How your ideas on content structures are steering the new CMS development

We’ve been using the insight and suggestions gathered in last autumn’s website content planning workshops to steer the development of content types for the new Drupal content management system.

More than 65 people from diverse areas of work – administration, academic support, training and skills development, web publishing, technical development, and marketing and communications – attended the content planning workshops and contributed ideas for content types.

Each content type is a component in the content management system (CMS) that has been specifically designed for its particular purpose, and each has specialised features designed to make it as easy and quick as possible to upload and publish that type of content.

Using the content types will also help web publishers create packages of content so that it’s easy to re-use the content in different circumstances.

So, for example, the summary text from a generic content page can be automatically re-used on the overview page and the homepage. Or, if you attach an image to a generic content article, that image can be ‘sucked through’ to the overview and homepages, appearing in the right place in the right size, without you having to upload it multiple times in multiple sizes.

These time-saving options were among the hundreds of ideas suggested during last year’s content planning sessions in five discussions in September and October 2013.

As the Drupal development project advances, we’ll be developing more and more of the content types we discussed then – such as news, events and staff profiles – with more of the features we talked about in those discussions.

You can see the latest developments and how the information gathered in those sessions has been integrated into the development so far on the Drupal project wiki.

But as the University continually changes and grows we’ll need our options for web content to keep pace; if you have more ideas about how we need to publish and use our content as effectively as possible, please tell us!

Please comment here or on the Drupal wiki, or join the discussions at the monthly Web Publishers’ Community.

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