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Date: 2/24/11 Bookmark and Share

Smith.edu Moving to Content Management System

The Smith Web site will begin moving to a database-driven content management system this spring.

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 new pages.

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.

Web 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, at jeue@smith.edu.

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