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When should I create an EdWeb subsite?

This is a question we answer quite often, but for which there’s no ‘one size fits all’ answer. So I decided to pull together some of the factors that you should consider when thinking about creating a new ‘subsite’ in EdWeb.

What exactly is a subsite?

A ‘subsite’ in EdWeb is an individually branded site that sits beneath another in the University’s website hierarchy. This means you will have a new name, new banner image, and the navigation on the left of the screen will “reset” and not provide navigation back to the parent site. It is usually appropriate to add a link back to the parent site in the banner – but that’s not always the case.

What are the advantages of a subsite?

It is best to use a subsite when the intended audience for the site will best understand the content of the site as a separate entity to the ‘parent’ (higher level) site, and the advantage is that you can present content to a distinct audience, and not allow them to browse off into other (potentially confusing) areas of the parent site.

So the decision should always be about the relevance of the site content to the intended audience, and never about the University’s hierarchy directly (although, of course, different parts of the University perform separate tasks, so it is common to think it acts like this).

When is it ok to create a new subsite?

The lead publisher of a site area will decide when it is best to present content as totally separate from the rest of their site (the EdWeb support team do not regulate this, but we’re always on hand to provide advice).

EdWeb lead publishers list (University login required)

When can webpages have a different banner from the rest of the site?

You can only have an alternative banner when a new subsite starts. In EdWeb terms, this happens when you place a new homepage into the tree. So it isn’t possible to change the banner without putting a subsite in. During our testing, having a strong branding image allowed visitors to easily tell when moving around parts of the University web estate – so changing the branding image within a site has the potential to be highly confusing.

Further help with site decisions

If you want to discuss your site needs with our editorial team, please consider coming to see us – we’re always happy to help. We can provide advice on whether your site should be a subsite, a standalone site, whether it shouldn’t be in EdWeb at all – or whether another service option (Blog, Sharepoint site, wiki) will best meet your business requirements.

Website Support Clinics – information and booking

1 reply to “When should I create an EdWeb subsite?”

  1. Neil says:

    Good advice Duncan. I think there’s also a good case for explaining the benefits of not building a subside abs instead adding subsections to an existing site. Many times the desire for a new banner trumps the benefit of navigational context and consistency.

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