Moving to the new CMS can seem daunting, but we hope that the answers below can help alleviate your fears. If there’s anything else you’d like to know or you have other concerns not addressed here, simply contact us.
Many people don’t know how to navigate a web content management system (WCMS) before training, and even fewer know Drupal 8. But the great thing about a WCMS is that it’s relatively easy to use. In general, if you are adept with your email, you can make your way through a WCMS—no coding knowledge needed.
Obviously, though, it helps if you know a little bit more. That’s why we offer training resources filled with video tutorials and step-by-step directions to help you improve your site. Plus, we offer Drupal Drop-Ins for you to ask specific questions about your site after your initial training.
And if you can’t find an answer to your question here, please just ask us. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
To strengthen our brand and the university’s reputation, all materials from or about Case Western Reserve must reflect consistent design, production and content standards—and that includes websites.
This does not mean, however, that all sites must be replicas of each other. Rather, the websites should reflect what makes each department, unit or school unique—while still being a critical part of Case Western Reserve.
There are basic templates you must follow, but within those templates, the content you use—including the photos and copy you use to reflect your unit's tone—is up to you. Requests for deviations from the templates may be considered on a case-by-case basis.
This project is all about empowering users to be able to create and update their own websites. Though representatives from University Marketing and Communications will review your website content to ensure it meets basic standards and best practices, your site is yours to manage.
Of course, as with anything, there are some rules to follow. Please review the CWRU Web Guidelines and be aware that any content that is inflammatory, libelous or inappropriate will be removed by representatives from [U]Tech or University Marketing and Communications.
This project is about much more than just improving the aesthetics of your site (although that’s a huge bonus).
It’s also about:
- moving the university into a centrally managed environment to better consolidate resources;
- empowering people across the university to maintain or create their own websites;
- getting rid of old, outdated content;
- making your websites accessible to all users, on any device; and
- improving the user experience for everyone, regardless of ability.
We understand that some of you may have very complex content, and we respect that you're the expert on your material. Our goal will be able to help you migrate your site and work with you to make your content accessible and web-friendly.
Well before we start transitioning your website, we'll discuss your technical needs and any concerns you may have. We will host and support all of the content for your site, but applications will need to reside on an external server.
The answer to this question varies depending on a few factors. You will get a specific timeline after your kick-off meeting with the UMC team. The size of your site, amount of content, time you devote to the project and how responsive you are during the website creation process will all determine how long your project takes—but generally, you can estimate about three months.
Content management systems may seem more limiting than hand-coded websites, but they offer much of the same capabilities. And, yes, there will be some items—such as the headers or other branding elements—that you will not be able to change.
But content management systems are meant to empower users. Many people responsible for their websites have no training in coding websites, but somehow “website maintenance” has become part of their jobs. Or, if it’s not officially their responsibility, they must rely on web developers to make minor spelling changes or updates. These minor changes that should take seconds can take days to occur because the web developer’s time is filled with his or her own projects.
By implementing a content management system, we can ease the burden of both the web developer and the website maintainer—freeing up more time for everyone to use their individual talents to do what they do best: their jobs.
There is no denying that sticking with what you know often is the easy route. But with this new system, you have a number of major benefits—all at NO cost to you—such as:
- a new design that is optimized for all devices;
- a chance to improve the user experience of your site;
- compliance with federal accessibility regulations;
- integration with the university’s emergency communication system, Rave—so, in case of an emergency, visitors on your site will know what’s happening;
- easy website updates, no matter your experience level; and
- financial savings, as you get rid of your servers and content management systems.
The list could go on, but we’ll stop here. If you want to know more, contact us, and we’ll set up a time to discuss everything.
We readily admit there are fantastic web designs out there, and the options provided within Drupal may not suit your aesthetic style. However, if everyone follows his or her unique style on his or her sites, that means we have thousands of looks—and it's likely few of them would distinctly represent Case Western Reserve.
Being on a website that has a consistent—though not identical—feel gives visitors a sense of trust. They trust the source, and they trust that the content they’re finding is up to date.
It is critical that we implement standard templates across the entire CWRU web environment. Failing to do so hurts our brand and, in turn, our reputation.
So yes, your design may be different than ours—but we hope you understand and appreciate our improved, consistent look across all sites..
(Plus, have we mentioned how great it looks on all devices? Pretty outstanding, we think.)