University of Pittsburgh

FAQ

Process | Design | Maintenance | Search Functionality | Cost | Other

Process

How long does it take to create a new Web site?
About three months. That said, it all depends on what you need and/or want done to your site. There are numerous factors—the amount of content, the need for a database to be moved or created, adding features such as a photo gallery or eNewsletter—that affect the development schedule; a new Web site can take as little as a few weeks! After reviewing your Questionnaire and meeting with you and/or your appointed representatives, we will provide you a Communications Brief and Project Plan, the latter of which includes a detailed cost and schedule breakdown.

For examples of projects and their inception-to-delivery dates, peruse our Portfolio or contact us directly discuss your needs.

How do we develop a new Web site? What is the standard process?
Please see our discussion about development process and procedure.

Design

We have a specific look in mind. Can we design our Web site and simply have Communications Services develop it?
I’m afraid not. Rest assured, however, that Pitt units enjoy a great deal of flexibility in the designs and functionalities of their Web sites. Communications Services will work with you to custom design your site, in keeping with best practices and standards in the profession. To ensure a consistent look among Pitt sites, certain features are mandatory—links to the University’s home page, for example, and a Pitt graphic bar (including the University seal) across the top of each page.

Someone in our department knows how to use Dreamweaver. Can you just build the templates and then we’ll populate the site?
YES! Contact us today to set up a meeting to start the process!

We want new photography for our site. Can you help us?
Certainly. The Communications Services Web Team works with Pitt’s photography staff and maintains an extensive list of highly qualified freelance photographers whose work you see throughout www.pitt.edu. Our team can arrange everything from booking to scheduling, from billing to art direction. Visit our photography page to familiarize yourself with your options, and then contact us to discuss your photography needs.

Maintenance

What is site maintenance?
All sites we produce are built with a content management system that will allow you to update your content through an online interface. If you need additional assistance updating content or maintaining more technical aspects of your site, please submit a Web maintenance request.

 

Search Functionality

Why can’t I find my Web site in the search engines?
Once your Web site has gone live, search engines may require several weeks or even months to find and list your Web site in their directories. How fast your Web site is listed depends on a search engine’s database-update schedule. Communications Services will develop your Web site with search engine optimization (SEO) and accessibility standards in mind. We create every Web site with cleanly written semantic XHTML. Efforts towards SEO include: Clear page titles, site descriptions, title tags, text equivalent for non-text items, CSS control of content hierarchy, a robots.txt file to assist in indexing, and a XML site map.

How do people find my Web site?
In addition to search engines you may want to increase your Web presence by including your Web site address on all of your mailings, promotional material, as well as “tag lines” at the bottom of your e-mail communications.

Can you guarantee my site will appear on the first page in a search engine?
No. All search engines utilize different formulas and algorithms to determine Web site rankings. However, our Web’s SEO standards will help increase your site’s traffic.

Cost

How much does a Web site cost?
The specific cost of developing your site depends on what you want or need. It is important to point out that because the Web Team works solely with University clients, we can offer many advantages that outside agencies cannot:

  • Competitive pricing with external vendors, which buys you a better site with your budget
  • University clientele experience that provides us with proven strategies to accurately target your audience
  • Best practices and standards aimed at making your site usable, useful, lightweight, and accessible

Want to learn more? Browse our portfolio to see examples and read more about individual projects. Or, simply Contact us—we’d love to talk about your project.

Do you have a price list for Web site design?
We custom build our sites to accommodate your needs.

We can quote a package price once we understand the size and scope of the Web site. Your project will be billed on an hourly basis and the estimated cost will have to be pre-approved by the client.

 

Other

What will our Web address be? Can we have a new URL?
The type of Web site you need will, in part, determine your URL. This is one of the first things you’ll let us know by submitting a completed Questionnaire. We also will discuss this issue during our initial meeting.

Who will host our Web site?
Pitt’s Computing Systems and Software Development (CSSD) hosts all new Web sites at the University of Pittsburgh.

Can I keep track of how many people visit my Web site?
Yes. We will install Web-tracking software on your site to record such data as where your visitors are coming from, which pages they look at, how long they remain on your site, which key words they use in which search engines, and other useful information.

Don’t see your question here? E-mail it to us and we’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as possible.