Smith.edu Moving to Content
As announced last spring, the Office of College Relations
has begun the process of transitioning the Smith Web site to a database-driven content
management system, or CMS. This new system, based on the open-source Drupal platform,
will facilitate visitor interactivity, the ability to share content, integration
with social media, search engine optimization and more. And it will also make it
easier for those who update or administer sites to manage content, allowing them
to make changes, add or remove images, create sophisticated Web forms, and develop
The first phase of this migration will affect the college’s home
page and the top tier of pages – the few hundred pages where visitors most
often enter the site or look for general information about the college. While the
visual layout of these pages will not change significantly, the technology behind
them will move from the current hand-coded, static pages to layouts organized by
templates and content maintained in a database.
The top tier of the site is expected
to migrate to the CMS this spring. In anticipation of the migration, you may notice
some changes to the current site; some content will move, and some small sites will
be merged into larger ones. This is necessary due to the structure
of a CMS, which depends on a logical relatonship between “parent” and “child” pages.
This process may result in some broken links or bookmarks that no longer work.
site administrators should also be aware that, as the launch approaches, staff members
in College Relations who are working on the transition may not be able to respond
to requests for Web site updates or changes until after the launch.
Over the course
of the next year, staff from College Relations will work with departments and offices
to bring their content into the CMS and, where necessary, redesign sites to work
in the CMS structure. All sites developed or redesigned by College Relations after
the launch will be created in the CMS.
A Web site with updates, more information
about the project, the timeline, and training opportunities will be available soon.
Questions may be directed to John Eue, senior director of publications and communications,