Ohio University

Web CMS Project picks up pace for summer

With summer on the horizon, OHIO's three-year project to improve website accessibility, usability, ease of maintenance, and brand consistency is gaining momentum. According to project manager Chad Burkett, most behind-the-scenes technical work on the new Web CMS has been completed, 16 departmental sites have migrated to the new system, and many more are in preparation or under way.

"Since January, we've held quite a few kickoff meetings with website owners to explain the process and show them how to get their sites ready," Burkett said, "Those meetings are starting to pay off." Burkett notes that OIT now is scheduling an average of two homepage design sessions each week for departments who have completed their preparation.

To get a sense of what those new homepages will look like, visit the Web CMS migration dashboard. There you will find a links to all OHIO sites that are using the new Web CMS as well as a full migration schedule. By the end of summer, at least three large academic websites will have migrated to the new Web CMS, including University College, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the College of Health Sciences and Professions.

Caching: Better reliability and faster load times

In conjunction with the Web CMS project, OIT has changed the way OHIO web pages are stored and delivered. Instead of serving University content from a single location, copies of OHIO web pages now are cached in multiple locations all around the world. If the original version of a page is not available - due to maintenance or an unplanned outage - the cached copy still may display. Also, visitors on slow connections and in remote locations will see faster load times, since their browsers will be able to use a locally cached copy instead of the distant version.

Overall, OHIO's web presence remains on track to become more accessible, more mobile friendly, faster, more reliable, easier to use, and more consistent. If you would like to receive monthly Web CMS project updates, contact the IT Service Desk and ask to be added to the Web CMS News listserv.

The three-year long Web Content Management System (Web CMS) project will migrate approximately 200 university websites from CommonSpot to a modern Web CMS that offers improved usability, accessibility, and ease of maintenance. The new service also will make it easier to optimize web pages for search engines, making it more likely that OHIO pages will appear near the top of relevant Internet searches. Finally, the project will encourage digital marketing efforts and facilitate consistent branding across the institution.