How to tame your Content Management System

Sometimes, our Web Content Management System (CMS) can seem like a mysterious mythical creature. It can look a little complex when you’re less experienced in editing web content, but that’s why I’m here – my role as Publishing Support Officer is to help you navigate the features of the CMS and support you in producing some fantastic content!

We’ve been working hard over the last couple of months to set up some new ways to support Web CMS users. Here are some of our latest launches…

Web CMS newsletter

We’ve now distributed two editions of our Web CMS newsletter, keeping users informed about changes and projects that will affect them, as well as a reminder about useful resources that are available. We include a spotlight subject in each newsletter, to cover topics we should all keep in mind when creating content for the web. Our most recent spotlight was on accessibility and why it’s so important that our content is accessible to all. Future spotlights will include selecting and optimising imagery; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); and what makes a good output URI.

Web CMS users Slack channel

We launched the #web-cms-users Slack channel, with appropriate fanfare. This will act as another channel for users to seek support for using the CMS, but its purpose also goes beyond that. We want it to foster a sense of community among CMS users across the University, who up until now have been unknown to each other. Channel members are able to answer each other’s questions, and we hope that the visibility of this support will make it easier for those with a similar question to easily find the answer.

Users are automatically added to the newsletter mailing list and Slack channel by me once they’ve completed their initial CMS training.

Bi-weekly drop in sessions

For those who would like some focused face-to-face support, I’m now running bi-weekly CMS content drop-in sessions on a Wednesday afternoon. If you have a specific problem or question that you’d like to talk about, bring it along to a 15 minute slot and we can work through it to find a solution. You can sign up for a slot, or drop me an email at jennifer.jones@york.ac.uk if Wednesday afternoons don’t work for you.

Web CMS guide

We’re also making improvements to the Web CMS guide, which is always available as a reference point for users. I’m looking at plugging gaps in our documentation, and making sure our current guidance is as helpful and comprehensive as we can make it. 

I’ve got plenty more lined up in the coming months, including supporting the launch of the new schools and departments web content with training for both the CMS and content design more generally.

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