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New CMS Project

The current CMS Silva is clunky, slow and end-of-life. It will be replaced with a Drupal implementation that can be used by the Digital Presence team to build websites for a range of organisational units and provide content editors with intuitive tools for building and managing websites.

Various stakeholder groups in UCL were involved in the selection of the CMS and will be invited to participate in shaping it further.

Large organisations with complex web publishing requirements like UCL often use a Content Management System (CMS) to manage and co-ordinate their web presence.

A CMS makes it easy:

  • for multiple people to add and manage web content without technical knowledge
  • for UCL to create prominent and accessible websites 
  • for UCL to meet our obligations under equality and information management legislation

UCL’s Digital Presence team (formerly Web & Mobile Services) within ISD offers a website building service, managing almost 900 core UCL websites in the Silva CMS and providing free hosting, training and support for UCL web editors. 

Key benefits

Drupal is:

  • A widely-used solution and should prove a robust and scalable product
  • An Open Source product that is being actively developed by a community of over 38,000 developers;
  • Flexible enough to meet UCL’s content management needs and provides a fast, intuitive interface for content editors 

The CMS project is also an opportunity to introduce standards around website building and content management and help ensure a coherent web presence for UCL.

What does this mean for website owners and editors?

Project timeline and migration schedule

The first UCL pilot sites in Drupal are now live:

The Bartlett website (January 2017) will be the next to launch and four more beta sites will move to Drupal by the end of February 2017:

• School of Slavonic and Eastern European Studies

• Institute of Opthalmology

• UCL Global

• UCL News

Migrations to the new CMS for all other Silva sites will start from March 2017. While Digital Presence will do all we can to smooth the move to the new system, we will need the help of all staff who manage websites in managing the transition, particularly in ensuring that content currently on sites is accurate, up-to-date, properly structured and well-written for web.

More detailed information on the migration schedule and on archiving web content that is no longer needed will be available in due course.

Note that it will not be possible to migrate existing Drupal sites to the new CMS. This is because Digital Presence are using Drupal modules to create a bespoke CMS tailored to the needs of UCL and it is highly unlikely that sites built in other instances of Drupal will be able to be migrated to the new CMS.

Training and support

Drupal is an intuitive and easy-to-use platform so training will be a blend of online and face-to-face. More detail on training for web editors on the new CMS will be available over the coming months.

Find out more about Indigo and Drupal including answers to frequently asked questions on our services pages:

Who is on the team?

  1. The Digital Presence team (formerly Web & Mobile Services or WAMS)
  2. Web Technologies within Datacentre Services
  3. Code Enigma
  4. Project Board

Any questions?

Please contact web-support@ucl.ac.uk

Project news / updates

The Digital Presence team will be in touch with CMS users and other stakeholders via the Digital Presence newsletter and other UCL channels. 

You can also keep up to date on our blog: