Campus Web content system moves ahead

A content management system that campus units and departments can use to manage their Web sites will be available this summer. The goal: Creating attractive, more consistent sites across UC Davis that won't require a lot of technical skill to maintain.

Web content management systems (CMS) store and organize Web site content, as well as the way that content is used and presented. For UC Davis, the campus Web Content Management Initiative chose Cascade Server, made by Hannon Hill. Web site managers won't have to use the system, but if they do they will gain a tool that simplifies their work, offers consistent design and content features, and can help their sites meet campus standards and legal access requirements.

UC Davis chose Cascade Server after an extensive review. The initiative committee consulted with different parts of campus to learn what they wanted from a CMS, then evaluated 150 potential sources of software before making its choice. An implementation committee endorsed that choice last fall. Now the Web CMS has entered a testing phase, in which volunteers are creating simple sites to see how Cascade Server works at UC Davis. A campuswide rollout would come later.

"We developed this to reduce the amount of technical knowledge required to create and maintain Web sites," said Morna Mellor, co-chair of the Web Content Management System Steering Committee with Jan Conroy, in today's Dateline. Mellor is director of the Data Center and Client Services in Information and Educational Technology, and Conroy is director of UC Davis Publications. "We also want to empower staff who already author and manage content to do it directly without specialized technical training," Mellor said.

University Communications and IET are leading the Web CMS initiative. Find a timeline and more information here.