Introduction to the CMS
A content management system (CMS) provides website authoring, collaboration, and administration tools designed to allow users with little knowledge of web programming to create and manage website content with relative ease. (Source: Wikipedia)
A CMS will enable you to build and maintain your unit's website without any advanced technical skills.
There are many benefits to using a CMS, including:
Roles and permissions:
Your unit's leadership will be able to decide who has access to the CMS, and what role each individual will play.
Each unit will be able to assign one or more individuals to the role of content manager (CM), and one or more individuals to the role of content contributor (CC.)
Your unit's leadership will also be able to set up a workflow, allowing for web content to be reviewed and approved before the content goes live.
The CMS includes standardized templates that have been designed to provide consistent branding on all USF websites. All styling is built in and applied automatically to your content, so you don't have to worry about things like fonts, logos and color palettes.
The CMS includes a repository of shared content that all USF websites can share. This content will be updated on a regular basis by subject-matter experts, ensuring that every website on campus is featuring the most accurate, up-to-date information and resources. Examples include campus maps, points of pride, facts, statistics, history and much more.
Easily editable content:
The CMS makes it easy for you to build a new web page, or edit an existing web page, without any advanced technical skills.
The CMS tracks changes to content on all web pages, and allows you to view or revert to old versions when needed.
The CMS allows you to schedule for a page to go live or expire on a pre-specified date, making it easy to publish time-sensitive information even if page content needs to be removed during a time when you are not available, such as during a holiday.
The CMS includes custom widgets, so you can introduce additional functionality into your web pages. Examples include news feeds, event listings and more.
The CMS templates are "responsive," meaning that your website will display beautifully whether it's viewed on a desktop, a tablet, or a smartphone. There is no need to develop three versions of your site anymore.
The CMS will receive regular technology upgrades, so you don't have to worry about whether your technology is up-to-date.
Security and back-up:
The CMS has built-in security features, making it less likely that your site could be hacked. In addition, IT will facilitate regular back-ups, so your site will always be able to be restored if problems arise.
The CMS also has built-in ADA compliance features. An accessibility check can be performed prior to each page being published and the system will alert you to any problems that require your attention.
Your unit's website is a tool that helps market your unit's offerings to the public — also known as your external audiences.
External audiences include all website visitors who do NOT have a USF NetID, including prospective students and their families, alumni, donors, jobseekers, sports fans, patients, campus visitors, legislators, the media and vendors, to name a few.
Content for external audiences includes academic program information, admissions requirements and processes, financial aid and scholarship information, maps, directions, parking information, job postings and much more. This content needs to migrate into the CMS.
There are some types of content that will NOT migrate into the CMS. These include the following:
- Internal content -password-protected content for current students and university employees — does not belong on the USF website. This content, which includes access to university business systems (GEMS, OASIS, etc.), internal announcements, HR forms and more, should be migrated into the MyUSF Portal. Learn more about the MyUSF Portal migration project.
- Instructional content - course-related content produced by faculty for current students — does not belong on the USF website. Information Technology will provide space on separate servers for this type of content.
- Applications - also known as online forms and the databases that support them — do not belong on the USF website. Again, Information Technology will provide an appropriate solution for this content, to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Your unit's leadership will identify content managers (CMs) and content contributors (CCs) for each website managed by your college or division.
The content manager (CM) will be the main point of contact for your unit's website, and will be held accountable for maintaining the site. As such, the CM will be responsible for developing web content, creating new web pages, editing existing web pages, and reviewing and approving all web pages before they go live. Keep in mind that more than one person can play this role.
Like CMs, content contributors (CCs) will be responsible for developing web content, creating new web pages, and editing existing web pages to which they have permission, but unlike CMs, CCs cannot make content go live without CM approval. Keep in mind that more than one person can play this role.
If you have been selected to play the role of CM or CC for your unit, you can learn more about the content migration process here.