The status of those pages as they’re being drafted
Any images or files that will be loaded with the page
Who is responsible
Then, once your content is drafted, your matrix assigns responsibilities for who will review/approve content, load the page into the CMS, and proof after it’s loaded.
If you follow your Content Matrix, your content will be drafted on time. The dates I've added are simply suggestions. By all means come up with your own schedule that works for your team.
Draft all your content and get it ready for the web outside of the CMS.
Writing content is hard. But it becomes even harder when you’re trying to format the layout and learn the CMS tools at the same time. Layout, writing, and technology is a lot for your brain to process at once.
So I recommend splitting up the tasks by drafting of your content outside the CMS and then making tweaks and adjustments once you start loading it into the CMS.
I've created a Google folder that houses all of your pages according to your matrix. Here, you can draft your content, determine page titles and ids, and write your meta descriptions before you have to worry about loading the pages.
Once you have a few drafts ready to go, you can test it out in the CMS to see how things are working and if you need to make any adjustments to your plan.
Use Content Types to create structure for similar pages.
Content Types give structure to pages so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel on every page. Although many pages will have unique requirements, some pages can be streamlined so that they have the same format. This makes it easier to prep your info and it creates a more consistent experience for your users.
Here are some examples of what that could look like:
Go through your Google docs before you start preparing content to figure out what pages could benefit from Content Types and what the requirements would be for those pages. You can even plan out structure for a single page - it might help you better plan and write your content!
Plan your visual needs at the same time.
If you know you’ll need new photography, get this scheduled while you’re working on content so it’s finished at the same time.
First, list out your needs in priority order:
Headshots for stories
Then, list out specific dates/times when you could fulfill those needs. Determine your budget and talk with a photographer to see what’s possible.
Once you start receiving photography, organize it so it's accessible and reference it on your content matrix or in your drafts so it's easier for the folks loading your pages.
Build out your pages.
After your content has been approved and finalized in your Google docs, it should be ready for loading.
Tips for loading your content:
Make loading assignments. Just like you did for drafting your pages, use your matrix to assign each page for loading along with a deadline. This distributes the work, helps people know what they're responsible for, and keeps the project on schedule.
Assign the same content types to the same person. Because some adjustments might need to be made during loading, it makes good sense to have the same person load pages with the same content type. They can more quickly make the adjustments needed to all of the pages as they go.
Have someone go through and review for consistency. As pages are being loaded, you'll need someone to go through and make sure they're all being formatted consistently. Are headings styled the same? What mission or looks inconsistent as you navigate through the pages?
Proof! After you've finished all tweaks and adjustments, proof each page again. You'll for sure catch typos and a few things that will need to be fixed.
Don't forget to redirect your old pages when you launch.
You have a pages up and running on your current site that are linked from other sites and that Google is returning in search results. When you launch, you have to redirect those pages to point to your new site. If you don't, it will create a lot of broken links and Google will not be pleased.
An easy way to prepare is to list all urls of your current site on a spreadsheet. In the next column, list url for the page on your new site that best match the content.
Your technical folks should know how to put these in your system when it's time to launch.