Information Services Division


Silva and Indigo

Indigo is the design pattern library that works with our CMS Silva and makes UCL websites responsive. This means they are usable, accessible and look good on all devices and screen sizes.


Moving your site to Indigo has the following benefits:

  • Responsive: works well on all devices
  • Accessible: helps us meet our legal obligations
  • On-brand: helps us create sites that reflect the UCL brand and allow individuality of content to shine through
  • Process of moving is fully supported by Digital Presence
  • Essential for migration to Drupal


If your site is not yet using Indigo, please ask the Chief Editor of the website to contact web-support@ucl.ac.uk requesting migration to Indigo.

The migration involves the following:

  1. You contact us and we agree with you on a good time to migrate the content.
  2. We email you the new address where you will find your site now using the Indigo Template.
  3. You spend time adjusting the site to Indigo: resizing images, moving things around, improving the layout - be aware that a change freeze is necessary so don't spend ages!
  4. How long will it take me? This will depend entirely on how well-organised your site was before it was migrated, how large the site it, if you want to make many changes to the structure etc.
  5. We do recommend you do it as fast as you can because your new site will soon be out of sync with the live site... !
  6. You contact us telling us the site is ready and we make the site - now in Indigo - live at the next available weekend.
  7. We expect the Chief Editor to do the work and be familiar with Silva and have done the Silva Plus with Indigo course.

From July 2015 all our new sites have been built using the Indigo pattern library.

Indigo resources

All you need to know about Indigo including menu and palette choices, images, UCL sites that use Indigo and more:

    Detailed how-to information on building an Indigo site on our service pages:

    Read our FAQs on Indigo:

    Why do I have to migrate to Indigo Silva before migrating to Drupal?

    There are three reasons to move to Indigo Silva:

    1. Having a responsive site is increasingly important to meet the needs of website users and you will have a responsive site as soon as you move to Indigo Silva and will not have to wait for Drupal.
    2. The process of moving to Indigo Silva involves the content editor thinking about the structure of their website, in particular content prioritisation. This is because, when a website is used on a smartphone (for example), there is a much smaller screen size so all the content that is shown on a desktop cannot be shown, and decisions must be made about the order in which the content is presented on the smaller screen size. This inevitably leads to having a more structured, usable site.
    3. The structured nature of an Indigo site means that it will be easier to migrate your site automatically to Drupal.
    How easy is it to move my Silva site to Indigo Silva templates?

    This depends on how your site is structured, which code sources you are using and the extent to which your site contains bespoke development.

    For simple sites, a content editor can carry out the move with a few instructions from Digital Presence.

    Whereas, if your site uses code sources that are not available in Indigo and/or contain a large amount of bespoke development, your move to Indigo will need to be treated as a website project and have a planned approach.

    Do I need training before being able to use Indigo Silva templates?

    You will need to have attended both the Intro to Silva and Silva Plus courses.
    However, editing whilst using Indigo templates is exactly the same as editing in Silva.

    But you should also read the information on the Indigo Demo site which we keeping adding to!

    Where do I start?

    As Silva sites vary greatly, Digital Presence is implementing an Assessment process.

    This enables us to determine what’s involved in moving your site to Indigo Silva.

    If you would like to be assessed, please contact web-support@ucl.ac.uk and we will add you to our list and get back to you soon.

    Should I move to Indigo sooner rather than later?

    Yes, it is a good idea to request a move to Indigo as soon as possible.

    Apart from the fact that it will smooth the move to Drupal, Indigo sites have many advantages including responsive design which works well on all devices and screen sizes.

    When can I move my site to Drupal?

    We will start moving sites to Drupal in October 2016. As we have about 900 sites in Silva we will have a migration plan so that we move sites according to their priority and the availability of content editors.  We are working on this plan now.

    What happens if our site doesn't migrate to Indigo?

    All sites will need to be moved to Indigo before they can be moved to Drupal.

    We haven't got the resources to migrate our site to Indigo. Could you help?

    The move to Indigo is done by Digital Presence but requires some work from Editors e.g. all images will need to be resized and content changed or moved around so it works better on mobile.

    The work involved varies depending on how much bespoke coding and functionality have been used in the site.

    Can I move a non-Silva site to Indigo?

    Yes. Indigo is a design pattern framework that can be used with non-Silva sites.

    However, Digital Presence is unable to provide support for this, as we will have our work cut out dealing with the 900 sites in Silva!

    Find out about Drupal, UCL's new CMS