How to build an intranet? A Step-by-Step Guide

by Yvonne Harris

An intranet is essential for businesses to communicate internally, share resources, and promote collaboration. But knowing where to start when building your intranet can be difficult. This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to build an intranet, including the available tools and software, and how to set up the system quickly and efficiently.

What is an intranet?

An intranet is a private network that is contained within an organization. It is used to share information and resources among employees. For example, it can store documents, share files, and communicate with other employees.

What are the key components of an intranet?

An intranet comprises several key components, all working together to create a powerful tool for communication and collaboration within a company. The first component is the server, which hosts the intranet website and stores all the intranet content. Depending on the company’s needs, the server can be on-premises or in the cloud.

The second component is the network, which connects the server to the computers and devices that access the intranet. The web can be either local or wide area, depending on the size of the company and the number of locations that need to be connected. The third component is the software that runs on the server and provides the functionality. This includes content management systems, intranet document management systems, and project management tools. The fourth component is the content, which includes everything from text documents and images to videos and web pages. This must be well organized and easy to access so employees can quickly locate their needs.

Next, there are people who access and use the intranet daily. They are integral to its success, as they are the ones who ultimately determine whether it is valuable or not.

What are the key features of a successful intranet?

The key components of a successful intranet will vary depending on the specific needs and goals of the business. However, some general characteristics are common to most successful intranets.

  • One of the most important features is an easy-to-use and intuitive interface. Employees should be able to get the information they need easily, and navigation should be logical and straightforward.
  • Another key feature is the robust search functionality. Employees should be able to quickly and easily find the documents, files, or information they need, regardless of where it is stored within the intranet.
  • Content must also be well organized and structured in a way that makes sense for everyone. CMS intranets should use taxonomies, metadata, and other tools to make sure that information can be easily found and sorted.
  • Also, it must be built on a robust and secure platform that can handle large amounts of traffic and data. In addition, the infrastructure should be scalable to grow along with the company’s needs.

How to determine the requirements for your intranet project?

When determining the requirements for your project, there are a few key factors to consider. First, you need to identify the business needs that your intranet will address. This can be done by conducting a needs analysis with stakeholders. Once you clearly understand the business needs, you can begin to scope out the project. This includes identifying the features and functionality needed to meet those needs. Once you have a good understanding of the requirements, you can then begin to put together a project plan and budget.


How to build your intranet?

web-domain Step 1: Choose a platform and register your domain name

There are many platforms to choose from, so do your research and decide which is right for your company. Once you’ve selected a platform, register your domain name. This will be the address that employees use to access your intranet.


platform Step 2: Set up hosting and install the intranet platform

The next step is to set up hosting for your intranet platform and install the software. Next, you must purchase a domain name and web hosting and install the software on your server.


web-design Step 3: Configure the settings and customize the design

Assuming your site is set up and ready to go, the next step is configuring the settings and customizing the design to match your company’s branding. This can be done in the “Settings” tab of the intranet admin panel. You can change the site name, logo, color scheme, etc. Once you have the basic settings configured, it’s time to start customizing the design of your intranet. The best way to do this is by using a theme or template matching your company’s branding. Several great themes are free online, or you can hire a designer to create a custom theme.


content Step 4: Add content and features

Adding content is essential to engage employees and promote collaboration. To get started, consider what will be most useful for your employees. This could include news articles, company announcements, project updates, or even a directory of contact information. Once you have a good idea of the type of content you want to add, start creating or curating it regularly.

You’ll also want to add components to make your intranet more user-friendly and interactive. Some features you may want to consider adding are:

  • A search bar will allow employees to quickly and easily find the information they seek.
  • Filters: Filters can help employees quickly narrow the search results to find what they need.
  • Tagging: Tagging allows users to categorize content for easy reference later. It’s also a great way for employees to discover new information that may be relevant to them.
  • Comments: Comments offer a way for employees to give feedback or ask questions about specific pieces of content. This can help spark discussion and collaboration among coworkers.


EN - Whitepaper : Company Intranet

How to plan and design your intranet?

An intranet is a private, internal network for a company or organization that only authorized users can access. It can be used to share information and resources within an organization and can be an important tool for collaboration. When planning and designing your intranet, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Define the purpose of your intranet. What do you want it to achieve?
  • Identify your users and what they need from the intranet.
  • Decide on the structure of your intranet. How will it be organized?
  • Choose the right technology for your intranet. Again, many options are available, so select the one that best meets your needs.
  • Implement security measures to protect your data and allow only authorized people access to the intranet.


How to choose the right platform for your intranet?

Many different platforms are available, and the right one for your organization depends on several factors. Here are some things to consider when choosing a platform for your intranet:

  1. The size of your company: If you have a large organization, you’ll need a platform that can support many users and a lot of data.
  2. The type of data you need to store: Some platforms are better suited for storing certain data types than others. For example, you’ll want a platform with good document management capabilities if you need to keep many documents.
  3. Your budget: Platforms can vary widely in price, so it’s important to consider your budget when deciding.
  4. Your technical capabilities: Some platforms require more technical expertise to set up and maintain than others. Make sure you choose a platform that your team can handle.
  5. Your user needs: Ultimately, ensuring it meets employees’ needs is the most important factor in choosing a platform. First, consider what features they need and what would make their lives easier. Then, select a platform that provides them.


How to create a site map and plan the structure of your intranet?

To create a site map and plan the structure of your intranet, you’ll need to:

  • Define its purpose and goals.
  • Identify the audience and their needs.
  • Gather content.
  • Organize and structure your content.
  • Create a visual representation of the structure (a site map).
  • Test and refine your structure


How to design a user-friendly and engaging intranet interface?

