Platform

Appalachian State University Web Services hosts, maintains, and supports college, departmental, programmatic, and administrative websites on the Drupal content management system (CMS). Using a CMS makes it easier for units to develop and sustain high quality websites that consistently represent Appalachian well.

Content Management System (CMS)

Web content management system (CMS) software manages and controls a large, dynamic collection of web material (HTML documents and their associated images). The CMS provides authoring (and other) tools designed to allow users with little or no knowledge of programming or markup languages to create and manage content relatively easily.

Unlike Microsoft FrontPage or Adobe Dreamweaver, a CMS allows non-technical users to make changes to an existing website with little training. Once experienced coders set up a CMS and add features, non-technical users will find that they now have an effective and friendly website maintenance tool.

Benefits

Update your website easily with less frustration.

Drupal is easy to use - experience with web development, programming, Dreamweaver, or HTML is not needed.

Enlist help in managing your website with a team of contributors.

The ability to have multiple site admins on a single site allows you to share the management of the website with colleagues. 

Helps to ensure that your website meets the standards required by the American Disabilities Act.

Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) require universities to create websites that are accessible to persons who utilize screen readers, cannot hear audio content, or have other disabilities or impairments that limit their access to the information on your website. While Drupal offers key accessibility features and the capacity to create standards-compliant pages, web page authors could still unknowingly insert content that is not compliant. However, with training, this can be reduced or avoided.

Save time in designing a website or updating your design to stay current with the university theme.

Through the use of an Appalachian theme in Drupal, all the design work is done for you, leaving you free to concentrate on creating quality content to serve your audiences. 

Manage the site from any computer; you and your team need only an internet connection.

There is no need to have dedicated office computers or downloaded, licensed software.

Easily incorporate the features you want: Forms, blogs, event calendars, photo galleries, and more.

Web development skills or programming time are not needed.

Get the support and training you need.

Beginning fall 2009, workshops, user manuals and how-to documentation, user listservs and groups, and email/phone support from the CMS team have been available. Visit support for more details.

Content is stored in a database.

Central storage means that content can be reused in many places on the website and formatted for any device (web browser, mobile phone/WAP, PDA, print).

Manage content more easily.

Content publication can often be hidden for later use or require a user to login with a password.