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A guide to publishing workflows

Diagram of Shelter's standard web publishing workflow

Quality needs to be sacrosanct in Shelter’s digital work. We have quality standards to meet for content, code, UX, accessibility, brand and more. These need to be met thoroughly and consistently, across our digital estate, to protect both our users and our business.

This commitment to watertight quality is what will drive our publishing workflows - the start-to-finish processes for getting content on our websites. And in our devolved content model, in which some teams have responsibility for creating, publishing, and managing their content while others rely on central teams in England and Scotland, each workflow will be designed to fit a team’s needs.

Humans and systems

A web publishing workflow has two basic sides to it:

The human element – the authors, reviewers, approvers, editorial quality checkers, and the publishers who make things live

The system element – a technology-based system used by each of the roles in the point above, to perform their duties in the journey of web content from creation to live

In general, humans require a workflow that:

  • is understood by everyone. They should know what’s required of them and when

  • makes it easy for each person to do their step

  • provides the right amount of input to meet the need. A new page with several blocks of content should be reviewed by two sets of eyes. But fixing three typos doesn’t require a review

  • removes risk. uses as standard the two pairs of eyes (2i) rule: at least two people must review new content

  • sustains momentum. When one person’s task is done, the flow moves forward to the next person

So they need a workflow system that:

  • is collaborative – allowing everyone involved to easily play their part, and for content teams to be easily supported by central experts

  • assigns clear roles and permissions to people

  • is efficient – in moving webpages forward through the process, notifying people when something needs attention

  • is user-friendly – for editors building content and pages, and for reviewers and approvers

  • facilitates quality – by making reviews, revisions and approvals straightforward and ensuring proper checks are made

  • makes progress clearly visible

  • is understood by everyone involved

Our publishing platform

We’ve adopted a new content management system (CMS) called Contentful, to manage our website and all its content, and drive publishing workflows.

Devolved content teams are now trained in Contentful. As they develop the capacity, skills, and expertise to create and publish content, they assume greater responsibility for managing it in the CMS.

Now that the migration phase is over, we are working on designing and developing publishing workflows within Contentful. You can read more about our content operations to find out how we are improving our processes to get the most out of our technology.

You can find more information on Contentful in this blog, as well as a thorough user guide, in our documentation space on Confluence.

Read a blog about the CMS project and what it means for Shelter.

Need training in Contentful? Email Lindsay Foley

Read our other content guides

Learn the lingo

For a range of definitions of digital terms and roles, visit our digital glossary

Contact us about the digital framework

Have a question or comment? Found a bug? Or maybe you’d like to contribute to the framework? Use our contact form to get in touch.

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