University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Hi, we're nearing the QA phase of our DotCMS implementation on campus. Our web department is just me and one other person. We're semi-technical & soon to be learning a lot more. I'm planning the next leg of this project and I'm wondering about other people's experiences. I'm just wondering if anyone has any great strategies for getting campus users working in the system? Who did you start with? Did you plan everything in detail or just dive in fearlessly? What did you do that you wish you had done differently?

I'm really excited and simultaneously a little overwhelmed. Any general thoughts or feedback about the time when you were getting started with DotCMS would be great.

Views: 25

Replies to This Discussion

I feel your pain. Our web office is just me, and I am responsible for pretty much EVERYTHING dotCMS related (though I did manage to farm out the user training at least, to my boss and her assistant, heh). It sounds like you're starting a lot like I did. When we started, I had experience with small PHP CMSs, but never something of this scale and power, and I'm certainly no Java developer. But I just dove in head first, and didn't have any problem swimming in the deep end. It's really a marvel of a system in terms of learning curve.

With users, we tried to start with a small core group of more savvy user first. We also have a person in each college responsible for all their departments' web sites, so training those users is really up to them (as is deciding if they want the department to have any control over the content). I make it a point to never show people things that they don't need to know, and I try to make good use of groups to control their back end interfaces. YOU ABSOLUTELY MUST SHOW PEOPLE THE "PASTE FROM WORD" FEATURE IN TINYMCE. I cannot stress that enough, if your users are anything like ours. Tell them, tell them again, and remind them frequently.

Honestly, our process hasn't worked terribly, and we didn't do a lot of planning with it. As I mentioned, we just started with savvy users, and some of them are happy to help others. Then we started working our way through offices. Usually the smaller ones first, moving on to bigger ones. As we hit bigger ones, we concentrate on the most important info, and use redirects to pick up requests for old pages and forward them on to the old site until everything is converted. I've been in the process of making little tutorial videos to help refresh people on common tasks. I tend to NOT show people macros, unless I know they can handle it. As easy as macros are to use, if they can't handle basic HTML, I have no reason to believe they can handle macros, so save on the confusion later and just avoid it. Tell them YOU can do it for them in a jiffy. Odds are, the time it takes you to do it right will be less than the time wasted between them trying to do it themselves, and the support you end up giving to fix it later.

As we get further in the process, I print out my URLRewrite.xml file (where I manage redirects to the old server for unconverted areas) and see what is and isn't done. I just start cherry picking from there to see which ones we can bang out the fastest.

I also try to make myself very available to help out other dotCMS users, so feel free to contact me directly if you ever have any questions or need some help.
Thanks so much for the advice. It all makes a lot of sense & I was already thinking along these lines for some of my strategies so that makes me feel good about where I am. Good advice about not letting people know more than they need to. I've already made a misstep in that area. :)

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Web governance should not be an afterthought; when it’s done right, it can actually enhance your workflow and make your job easier. http://bit.ly/33vIZU0"
Friday
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Exciting news... OmniUpdate has merged with Destiny Solutions! Learn more on our blog. http://bit.ly/332KSr8"
Oct 30
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Switching to a new CMS? Join our next webcast with Briana Johnson from @OSUIT to learn how to convince decentralized web content authors to tolerate the switch, actively participate, and enjoy it! http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Oct 29
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Your website is the front door to your college or university. Your website design has to accommodate for the way that students interact with and use the information your institution provides. http://bit.ly/2P8VldR"
Oct 24
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn how a new website design and CMS helped Florida Gulf Coast University increase new visits to the school’s website with improved SEO. http://bit.ly/2ByaQq4"
Oct 21
Profile IconJames Pollard and Michael Clarke joined University Web Developers
Oct 21
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join our next webcast with Kelly Rushing from @uofsouthalabama to learn how to create accessible PDFs for your website by starting with your source documents. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Oct 18
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn why your college or university should choose SaaS across the board, especially for your next CMS. http://bit.ly/2Iy0SZE"
Oct 8
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with OmniUpdate CEO Lance Merker, who will delve into key insights about Generation Z’s online search behaviors to help you refine your school's web marketing strategy. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Oct 3
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Our newest guide will help you learn what it means to be accessible, how to implement accessibility best practices, quick fixes to try as well as a long-term plan, plus tools to help you in your website accessibility efforts. Download it now!"
Oct 1
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Are online forms more efficient? Learn how El Camino College used Formstack to create online forms that expedited processing, improved communications, increased transparency, and promoted accountability across campus. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Sep 18
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"It's important to understand the science behind your web pages to better engage and ultimately attract prospective students to your site. http://bit.ly/2ZYK8FZ"
Sep 12
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"If you’re struggling with web challenges such as accessibility, SEO, design consistency, workflow, content governance, or how to start a website redesign, you’re not alone. Join our next webcast to learn how other higher ed institutions…"
Sep 5
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"eQAfy confirms that OU Campus is still the #1 commercial CMS for colleges and universities in the United States. http://bit.ly/2Lir9Mn"
Aug 28
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Here’s an outline of everything you need to know about OCR compliance, including what it is, what your college or university can do to stay compliant, and resources for OCR compliance. #accessibility http://bit.ly/2rcPDgG"
Aug 23
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Join us for our next webcast with April Buscher from Montana State University Billings to learn how blind readers and people with hearing impairment view and read your website and how you can make it accessible to them. http://bit.ly/2zhdcIt"
Aug 14
Amanda Lawson joined Lynn Zawie's group
Thumbnail

OmniUpdate

Share your experiences using OmniUpdate CMS
Aug 9
Amanda Lawson posted a photo

Amanda Lawson

Amanda Lawson, Web Content ManagerCommunity College of Allgheny County
Aug 9
Sara Arnold commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"High schoolers spend more time on their digital devices than they do sleeping, doing homework, or participating in extracurricular activities. So how do you make your message stand out to them? #eexpect http://bit.ly/2MOIIWC"
Aug 8
Linda Faciana commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Want to increase digital engagement with high school juniors and seniors? Join our next webcast with Stephanie Geyer from Ruffalo Noel Levitz as she shares new data from the 2019 E-Expectations Trend Report on email, paid media, and social media…"
Jul 31

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2019   Created by Mark Greenfield.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service