McGill Guide: Web Management System

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This is McGill’s core system for producing and maintaining administrative and program websites and pages. It is an implementation of an open-source Content Management System called Drupal, and uses version 6+. Drupal is an extremely flexible and powerful CMS; it is used by numerous corporations and organizations for their websites because it is easily customizable, but also extremely robust in how it presents content, and manages users. McGill’s implementation is fairly restrictive because of the need to control McGill’s online ‘brand’ while faced with a wide-range of varying web-editing competencies among its administrative staff. In order to edit a webpage, administrators must take a course from CCS. Change requests are possible, but the way information is handled and displayed is centrally administered by CCS. Earlier versions used Drupal 5, which is why you might see some features (such as the Music Calendar) on some webpages, and not on others. This has been a major endeavor, and has transformed the University’s webpages for the better. At the same time, it has also presented some problems in managing internal vs external content, and integration of certain functionalities – like calendar integration and presentation for instance.

Some issues to consider:
Website Editors and Managers must take CCS courses.
Resource Accounts cannot be associated with webpages; editors and managers must be actual personal accounts.

Easy presentation of McGill administrative content.
Little to no HTML or coding required.
Easy to move content from Word documents to the web.
Pages are easily organized allowing for presentation of administrative materials etc.
Can be updated without FTP or any other editors, using a web browser.
Links (as of fall 2012) to the McGill Channels / Events calendar system for easy RSS / Atom feed publicity

Is extremely restrictive in how content is presented outside of menus, page content, and certain pre-approved plugins (for images, and links to calendar information)
Limited CSS options
All content must go through an established workflow – ie only editors can make changes, there are no commenting or open blogging systems in place.

Ideally for:
Administrative units with support staff and faculty able to maintain online presence.
Can publish information, but not suited for use in conducting research.

This is for all audiences; mainly publication, access usually not restricted (though CCS is working on ways to offer McGill-only or restricted content).