When designing your intranet interface, there are a few key things to remember to create a user-friendly and engaging experience for your employees.

First, consider the overall layout and navigation of your intranet. Employees should be able to easily search for the information they need and navigate between different areas of the site. A clean and well-organized interface will help with this. Also, make use of visuals and multimedia elements where possible. Adding images, videos, or infographics can help break up text and make information more digestible. This is especially important for longer pieces of content. Remember interactivity. Features like forums, polls, or quizzes can encourage employees to use the intranet and participate. By making it more engaging, you’ll increase the likelihood that employees will find it useful.


How to launch your intranet?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question – it depends on your specific needs. However, there are some key steps you can take to have a successful launch:

  • Define your goals and objectives. What do you want it to achieve?
  • Create a project plan and timeline. Who will be involved in the development and go-live process? What tasks need to be completed, and by when?
  • Identify and procure the necessary hardware and software. Will you need any special equipment or software to run your intranet?
  • Design and build your content and structure. How will employees navigate the site? What will you include?
  • Before launching the intranet to everyone, ensure you’ve thoroughly tested it yourself (and with a small group, if possible). This will help identify potential issues to be addressed before going live.
  • Launch! Once everything is ready, go ahead and publish your intranet! Be sure to promote it so everyone knows its existence and how to access it.


How to test and debug your intranet before launch?

The most important part of launching is testing and debugging it before going live. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • Test all features and functionality thoroughly. This includes testing both the front-end and back-end.
  • Make sure all content is accurate and up-to-date. This includes checking for typos, broken links, and outdated information.
  • Conduct user acceptance testing (UAT). This involves having actual users test the intranet to make sure it meets their needs and expectations.
  • Debug any issues that are found during testing. This includes fixing bugs, repairing broken links, and correcting inaccuracies.
  • Publish the platform once it has been thoroughly tested and debugged!


How to test the different parts of your intranet and fix any issues or bugs?

Once you have built your intranet, it is important to test all the different parts and ensure no issues or bugs. Here is how you can do that:

  • Test the login process: Check that you can log in with different accounts and that the login process works correctly.
  • Test the different features and pages: Go through all the other pages and click on all the links to see if they work correctly. Then, try them all out to see if they work as intended.
  • Check for broken links: Click on all the links to check they work and go to the correct page.
  • Look for any errors or glitches: Check all the pages and features for any errors or glitches. If you find any, try to fix them.

Testing is important to ensure that everything is working correctly and that there are no issues. By doing this, you can be confident that your intranet is ready for use by everyone in your company.


How to conduct thorough QA testing to ensure the reliability and usability of your intranet?

QA testing is essential to be sure the site is usable and reliable when building an intranet. Many steps should be taken in conducting a thorough QA test:

  • Plan your test cases. This includes identifying what you want to test, how you will test it, and who will be responsible for each task.
  • Create a test environment. This is where you will conduct your tests. Create a safe environment where errors can be easily fixed without affecting live data.
  • Execute your tests. This is the actual process of running your tests and verifying the results. Be sure to document any bugs or issues found so they can be addressed later.
  • Analyze your results. Once all tests have been completed, look at the results and determine what needs improvement or change. This analysis will help inform future QA testing efforts.


How to launch and promote your intranet to ensure adoption?

When you have spent months, or even years, designing and building your intranet, the launch can feel like an anticlimax. You want everyone in your organization to suddenly start using it for daily tasks, but that only sometimes happens. So here are some tips on how to promote your intranet to increase adoption:

  • Make sure the content is relevant and up-to-date. People will only use it if they can find what they want.
  • Train employees on how to use the portal and its features. A simplified interface is only enough if people can navigate it or use its capabilities.
  • Use targeted communications to announce the launch and encourage employees to use it. Please include information on how the new tool can help them in their work tasks.
  • Create a sense of urgency by setting a deadline for when employees should start using the intranet for specific tasks. For example, you could require all new hires to complete their onboarding paperwork online via the intranet within their first week.
  • Incentivize employees to use it by offering prizes for those who complete certain tasks or reach certain milestones, such as calling 100% completion of their profile page or adding ten documents to a shared library.


How to launch your intranet and make it available to users?

Before you launch your intranet, you need a few things for a smooth transition for your employees. First, create a landing page that includes all the essential information about the tool, such as what it is, how to use it, and what features are available. You should also include links to important resources, such as training materials or FAQs.

Once the landing page is complete, it’s time to make the intranet available. This can be done by emailing them a link to the landing page or providing access through an existing portal or website. Please provide instructions on how to log in and navigate the intranet so that users can get started immediately.

Remember to promote the intranet! Send out reminder emails, post announcements on social media, or even host a contest to get people excited about using the new platform. By taking these steps, you’ll increase your chances of a successful go-live and that people have everything they need to get started.


How to promote your intranet and encourage adoption among users, including training, communication, and incentives?

If you want your intranet to succeed, you must promote it and encourage adoption. Training, communication, and incentives are all key to promoting it. Training is important to ensure team members know how to use it and fully utilize its capabilities. Communication is key to letting staff understand intranet benefits and how it can help their work. Incentives can encourage users to adopt the new platform by offering rewards.

Building an intranet can be daunting. You may have a lot of questions like what should an intranet include? It doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right steps and guidance, you can create an employee portal to make managing your company’s data easier and more efficient. By following our step-by-step guide on how to build an intranet, you should now understand what is involved in getting set up and ready for use. Now, all that remains is for you to get started!

EN - Whitepaper : Company Intranet

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