Managing the underlying systems to keep SMU’s web presence healthy is no simple task. OIT’s Web Application Services Team works to keep the website accessible, reliable, and visually appealing. Over the past few months, great progress has taken place on several fronts for the web team. Let’s go over their great work!
The primary Content Management System (CMS) for the campus is Sitecore, which hosts tens of thousands of SMU web pages. Recently, the team embarked on an upgrade to Sitecore 9.0, setting the stage for new features like streamlined page templates and additional analytics. The whole team, including the exceptional efforts of developer Michael Law, worked hard to ensure the upgrade went smoothly with minimal interruption.
Once Sitecore was upgraded, the stage was set for some departmental web sites to begin updating their pages to newer templates! These new “Cornerstone” templates allow for easier editing of pages, greater consistency of user experience, and improved accessibility and mobile device compatibility. The Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences is one of the first to use Cornerstone. Beth Andresen worked alongside Dedman College Marketing Specialist Katie Nickles in applying this new template. Utilizing the University’s new design language in addition to Sitecore’s new and streamlined features, the Dedman College site expresses the college’s academic strengths and sets an exciting standard for the online experience for SMU.
Another example of a site with a fresh new look belongs to SMU Professional & Online. As part of this office’s evolution, a new and more dynamic web presence was needed to meet their requirements. The web team worked alongside the Professional & Online office to make sure the new experience aligned with the program’s mission as well as adhered to the technical standards of the greater SMU web site. Continued migration of other web sites across SMU will be a multi-year conversion project.
We are also pleased to announce a new service for Sitecore users. If you’ve attended a training class and have additional questions, sign up for individual instruction with a web specialist. We can walk you through setting up new pages, forms, and features. We’re available to meet in person or online.