Post-migration checklist: Review your site on the new FirstVoices platform


Introduction to the new FirstVoices platform

Whether you are a new team setting up your FirstVoices language site for its initial debut, a new team who have inherited an older FirstVoices site, or an experienced team ready to migrate your existing FirstVoices site to the new update, the FirstVoices team is here to support you.

We are currently transitioning between the old FirstVoices platform and the new FirstVoices platform. This page is a guide for teams to set up their site on the new version of the FirstVoices platform in preparation for the platform’s launch in late 2023.

The new FirstVoices view has many features including:

  • Storage and display for language entries, songs, and stories

  • Easy to search homepage

  • Customizable pages for more info about your language and community

  • Responsive design, easy to use on mobile devices and small screens

  • Memorable URL

Read this blog post for an overview of new features: A 2022 Sneak Peek of the Updated FirstVoices


Preparation checklist

The following checklist includes the most important steps for converting any site to the new platform. Without completing these steps, your site homepage will not function or may appear broken.

Confirm your new short URL with the FirstVoices development team
Ensure your language site alphabet is set up
Customize your new language site homepage
Review and/or update your site logo
Review and/or update your homepage banner
Design and create custom pages with your choice of content


Quick migration video walkthrough

If your main goal is to move over the same content from your old FirstVoices language “portal”, this video gives a quick overview showing how to do that. It’s also a good example showing all the steps of how to update your new site from the Dashboard.


Detailed set-up instructions

Select your language site URL

If this step is not completed, your site will not function on the new platform!

This will be the short, memorable link that users will type into their Internet browser when they want to visit your language site. The URL-friendly name must:

  • Have no special characters (only standard alphanumeric: a-z, 0-9)

  • Be all lower case

  • Only use hyphens (no underscores, slashes, spaces, etc.)

There is no maximum length, but it should be memorable and easy to type.


All sites have been provided a initial URL, confirmed with language administrators where possible.

If there are any changes you wish to make to your current URL or to the title of your language site, please email the exact spelling of your preferred changes to


Submit your language alphabet

FirstVoices hosts custom, interactive alphabets with many useful and interesting features built into your language site such as a letter-pronunciation page, custom alphabetization, improved searching, and alphabet-related games. On the new platform, the alphabet is more prominent and interactive than ever before. In order to make these features functional, we recommend that all sites set up an associated alphabet as soon as possible.

Double-check whether your site has an alphabet. If it does not, then follow the instructions here:


Customize your language site homepage

An example FirstVoices homepage (Sm’algyax)

Once you have set up the basic necessities for your FirstVoices site, you can begin to design your homepage. The homepage is meant to be the main landing page for your site that users will see every time they visit. You may wish to consult with members of your community about what you want to include on the site homepage, which may include images or recordings.


About Widgets

Pages on the new FirstVoices platform are built from interactive building blocks called ‘Widgets’. Some starter Widgets will be provided on your homepage, but you are welcome to customize the page with your own messages and images by designing your own Widgets. FirstVoices Widgets are designed to look great on both desktop and mobile devices. You can add several Widgets to your homepage, and arrange them in any order.

Once you have access to your new site, you will be ready to login to FirstVoices, create Widgets as blocks of your custom text, images, and recordings, and arrange the Widgets on your homepage.

How to edit the homepage

Language Administrators are able to set up all the custom elements of their language site homepage and custom pages from the Dashboard. Check out these articles for further instructions and tutorials:


Review your language site logo and banner

Your FirstVoices homepage must have a custom logo. After migration, logos will appear at their true size and may be smaller or larger than they appeared on the old site. The FirstVoices team recommends that each language site use a logo of right size for the best results.

Logo Specifications

Logo Specifications

  • Recommended size: 512 x 512 px

  • Minimum width: 400px

  • Circle or square: image length and width (including background) must be equal

  • Logo must be centred, and edges of the logo should be flush with the edges of the image, there should be no blank space around the logo

Your homepage on the new FirstVoices platform can have an optional banner across the top of the page. The banner can be either an image or a silent video (no audio). If you already have a banner, you may wish to review that it appears at the correct size, or re-upload a different size image if necessary.

Specifications for Images

Specifications for Videos

Specifications for Images

Specifications for Videos

  • Recommended size: 1280 x 320 → 2048 x 512 px

  • Minimum width: 1024 px 

  • The ratio of width to length (w:l) should be between 4:1 (a third of the screen) and 7:1 (a sixth of the screen)

Short, high-quality, silent videos are recommended.

  • Minimum recommended resolution: 720p or higher

  • File size recommended maximum: 12 MB

  • Aspect ratio (w:l) : 16:9

  • No audio

It is important that you have the rights to use the logo and banner on your site, and that these images receive appropriate credit or acknowledgement to the designer where required.

Design custom pages

The new FirstVoices platform allows language teams to design custom pages to display whatever information they deem important for their language and community. Two informational pages are available by default: “Our Language” and “Our People”.

The FirstVoices team recommends designing some content to fill out these two pages at minimum. The content can be any length, long or short, and can include any number of Widgets and custom text.

You can also design new custom pages on topics of your choice and link to them from your site.