested” with users from the target audience to get comments and feedback about the site design, style and usability before launching.

Launch

The purpose of this phase is to make a finished, validated site available to and known to the public, or to the intended target audience of the site.

  • Transfer site to production server;
  • Final checking of the site on the production server;
  • Start implementing promotion strategy (make sure your site can be found in search engines);
  • Execute cross-promotion with external entities;
  • Coordinate external events integration with site;
  • Site hand-over;
  • Training;

Maintainance

Once a website has been launched, ongoing maintenance and enhancements will continue. Here are a few things to keep in mind for website maintenance:

Update the site on a timely basis

  • Ensure that site content is current;
  • Sitemap should reflect all changes to the structure of the site;
  • Check UN sources daily for relevant documents to be added, if appropriate;
  • Make sure that all updates are communicated and translated in a timely manner, so that the site is updated in all 6 languages.

Test new features

If you introduce new features, test them on the development server on http://dev.un.org before you post them on www.un.org;

Remove superseded and obsolete files

Superseded and obsolete files must immediately be removed from the server and, if desired, archived offline. Note that the search engines will access and provide access to superseded items that remain on the server. When necessary, redirects to new files should be made.

Check for broken links

Links should be monitored on a continuous basis. Broken links must be fixed, or links should be removed. Link verification tools should be used on a regular basis.

Clean up files and code

  • Remove unnecessary files from the server. Links to UN documents should point to the Official Document System (ODS) if the document is available in ODS. Do not duplicate the PDF file on the UN server;
  • Code should be cleaned and unnecessary tags and comments removed as a part of standard operating procedure;
  • Do not use the server for backups;

Respond to visitors’ comments

Respond to visitor comments and questions promptly.

Tracking and Statistics

Why are statistics important?

Statistics provide valuable information about your website: who are your visitors, which are the most popular pages, how visitors find your content, etc. Careful analysis of website statistics is essential to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your site and inform decisions on future developments.

Google Analytics

In May 2009, Google AnalyticsExternal Linkwas introduced as the new statistical tool on un.org. It provides a wealth of information about visitors, content and traffic sources on un.org.

Adding Google Analytics to your website

For websites hosted on un.org:

To include Google Analytics on your website, simply add the following lines of code at the top and bottom of the head and body closing tags:

<!--#include virtual="/en/inc/stats_headtop.shtml" -->
<!--#include virtual="/en/inc/stats_headbottom.shtml" -->
<!--#include virtual="/en/inc/stats_bodytop.shtml" -->
<!--#include virtual="/en/inc/stats_bodybottom.shtml" -->

For websites hosted on other servers

The following line of code should be after the opening body tag, and is currently the legacy way of instering the tracking code:

<script type="text/javascript">
var gaJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://ssl." : "http://www."); document.write(unescape("%3Cscript src='" + gaJsHost + "google-analytics.com/ga.js' type='text/javascript'%3E%3C/script%3E"));
</script>
<script type="text/javascript">
try{
var pageTracker = _gat._getTracker("UA-4803886-1");
pageTracker._trackPageview();
} catch(err) {}
</script>


The newer Google Analtyics implementation, implements the code at the top of the body tag. Using this code just below the opening <body> tag:

<script type="text/javascript">
var _gaq = _gaq || [];
_gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-4803886-1']);
_gaq.push(['_setDomainName', 'un.org']);
_gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
(function() {
var ga = document.createElement('script'); ga.type = 'text/javascript'; ga.async = true;
ga.src = ('https:' == document.location.protocol ? 'https://ssl' : 'http://www') + '.google-analytics.com/ga.js';
var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s);
})();
</script>


Website managers should contact the Web Services Section to ensure that tracking is properly configured for their host/domain.

Monitoring your statistics

To access Google Analytics, you should create a Gmail account and contact WSS to request access for this account.

Simple account

A simple account will give you access to all web statistics on un.org. The following data can be extracted, specifically for your website;

  • Number of page views and most visited pages;
  • Number of visits;
  • Geographical origin of your visitors;
  • Technical Profile of your visitors.
Profiles

Large sites can request the creation of a profile, which will provide more data relevant to their site.
Additional data include, among others:

  • traffic sources;
  • landing/exit pages;
  • visitor trending/loyalty.

>> See Google analytics documentationExternal Link

Note: only a limited number of profiles are available. Profiles will not be created for events websites.