Greetings, university web masters. It’s an exciting time for web development at UVM and we want to start getting you all in the loop.
As many of you know, since the dawn of university web presences, UVM websites have been hosted by the UVM Publishing System–a great platform that has given us many, many good years of quality communication. But all good things must end, and with the support of the president and provost, UVM has started to migrate its web presence into a content management system–specifically an open source product called Drupal.
What does this mean?
A well implemented Drupal website means:
- a friendlier interface for updates so that people who struggle to make small updates can focus on quality content rather than HTML
- a well-branded, well-designed website that can continue to offer that continuity to all units
- greater ease when it comes to content sharing and content syndication
- minimization of security risks that we are more open to in the older publishing system
Phase 1 of this project involves building a Drupal foundation and getting much of our UVM top level content into it by July 1, 2014. Just to make things even more challenging (ha), we’ve also decided to redesign the homepage and those underlying top level pages. So on July 1, we plan to roll out a new homepage (view a preview). This homepage, along with our centrally maintained top pages (like “About UVM”) will be operating in Drupal at this time. Also please note that any new design elements that occur to the navigation and/or footer during this redesign will be applied to the current UVM publishing system, and therefore your current websites.
Subsequent phases of this project are yet-to-be determined, but we believe will be coming into sharper focus in the coming weeks. We are thinking of all of you–from organizational units to academic departments and everyone in-between when we say that there will be a time and way for your sites to come into the new system. It’s just a bit early for us to say when and how. Until then, you will stay the course with your current websites and methods of updating them.
Preparation for Drupal
What can you do to prepare? Three things: 1) prepare your content, 2) prepare your content, and 3) prepare your content. If you have quality, well-written, succinct, directive content on your current website, moving into a new system will be all the easier. As always, you can make a help hours appointment to talk about your website content, and Gerry McGovern always has great tips for rethinking content.
Our intention is to keep you informed via this blog and the info listserv. So please stay tuned.