Drupal for Sociology

On Dec 20, 2013, at 1:09 PM, Thomas Streeter <thomas.streeter@uvm.edu> wrote:

Example of a cool drupal theme: http://envato.tabvn.com/demo.php?theme=centum

The main question is: could Salli and I use something like this to run our Dept. webpage without a hellacious learning curve? 


On Dec 20, 2013, at 9:00 AM, Thomas Streeter <thomas.streeter@uvm.edu> wrote:

Hi Wes, Hope. Here’s the background: several of the Departments in CAS were frustrated with the College’s “one size MUST fit all” required template for departmental websites. The required templates not only make all Departments look the same, but they were always a bit of a pain to use and cluttered with irrelevant info., and in the past couple of years they have become woefully out of date. So I got permission from the CAS Dean to experiment with an alternative, and used Rapidweaver to throw up a website that was more efficient, up to date, responsive, and easier to navigate, particularly for students. For me, it’s drag and drop and a breeze to update, which a Chair constantly needs to do. (http://www.uvm.edu/sociology) Students uniformly say they like it better (though at this point it’s very plain). 

But this is not a generalizable solution, and I’m told that the future of web development in general is drupal or wordpress; systems like Rapidweaver are on their way out. And word is that the UVM web team intends to move everyone to drupal (and at least some in the Dean’s office expect that they will go back to the one-size-must-fit-all policy, except on some kind of drupal template).

So I thought we’d find out more about this drupal stuff before putting more effort into the eventually doomed Rapidweaver approach. Poking around on the web gave the same impression that Wes confirms. There are however increasing numbers of cheap drupal templates available, so I was hoping Salli and I could figure out enough to experiment with one or two of them, and decide where to go from there.

Well! So Tom wants to use Drupal as a content management system (CMS). Others have tried

In theory, the day to day management of a CMS is simple enough . Designing and building the site is the hard part — thus, the sites above produced by an outside company or an internal IT specialist.

Finding a pre-built theme may help. I haven’t really played around much with fancy themes, so I don’t really know

But we can always try. Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) Systems Administration & Architecture (SAA) people prefer that Drupal be installed on a special virtual machine farm separate from www.uvm.edu, tied to your departmental NetID ( soceval ?) ; i.e, soceval.w3.uvm.edu . You or I need to contact SAA and request to have that machine configured, and I can do a basic install

About Wesley Wright

Born on a mountain top near New York City, Craziest state in the land of the pretty. Raised in the woods so's he knew every tree, Killed him a bear when he was only three.
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