Do you need help creating a new page or editing an existing one? Feeling stumped by widgets, forms, or something else? Want to learn more about Sitecore in general, but don’t have time for an entire class?
UPDATE 01/08/2017: The Sitecore Update was rolled back to the previous version due to performance issues. The Web Team is working with the vendor to investigate the issue and The upgrade will be rescheduled for a later date.
The SMU Current Students page recently received a facelift. This page receives thousands of hits each week, making it one of the most popular pages on the University website. In this redesign, we used data to assess how students were using the page and inform the future user experience.
SMU’s main website holds around 45,000 web pages, and each one of those pages runs on our Content Management System known as Sitecore. If you have editing privileges on any of SMU’s web pages, you may already know the basics of how Sitecore works, but you also realize how complex and intimidating the system can sometimes be.
Have a Sitecore question? Want hands-on Sitecore help with a page edit, widget, form, or graphics? For this we have Sitecore Office Hours!
Sitecore Offices Hours provides Sitecore users time to get one-on-one answers to their pressing questions and assistance with some of the more difficult areas of the tool. Drop in anytime during our office hours or schedule an appointment for a guaranteed one-on-one time slot. At OIT, we’re here to help.
Since the release of our current version of Sitecore in 2008, Sitecore has grown from a platform that provides simple web experiences to one that enables users to become truly engaged with their customers. The upgrade to Sitecore v8.1 comes with a completely updated user interface and API that make the system more efficient and extremely extendable. This update enhances our ability to support, promote and leverage the application to meet the needs of the campus community.
The OIT Web Team has been working through the upgrade process on a test system. The Sitecore application upgrade process is a step by step approach of installing and then verifying updates until we reach the current release. The process originally involved over 70 steps, but the team was able to consolidate those steps to a little over 50.
After the test server upgrade, the Web Team recruited the Web Captains in the schools and departments to put the test system through its paces. Since some areas have customized widgets and frameworks, those customizations needed to be tested with the upgrade. Around 25 issues were reported by the Web Captains in their testing. The Web Team had resolved most of those issues when they came across a critical flaw involving the web forms.
The Web Team is working with Sitecore support and other universities to resolve this issue. At this point, we are delaying the Sitecore 8.1 update. We will reschedule after we are confident the web forms are working correctly and in a sustainable manner.
Aren Cambre, director of the Web Application Services team, is collaborating with other universities to share knowledge on Sitecore and web content management.
The Higher Ed Sitecore users group, started in 2008, now includes over forty universities and nonprofit organizations. “This spring, we are taking this to the next level by creating the tongue in cheek-named Tour of the Sitecores.” Aren Cambre explained, “With this Tour, each month, a member institution will present its Sitecore solution to others using GoToMeeting. The goal is that we can share knowledge on how each of us set up and develop for our Sitecore environments.”
This collaboration will be especially useful to SMU in the near future. OIT is planning a major Sitecore upgrade this spring, where tapping in to those resources will be helpful. Also, as OE2C has centralized developer resources, OIT has been given an opportunity to make the Sitecore experience better for our users. Gaining insight from other universities will allow us to focus on what will deliver the best value.
Are you new to Sitecore, SMU’s Web Content Management System? Are you a user, but you’re not using it regularly enough to remember how to use it? We can help. The Sitecore Basics class will cover everything you need to know to get started using Sitecore.
Topic Covered Include:
Logging in to Sitecore
Customizing your Toolbar
Creating New Pages.Uploading Media, such as PDF files and images