Web Services

Web Content Management System (WCM) Policies


Web Maintainers for Colleges/Departments Each college, department and office is required to designate a web maintainer, who will be trained in the web content management system (WCM). This person will be responsible for updating content on the website using a workflow within the  WCM. The workflow is simply a series of approval steps within the software. 

Faculty or staff members who are designated department maintainers can have students assist them. It is recommended that the student's supervisor is also trained. Training is provided on a regular basis. To set up training, contact cms_training@uml.edu.

General Policies
  • Each web site will have University mailing address, phone number and email address in the footer. 
  • Verdana is the font used throughout the University pages.
  • Text options can be accessed using the style button in the toolbar. Styles not within the set parameters will be stripped out. 
  • Links to documents should be designated as such and should open new windows. Links to websites outside the University should open new windows. 
  • Reducing redundancy across the University’s pages is a goal of WCM – enabling information to be updated in one place. Web Services will determine where the information should “live” and encourage others to link to that page. (For example, tuition and fee information should be on the Student Financial Services page; Admissions and other departments can then link to that page.)
Navigation
  • Up to 12 primary navigation buttons are allowed, 10 is recommended. 
  • The current navigation menu format in Tridion enables three levels of navigation to be visible. Second and third levels “drops down” or expands when top level is clicked on. Note: Sites in Collage only expanded two levels. 
  • It is preferred that there are About Us and Contact Us pages for each site.
Site Design

To create a more consistent look across all the pages, templates have been designed. Each site will be customized with photos and graphics by a web designer with input from the department.

Logo
The University logo will be used for each site.

Banner/Masthead Design
A creative area at the top of every page (the banner or masthead) is available for each department to customize with photos or graphics. In addition, the designer can incorporate flash technology to change images (rotating images, changing images upon refresh, etc.) or add other interactive features.

If a department has specific pictures or images, the designer will make every effort to incorporate them into the design. The designer may use stock photography if images from the department are not available.

At this time, due to resource constraints, the masthead will be the same across all pages. The software does allow for multiple masthead designs. Departments interested in having additional masthead designs can contact Web Services for specifications and then submit designs for approval.

Department Content v. Catalog Content

Department Website The goal of departmental websites is to promote the departments’ benefits, research activities and achievements to prospective students, parents, researchers and job applicants. Department sites are maintained by the individual departments. Information includes:
  • Profiles of students, alumni and faculty
  • Department highlights  
  • Overview of research and community activities 
  • Information for current or prospective students
  • Faculty/staff biographies that link to curriculum vitas and/or faculty websites
Online Academic Catalog
The goal of the academic catalog is to provide policy and course information to prospective and current students to allow them to graduate in a timely fashion. 
  • Houses institutional admissions, academic and financial aid policies.   
  • Course descriptions are pulled from the iSiS database.  Currently updates are scheduled to occur the first week of each month. 
  • Maintained and monitored by the Provost’s Office.   
  • Changes and updates usually will need to go through the appropriate governing bodies.  For example, a change to an undergraduate policy must first be reviewed and approved by the Undergraduate Policy Committee and then approved by the Faculty Senate. 
  • Site includes graduate, undergraduate and continuing education information. Continuing Education data is maintained by the Division of Continuing Studies and Corporate Education.
Courses of Study

Photos
Photos or other graphics (ie: logos, graphs, not clipart) may be included in the content areas of department pages. There are restrictions to minimize download times: 

  • Photos should be optimized for the web and be 72 dpi 
  • Three photos are allowed per page. 
  • Photos should be 550 pixels wide maximum.
To wrap text around a photo, click on the image button in the toolbar; when the dialog box pops up, select the alignment desired and put “5” into the fields for padding.

Photo Galleries
For pages requiring more than three photos, a photo gallery should be used. Websites should not be used as an archive for dated photos or other materials.  

Photos on Bio Pages
Faculty and staff members are encouraged to use headshots on bio pages. You can send your professional photos (color only) via email to webcontent@uml.edu. Professional headshot photographs can be taken at Eastern Photography for a minimal charge billed to your department. Their Lowell location is at 5 Webber Street, Telephone: 978-937-0101. If a professional headshot is not available, the standard blue silhouette will be used.

Approval of Tasks
The University Relations Office must approve all changes before they go live. This is to ensure consistency across all pages, reduce the amount of typos and make sure the pages are correctly formatted and linked.
Tasks generally go live within 24 to 48 hours after they have been received by the University Relations Office. Occasionally, a task may take longer if it has issues that need to be resolved or if it is complicated (ie: many new pages that need to be added to the navigation).
Sometimes, University Relations Office approvers may have to reject tasks if there is missing information, information that belongs on another site or if the page is formatted incorrectly. 
If you want to be notified when your task has been approved, please indicate so in your task notifications and or send an email requesting to be notified to 
webcontent@uml.edu.

Deploy Schedule
The CMS software is scheduled to deploy changes every four hours at the hours of 6, 10, and 2. The amount of changes on a given day will determine when the changes go live; usually it is within one hour of the deploy. Please contact the web content staff if your change is not live 24 hours after the task has been approved. Occasionally deploys will be delayed due to major updates to the site.

When changes are approved in Tridion, pages go into a queue for immediate deploy.

Urgent Approvals
In the case of a major error on a page or time-sensitive material, please designate your task high priority and enter a due date. If you need an immediate response, please follow-up with an email or phone call to the web content staff. It is the responsibility of the department editor to submit tasks allowing for adequate time for the task to be approved before the content goes live.

Alias Policy

An alias automatically brings users to the right place in a website by typing a shortened URL (www.uml.edu/event) instead of the full URL path. Aliases can be set up for sites at the discretion of Web Services in collaboration with Information Technology. 
Recommended uses for aliases are in print publications or advertising.  
Aliases should be intuitive and follow the traditional format, www.uml.edu/anyname/. Web Services staff can help you determine the best alias for your project. Please alert Web Services prior to referencing an alias in print materials or advertising to ensure that the alias is working. 

Web Services does not recommend subdomains (event.uml.edu). To maintain a clear presence in print publications and maximize search engine results, Web Services recommends using aliases. Best practices indicate that subdomains provide no benefit from a marketing perspective, require more work on the back-end to make them functional and have the potential to dilute search engine rankings. Additionally, using both subdomains and aliases is confusing to users as they navigate throughout the UMass Lowell website. 
To request an alias for a site, email webcontent@uml.edu or call 978-934-3875 or on campus: 4-3875.