Your GovCMS journey

Engagement phase

This is where your GovCMS journey begins.

Our Engagement team will work with you to understand your website needs and timelines. Below is some information we'll ask you to provide during this phase:

  • How much storage you will need.
  • How many visits your website gets per month.
  • If your website has any web forms.
  • A summary of the information you’re collecting on your website, including financial information.

Generally, we host Drupal 8 or 9 websites. Whether you migrate an existing website or create a new one, we’ll guide you through the process.

If you plan to develop your website off GovCMS, we may recommend a GovCMS sandbox environment. Your sandbox fees will be added to your annual SaaS or PaaS plan.

You might need a service provider to help identify your business and technical requirements. They can also help with content development, redesign or migration.

We’ll talk you through the options below to develop or modify your website and help you decide which is best for you:

  • Your organisation may have the internal resources to complete the work you need done. This can be supplemented by contractors and other experts as required.
  • You can choose a supplier from the Drupal Services Panel, or the DTA Digital Marketplace.
  • You can approach the market directly, seeking quotes or tender responses, and choose a supplier. Be sure to follow the relevant procurement rules.

The online GovCMS community is a bonus feature of hosting your website with GovCMS. It’s made up of organisations currently building their websites and those who’ve already gone live. This community is a great way to share information and experiences about developing websites in Drupal and hosting them on GovCMS. We will give you more information about this community and how you can be involved.

When we’re sure that we can host your website, we’ll put the details in a formal proposal so you know what your ongoing costs will be. We’ll send it to you for your review and approval, along with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) if you’re new to us.

Once you’re happy with the proposal, approve it and return it to us. If you have an MOU, sign that and send it back too. The Engagement Team will then introduce you to our friendly Onboarding Team and your GovCMS journey will move to the next phase.

You’ll consider things like what you need for your website, how you will modify existing content or how you’ll develop a new website.

Defining the following things for yourself and letting us know will be helpful at this stage:

  • Your current or expected monthly page views
  • An idea of your database size requirements
  • Any other storage capacity you need
  • Any other specifics relevant to what you need for your website

You’ll contemplate your options for a service provider – that is a developer/s who’ll work with you to create or modify your website:

  • Your organisation may have the internal resources to complete the work you need done. This can be supplemented by contractors and other experts as required.
  • You can choose a supplier from the Drupal Services Panel, or the DTA Digital Marketplace.
  • You can approach the market directly, seeking quotes or tender responses, and choose a supplier. Be sure to follow the relevant procurement rules.

If you choose a supplier from the Drupal Services Panel, you’ll need to provide us with the contract before you sign it. We’ll review it and give you the OK when you’re good to proceed.

Review and accept your proposal when you’re happy with it and sign your MOU if you’re a new customer to GovCMS.

Onboarding phase

One of our onboarding team members will reach out and introduce themselves to you.

They’ll set up a meeting to step you through the GovCMS journey in more detail. By the time they’re finished, you’ll feel comfortable with each step required to bring your website onto the GovCMS platform.

We’ll collect information from you about your project which we will use to set up your project with us.

We’ll provide you with some technical details that you’ll need to follow to set your website up. We’ll give clear instructions and support to help you understand what you need to do at each step.

We’ll set up your project on the platform and give you credentials to work within GitLab. This is the tool our developers will use to build your website in our environment. They can also use GitLab to move your website into our environment if it was built elsewhere.

We’ll explain how our developers will move your website to the GovCMS platform. When we move it, you’ll need a shield over it so it can’t be seen or searched until you go live. We’ll provide you with instructions to activate the shield and then deactivate when you go live.

If you haven’t already, you’ll need to advise us of your technical contacts. One of these is your website domain name host. This can be a difficult process. We suggest you start looking now, so this part is easy when you come to it.

We’ll also need the date you’d like your website to go live. Depending on our current schedule, this may need some tinkering, but we’ll work with you.

Once we give you access to GitLab, please check relevant people have access to start building your website.

You'll need to validate for us that you own and have control of your current website. This is called domain validation. To do this, we need to see that your website is registered with the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).

If your website is new, you’ll need to confirm for us that the DTA has approved it.

Once you finalise your go live date, we'll work with you on a timeline so you know what needs to happen and by when. This will give everyone enough time to complete the final tasks leading up to go live.

