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CMS • UWM's Content Management System

Web Site Management Made Easy

Frequenly Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a CMS?

UWM's CMS (Content Management System) is a tool that allows individuals to manage Web sites using a series of web-based tools.

What are the key features of UWM's CMS?

Key features include:

  • content updating without technical programming knowledge;
  • workflow processes giving individuals rights to edit, review and/or publish based on their role and authority;
  • templates and style sheets; and
  • the ability to repurpose and share content by "tagging" it for use in multiple Web page locations.

Why would I want to use UWM's CMS to manage my Web site?

The CMS can:

  • shorten the time it takes to update critical Web content, facilitate instant updating and help ensure Web site content is robust and current;
  • help manage the volume of content that needs to be updated;
  • put the updating of the Web site into the hands of those who have the knowledge to write the content;
  • provide the framework to ensure consistent branding, navigation, look and feel throughout the entire Web site; and
  • allow a Web administrator to track who changed content and when it was changed or to approve changes before they are published.

What kind of technical knowledge do I need to use UWM's CMS?

You don't need to have technical programming knowledge or expertise to use UWM's CMS. Content updates are done using commands similar to those found in Microsoft Word; i.e., content can be updated on the Web site without the use of html. Other commands are prompted through the use of simple icons.

Is UWM's CMS available for me to use now?

Development work with the early adopters is moving forward, with two of the five early adopters successfully launching their CMS-based sites. As work continues with the early adopters, more is learned about how to effectively implement the CMS campus-wide. The work that's been done to make the CMS more usable based on the feedback from the early adopers, coupled with the release of a new version of the CMS software has been dictating the campus-wide availability of the CMS. Tthe new release of the CMS software is scheduled to be available either the end of September or early October. Assuming that testing and upgrades go well, we're planning for a mid-October availability date of the CMS. Please watch this website for further updates.

What kind of help and training will there be if I want to use UWM's CMS?

Short courses from I&MT will be offered to train site administrators as well as Web authors, editors and publishers. Manuals and tutorials will be accessible online. Technical help from the Web Development area in I&MT will be available, as well as assistance with template design from the Visual Design area in UITS Creative Services.

Why did the University decide to use a CMS?

There are many Web sites throughout the campus - school/college sites, sites for administrative departments and centers, faculty sites, student organization sites and students' personal Web sites. Many Web sites cannot be updated on a timely basis because the maintenance of the sites requires technical expertise. UWM's CMS alleviates the need for technical expertise to keep Web sites current. This gives the campus community the opportunity to manage their own sites, without relying on Web developers or the few technical department staff available to update sites. For more information, see the Project History Web page.

I already have a Web site. Will I be required to convert it to UWM's CMS?

No one will be forced to use UWM's CMS. However, the advantages of using a CMS and the ability to share content among users of CMS will be a strong motivator for adopting the system.

How do I decide if I should move my existing website to UWM's CMS?

Good candidates to use a CMS have many characteristics:

  • Large number of content authors or contributors
  • Inefficiencies in content updating and/or approval
  • Difficulty in keeping the Web site updated due to lack of technical expertise
  • Many pages using the same template
  • Content that needs to be used many times (i.e., repurposed) throughout the site
  • Content that is used periodically (e.g., recurring events, programs) where the Web pages could be archived for future use
  • Outdated site design and navigation
  • Inadequate or inefficient server to host the Web site
  • Links that continually need to be updated and/or are continually broken
  • Large amounts of data that need to be used and searchable, and can benefit from metadata tagging

If I have an existing Web site and I want to use UWM CMS, what should I do now to prepare?

Conversion to UWM's CMS will require an individual and/or a team to manage the project. In addition, a site administrator should be named to manage the site once it is converted.

Here's what can be done to start the project:

  • Identify content ownership and who will have rights to author, edit and publish content
  • Determine if the "look" of the site needs updating (signaling a need for new templates)
  • Investigate if content should to be presented in a different way (an indication that the site map and navigation should be changed)
  • Examine issues with usability and functionality (pointing to the need to restructure how the content is presented)
  • Identify all vanity URLs to ensure navigational links to the new Web site are operational

See the section entitled Getting Started.

How much will it cost to move my existing site to UWM's CMS?

Cost will depend upon the amount of technical help required and whether templates will need to be designed. Those who will be participating in the initial launch (selected from the Call for Proposals) will have a limited amount of free Web Development time to address the technical issues of site migration.

If I would like to use UWM's CMS for school/college/unit Web sites, will there be a standard format for these pages?

Yes, templates will be available to provide the framework for the Web site. You will need to decide on the type of information you would like on the site, which will determine the navigational links, and the content. The templates will be available for free and downloadable from this Web site.

CMS Web administrators who have completed training will have the ability to create their own templates. These templates must comply with accessibility and UWM branding standards (see the Policies and Guidelines Web page).

What if I have technical questions?

Complete the online inquiry form. An individual from the Web development team or UWM's CMS implementation team will contact you with an answer to your question.

How can I be kept informed about CMS developments?

Announcements will appear on the homepage of this Web site, as well periodically in the technology feature section of the monthly UWM Report. In addition, updates will be given at the monthly CIO Briefings (register online at myDevelopment.uwm.edu), and provided to your UTR (Unit Technology Representative).

Last modified on September 11, 2007