UM-Flint Web Transition FAQs

The university’s web transition is moving full speed ahead! With so much work going on at once, we know that things can get a little murky. Here, answers to some of the most frequent questions we receive. If you have a question of your own, please let us know!

What is migration and when is it happening?

The web migration to Drupal is underway. As of this date, a little over 10% of the entire university website has been migrated. The migration is basically a team of people in ITS moving all your current web content into the new Drupal CMS. During training, you will be able to arrange your content and edit as you see fit. They are not re-writing, deleting, or changing any of the words that are currently on your site.

When will my site be migrated?

The migration team in ITS will contact each department one week before scheduled migration. When your department has been migrated into Drupal, your ITS liaison will suggest which training date your web administrator(s) should attend. Departments will be given access to the new web content management system (CMS) as their content is migrated over, and training will take place throughout the summer in preparation for the October 1 “go-live” date.

One-hour Drupal training sessions will be held every other week, two sessions per week through the end of August. Dates have been scheduled through the end of August and are listed below. You cannot attend training until your site has been migrated since the training work will be done on your department’s website. ITS will contact the department to let them know when migration begins and when it is complete.

  • Wednesday, July 24, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m., WSW 3153
  • Thursday, July 25, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m., WSW 3153
  • Wednesday, August 7, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m., WSW 3153
  • Thursday, August 8, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., WSW 3153
  • Tuesday, August 20, 2:00 – 3:00 p.m., WSW 3153
  • Wednesday, August 21, 10:15 – 11:15 a.m., WSW 3153

What happens in training?

You will be working on your website in Drupal which means organizing and updating the content to prepare for the launch in October. This training is designed to introduce users to Drupal while developing a user community to rely upon as we move through the transition together. Staff from ITS and University Relations will attend each session to answer questions and work through issues.

Who should be trained?

It is your decision who should be trained. Please consider training the people who will determine the content for the website as well as the people who will update the site. In your department meetings, begin discussing the roles you will play in communicating on your website and how it will be maintained. We urge you to select the person or people from your department who will be working with Drupal now, so they are ready to be trained. There is no limit to the number of people who can be sent for training. Remember, with Drupal there are no license fees which means we can have an unlimited number of users.

This is stressing me out. I have so much work to do this time of year, I really don’t have time for this.

We hear you and we sympathize. There is never a good time for a web transition. However, the contract with the current CMS expires in October, and the transition must take place now. There is no need to stress. We are here to help you make this as painless as possible. Please contact University Relations and we can meet with you to work out a plan for your transition.

I am not a technical person, so does this web transition concern me?

This is not about being technical. The good people of ITS have the technical part and it is being handled. This is about your content. You are a content expert for your area, and your new website will be an easier tool to use to communicate the most important aspects of your department. The transition is about content, not learning how to code. In fact I promise…no coding!

I keep hearing about “content strategy.” What does that mean?

When we talk about “content strategy,” it boils down to being thoughtful and strategic about content—on the web or anywhere else. It’s never too early to think strategically about how you communicate on the web. You can begin to develop your own on a content strategy by considering these questions:

1. Who is your primary audience?

2. What do you want them to accomplish?

3. How can you help them get there?

These answers can help guide you as you think about what to communicate and how. Your website doesn’t need to reflect the whole university only your area and the most essential information.

After October 1 when the new website goes live, University Relations will be working with departments on campus to develop specific content strategies that address individual plans and goals. In the meantime, we are happy to help you evaluate and improve your current website content.

What happens to changes I make to my website between now and training?

Unless absolutely necessary, we are encouraging people to hold off on any changes to their website until the site is migrated. Of course, some timely information must be changed. Just make a note of any changes so you don’t forget, and be sure to make those updates to your Drupal site before it goes live.

Once my site is migrated, do I have to maintain two websites until October 1?

Not necessarily. Again, timely information would need to be updated on the old site since that will be the public site until October 1. If your content can sit until October 1, then you only need to make changes in Drupal.

What do I do if I have questions?

If you have questions in the meantime, please contact Alaina Wiens in University Relations at [email protected].