You’ll need to identify any redirects needed, we can help you with this. You’ll need to work through content links that will need updating when your new website goes live and action them.

We’ll send you information and instructions to validate the security certificate on your website. Let us know when you’ve done this.

Building your website

We’ll send you simple instructions to run a website audit report once your website is built. We need this report to be sure your website is compatible with the GovCMS platform.

We’ll give you a project checklist to work through. This maps out the steps you need to take to make sure your website go live is smooth.

We’ll organise the domain redirects you’ve told us about.

We’ll also confirm your DNS settings with you.

You (and your service provider if you have one) will be busy building your website and adding content at this stage. We’re here to help so call out if you need us.

We’ll give you instructions to provide to your domain name host to validate your website’s security certificate. Once they’ve done this, let us know.

When in touch with your domain name host, we suggest you schedule the DNS change required for your new website when it goes live.

If you’re on a PaaS plan, you’ll need to do your own IRAP assessment and any related security reviews. You’ll also need to take care of penetration testing and web protection services.

If you’re on a SaaS plan, we'll take care of the IRAP assessment. If you want to do penetration testing you’ll need to organise that. We won’t leave you on your own though, let us know if you want to do this and we can support you through it.

You’ll need to be across any legacy redirects or any specific page redirects you’d like. This could be content that has moved around or URLs that are in publication that you need to update.

Once your website is built, you’ll need to generate your website audit report. Once you’ve done this, send it through to us. Make sure you leave at least two weeks before your go live date to do this, so we’ve got plenty of time to fix anything.

We offer a wide range of training options that we encourage you to take advantage of.

Preparing for go live

We’ll review the website audit report and work with you to solve any problems it may have found. Once we’re happy your website is ready, we’ll give you the thumbs up to go live.

We’ll work closely with you to forklift your website to our environment if you’ve developed it elsewhere. We'll migrate your website if you’ve developed it in our system.

Once your website is on the GovCMS platform, we’ll send instructions for some technical things you’ll need to do. Our onboarding team is here to work through anything tricky with you.

Give yourself plenty of time to manage all the steps leading up to your go live date.

Use your go live checklist to help track your progress. Make sure you’re working through it and let us know if you have any issues.

You’ll need to test each component of your website before you go live. This includes performance testing, user acceptance testing and business verification testing. If you’re working with a service provider, they can help you with this.

You’ll need to configure Google analytics for your new website. Don’t forget to check that all links point to your new website and that email directions are working.

Go live

We’ll talk you through a few steps for you to complete and then you’re live.

Let us know when you’re preparing for go live.

You’ll need to redirect your DNS for your existing websites.

Then you can drop your shield and you’re live.

Once your website is live, check for broken links. You can fix them in your content or set up more redirects as needed.

Submit a test form via any of your new website’s web forms. Then confirm that you receive an email from the live website. Any issues at this point, let us know.

After go live

Once you’re live, we’ll help troubleshoot any problems you may come across.

We’ll also send the first invoice for your plan.

If you or anyone in your team needs training, have a look at our training schedule or get in touch. We’ll help you out.

Please check out the GovCMS community if you haven’t already. It's a great space to innovate, problem solve and canvas your ideas. Conversations can be technical and non-technical, there is something for everyone.

And don't forget to put in a request to the search engines to re-index your website.

Maintaining your website

We’ll look after platform security updates, module updates (if you’re on SaaS plan) and platform upgrades. We’ll make sure that your website performance is normal.

We’ll organise community events such as ‘Mega Meetups’. This is our biggest annual event and we encourage you to come along. You’ll hear how other agencies use the GovCMS platform and from experts about relevant topics.

Feel free to let us know what you would like more information about. We want our guests to get the most they can out of our events.

Once you go live on the GovCMS platform, you can make changes to your own website. You can change any content, except the website information page. For this, you’ll need to let us know and we’ll help you. Your in-house team or service provider can change the theme.

You can get involved with the GovCMS community, exchange ideas and code and troubleshoot. Come along to our Mega Meetups.

If you need anyone trained in anything Drupal, keep your eye on our training schedule. Let us know and we can put together a session for you if we get enough people.

Subscribe to the status page to receive notifications of upcoming releases as well as incidents, maintenance and outages. The full list of changes to the GovCMS Distribution is available at: