The university has chosen a new content management system (CMS) called Sitefinity. The transition to Sitefinity began in February 2017 with a test website, which launched in August 2017. It will likely take 18-24 months for all 80+ university websites to transition to the new CMS.
Sitefinity access corresponds with your site’s position in the transition schedule and will begin when you attend training during the transition process. You can learn about the functionality of Sitefinity by visiting @Web.
First, complete a website CMS transition request form. Once your request is reviewed, your site will be added to the CMS transition schedule. If you submitted your CMS transition request after Feb. 14, 2017, it will be placed in the transition schedule after the sites for which requests were submitted by February 2017.
Given the number of sites and the complexity of this project, the CMS transition will most likely be completed in 2019. We will look for ways to expedite this process, such as internal and external partnerships.
Once it’s your turn in the transition schedule, the CMS transition team (made up of staff from University Communications and the Office of Information Technology) will guide you through the CMS transition process, which may take 3-6 months, depending on your schedule and work pace. You and your team will participate in a series of planning and working meetings to identify resources, determine site features and functionality, create content (or hire a content writer), build your pages and launch your site.
Start by requesting a content inventory and performing a content audit to figure out how many pages you have, how many you should move and how many you can eliminate. You’ll also want to review your content for relevance, quality and accuracy. And you can learn about web content creation, search engine optimization (SEO), Google Analytics and other topics through free Lynda.com classes available on UCDAccess.
Possibly. Some schools and colleges have requested to transition their entire web presence, while others have elected for each unit to complete its own transition request. The CMS transition team can help you determine your responsibility, and you’ll also want to work with your internal leadership and team to understand expectations for your website.
The CMS transition team will guide you through the transition process. We will work with you to create a flexible schedule that meets your time resource constraints. Ultimately, you’re responsible for creating good content, selecting images and building out your site, but you may hire outside help. For a list of university-vetted writing and web development resources, contact Ashley Arens, delivery manager for Web Services in OIT, at email@example.com.
Sitefinity organizes all content under three interconnected design themes: one for CU Denver, one for CU Anschutz and one for dual-campus units. Within each theme, there are dozens of different ways to display content and visuals using the widgets and content areas. Content managers can build pages that are not only relevant to their target audience but also connected to the campus brand and identity.
You’ll want to use the CMS transition as an opportunity to update and rewrite your content, instead of simply copying and pasting. In Sitefinity, you’ll have more options for communicating information in engaging ways and using the best current web content practices.
Because SharePoint is a static web environment with fixed image sizes, some images on your SharePoint website may not display correctly in Sitefinity. Consider your CMS transition process an opportunity to revisit your website imagery and update or replace any outdated images on your site. And once you add your images, Sitefinity will automatically resize and crop them to display optimally for your user’s device and browser window size.
Yes, as long as users are coming to your SharePoint site, you should keep it current. During the site transition process, you may need to update timely content – such as events, news and announcements – on both your SharePoint site and your Sitefinity site. Most websites will transition all at once, so you won’t have content in two places. The CMS transition team will help you determine what content you will need to maintain during the transition.
Yes, Sitefinity offers blog functionality. Faculty, senior staff and departments can participate in specialized training and receive permission to host professional blog sites in Sitefinity. All blogs in Sitefinity will be limited to university-related content and audiences.
You will work with the CMS transition team to apply “redirects” to your webpages, which take users automatically from your old website in SharePoint to your new one in Sitefinity. In some cases you’ll need to update old SharePoint links. OIT will manage a list of the websites that have transitioned or are currently transitioning to Sitefinity, and the CMS transition team will work with you to manage and update links back to SharePoint.
During your CMS transition process, members of the CMS transition team will work with you to maintain your earned SEO rankings. Because the structure and content on your website will be changing, you may see an initial change in search engine rankings. But your site should regain its ranking quickly, and with the shorter URLs in the new university website structure, your ranking is likely to improve.