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Using Federalist

Getting started

After we execute an Inter-Agency Agreement (IAA), and you are a live customer, we will onboard you into our support process. Our goal is to provide you with support responses within one business day though we aspire to be faster in our responses. As a reminder, Federalist agreements do not include labor hours, but we always want to make sure the platform is working and responsive to your needs as we consider new features.

In general, when helping out with support requests, it is always helpful for users to include:

When these points of information are not included, we often end up having to track them down, which slows down the debugging process. We may also ask you to add Federalist staff to your repo with write privileges so that we can more quickly debug.

If questions exist regarding launch please email support after checking the launch checklist.

Getting authorized

Before you start using Federalist, the Federalist team needs to authorize you to use Federalist, either for a live site or for testing during the sales process. This will happen as part of business development conversations with the Federalist team or upon agreement execution.

Adding a new site

When logging into Federalist you will see a list of your existing sites along with a button to add a new site.

Federalist Sitelist Screenshot

To add a new site, click the + Add Site button and you will be prompted to either:

  1. Create a site from existing Github repository by entering the repository URL
  2. Choose an existing template from available templates by clicking ‘Use this template’ under a template.

Federalist Sitelist Screenshot

After you pick a template or an existing repository to add to Federalist, your new site will be built and added to your list of websites. If you don’t see the new site in your list of websites, refresh the page. Sometimes there is a slight delay as your website finishes building.

Content strategy

The first step to building a new site is to map a strategy for the site’s content. 18F provides several resources to assist with this process.

The 18F method cards are an overview of several different approaches for researching user needs and designing a website. This is often the best place to start for new projects.

The Federalist team also provides a content guide specifically for Federalist websites. This guide will help you “convey what your team does, using language and tone that a general audience will understand, or how to think about what to write in each section of your new website.”

Managing site settings

Federalist Settings Screenshot

The settings option for a site lets you adjust how Federalist handles the site. These settings are for advanced functionality and most people will not need to change them.

Basic settings

Advanced settings

If using one of the Federalist provided templates, this should always be “Jekyll”. The site engine should not be altered once your site is live. Contact the Federalist team for additional support.