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To improve campus Web content management services, the Web Content Management Evaluation Working Group has recommended a series of changes focused on enhancing visitor experience, learnability, efficiency, distributed website content management, and Web content management-related community awareness and involvement.

Summary of Recommended Changes

WordPress: WordPress is an open source CMS, publishing platform and blogging tool. WordPress is modular software and can have its functionality extended via software components called plugins. WordPress also has strong adoption and a large, active community nationally and worldwide (including higher education). The recommendation is that WordPress be provided as a campus service in parallel to UWM's CommonSpot CMS as another option for use in development, publication and management of school/college, administrative unit and center/institute website content.

External Hosting Platform: An external service provider is recommended to improve business continuity by providing a hosting platform for WordPress that is not directly dependent on physical campus infrastructure.

Web Content Management Advisory Group: The formation of a campus Web content management advisory group (reporting to the UWM Web Steering Committee) is recommended to provide increased campus feedback and engagement in the implementation, operational support and continual improvement of campus Web content management services. Major activities are recommended to include communications to stakeholders, customer satisfaction feedback and analysis, cultivation of knowledge and best practices, and advisement on guidelines and policies, training and professional development, enhancement prioritization, plug-in management and major software upgrades.

Policies and Guidelines: A review and refresh of Web content management service policies and guidelines is recommended to help improve and maintain the security, compliance, availability, performance, quality, accessibility and brand consistency of websites. Heightened and continual promotion of policies and guidelines is also recommended to raise and maintain awareness.

Training and Professional Development: A hybrid approach to campus training and professional development services is recommended to leverage the professional development resources and community that exists for WordPress. Services are recommended to include on-campus classes, on-demand training videos, central support services, and a curated list of online learning resources, local events and user groups.

Approval of Recommendations

Recommended changes have been presented to and approved by the UWM Web Steering Committee and vetting by the UWM Information Technology Policy Committee (ITPC). A WordPress Implementation project has been formed to perform all work required to put in place the recommended changes. During June 2013, the WordPress Implementation project team will be performing work required to establish target dates for the first batch of project milestones.

A presentation of recommendations (PDF) is available (UWM 1login required).

For more information about the availability of WordPress and implementation of other recommended changes, please visit the WordPress Implementation project website or contact the project team.

Final Candidates

The Web Content Management Evaluation Working Group has evaluated a number of Web content management software packages and narrowed the field to two final candidates that are being considered to supplement UW-Milwaukee's current CommonSpot web content management services.

The final candidates and Drupal and WordPress.

To assist in selecting a single recommendation, the Web Content Management Evaluation Working Group will be holding demonstrations of the final candidates to gather feedback and take questions.

Web Content Management Demonstration Sessions

Demonstrations of Drupal and WordPress have been scheduled for the following dates:

2/20/2013 - 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM - Union 191
3/5/2013 - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM - Union 191

Please note: Demonstration sessions will be recorded (audio/video), including feedback, questions and answers. Recordings will be made available to members of UWM, for the benefit of those who can not attend the demonstration sessions.

The agenda for both demonstration sessions is as follows:

10 min Introduction, context, objectives.
30 min Drupal demonstration.
30 min WordPress demonstration.
20 min Feedback, questions and answers.

Drupal and WordPress demonstrations will include creation of web pages, incorporation of formatted text content, images, tabular data, and documents (e.g. PDFs), management of web forms and form submission results, management of navigation, management of website designs/branding, and display of website content on mobile devices. Ad hoc demonstrations will be taken by request, as time allows.

Web Development/Technical Open Session

A discusion of topics of particular interest to web developers and technical staff has been scheduled for the following date:

3/6/2013 - 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM - Sabin 394

This session assumes familiarity with Drupal, WordPress and website/application development at the code level. Individuals not familiar with Drupal and WordPress are strongly encouraged to attend a web content management demonstration session prior to the web development/technical open session.

The agenda for the web development/technical open session will be open. Whereas the web content management demonstration sessions will focus on content management and publication activities, the developer/technical open session will delve into the technical architectures of Drupal and WordPress and will include ad hoc demonstrations and exploration on topics of specific interest to campus web developers, advanced content authors and other technical staff.