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Setting up a Departmental Website

  1. How are departmental websites maintained?
  2. Do we need to buy new software?
  3. What does the Web Content Management System (CMS) offer?
  4. What provision is being made for training, support and advice?
  5. Which system is to be used for web management?
  6. What should I do and how long will it take to create a departmental website on the Web CMS?
  7. Is the use of templates compulsory?
  8. Can I decide on the website address for my departmental homepage?



1. How are departmental websites maintained?

The departmental websites are maintained through a centrally supported software - a Web Content Management System (CMS). Departmental heads nominate staff to enter and maintain data on the Web CMS. The department does not incur any financial costs.


2. Do we need to buy new software?

No. There is no need to buy software. The departmental websites are maintained through a centrally supported software - a Web Content Management System (CMS) which is hosted on the University webservers. So all you need to update your web pages is access to the Internet and a web browser.


3. What does the Web Content Management System (CMS) offer?

The Web CMS is a program which supports the creation, management and publication of information online. The Web CMS maintains the structure of the site, the appearance of published pages, and the navigation provided to visitors. This makes web publishing easier especially for non-technical authors.

The Web CMS features templates that:

  • are accessible (compliant with W3C standards)
  • enable web authors to concentrate on writing content as opposed to dealing with underlying technical matters
  • are compatible with the University's visual identity guidelines.

4. What provision is being made for training, support and advice?

IT Services offers training and ongoing support on how to use the Web CMS. All staff who will be editing web pages are strongly encouraged to attend a Web CMS training session. Support on the Web CMS is provided by email and telephone (ext. 4113).


5. Which system is to be used for web management?

All departments are expected to use the Web CMS given its ease of use and the versatility it affords to update the design elements of web pages centrally.


6. What should I do and how long will it take to create a website on the Web CMS?

The process for creating a website on the Web CMS follows in the underlying steps. Some of the timings are dependent on IT Services and some of the timings will be dependent on the resources available in your department and the size of the website to be created.

  • Planning meeting - The Web Editorial Board will organise a meeting with the staff member nominated by the Dean/Director/Head to coordinate the management of the departmental website. During this meeting plans are made to initiate the process of creation of the departmental website on the Web CMS. Requests for such meetings should be sent here.
  • Creation of site structure on the Web CMS by IT Services - The timing for the creation of the site structure is very much dependent on the workload of IT Services, however, currently this is created within a one week time-frame.
  • Web CMS Training - IT Services attempts to book staff on training at the same time as the website structure is being set up. Obviously this is dependent on staff availability on the training dates.
  • Creating content on the Web CMS - This will be done by the departmental staff following training at IT Services.
  • Launching the website - When a new site has been developed and has completed quality assurance within the department, the Dean/Director/Head should request a quality assurance review of the site from the Web Editorial Board before it goes live. Following approval the website is made live.

7. Is use of templates compulsory?

The Web Editorial Board appreciates that some departments have staff with adequate skills to set up an aesthetically pleasing web design. However, it has been decided that implementing a unique design template for all departments would represent the University's identity, clearly, consistently and with distinction. A consistent user interface improves navigation making it easier for users to access online information on the University website.

In order to achieve these benefits, the templates need to be widely and consistently implemented. Departmental websites are therefore required to adhere to the design adopted by the University. The templates have been designed in such way that will allow flexibility for each department to customise its content. The templates do not apply to individual staff web pages. However, a template is available to help staff quickly set up their own individual website.


8. Can I decide on the website address for my departmental homepage?

The Web Advisory Committee has approved policies for departmental URLs and departmental email addresses in January 2008. These policies aim at bringing greater consistency and usability to the addresses of University websites and departmental email addresses.

The Marketing, Communications & Alumni Office coordinates the allocation of the new departmental URLs with deans and directors of faculties, institutes, centres, school & support departments. It is highly recommended that departments liaise with the Marketing, Communications & Alumni Office before preparing printed marketing material, business cards etc.

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Last Updated: 17 October 2016

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