Web Content Management at MSU Denver
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Web Content Management:
The MSU Denver Web Content Management System (WCMS) Project was an effort to better support and improve MSU Denver’s Web presence. Co-sponsored by Strategy, Marketing and Communications and Information Technology Services, the project team implemented a Web content management solution in September, 2011 to support the creation, management, delivery and sharing of Web content across the University while promoting quality, consistency, accessibility, and security.
By September 2012 all University department, program and center websites were migrated to the TerminalFour Site Manager WCMS.
TerminalFour Site Manager, now at version 8, remains the enterprise web content management solution for MSU Denver.
The Web Content Management System Project is a Right Sizing with Technology Project sponsored by Marketing and Communications in partnership with Information Technology.
Web content management involves all aspects of the creation, publishing, sharing and storage of information that eventually appears in a MSU Denver website.
A WCMS is software that stores and organizes content and information about how it can be used and presented. A WCMS integrates and centralizes tools and mechanisms for accessing, editing and publishing information to the Web.
WCMS applications are based upon databases that offer flexibility in the ways that content can be accessed and published. Generally, users of the system create, access, and publish content from a centralized Web-based interface that provides all of the tools necessary to manage the information and structure associated with a Web site.
The WCMS will make it much easier for non-experts to develop and maintain Web sites that meet campus guidelines for branding and accessibility, and will streamline the publication workflow for experts and non-experts alike.
Responsibility for Web site maintenance falls to many people in different locations and with varying skills. The WCMS will greatly reduce the number of technical staff and other resources required to maintain a site, and will empower staff who already author and manage content to do so directly without extensive specialized technical training.
A WCMS separates the Web creation and update processes from the design and technology needed to maintain a site. By making content management less dependent upon technical coding skills and local IT resources, the publication process is streamlined and the maintenance workload greatly reduced.
Additional benefits include:
• Speed and ease of content updates
• Content stays timely
• Permission-based publishing (improved security)
• Compliance with federal laws concerning access to information for people with disabilities
• Automatic link maintenance
• Design and branding consistency
• Version control
Most WCMS software is significantly easier to master than Web authoring tools such as BBEdit or DreamWeaver. Most WCMS applications allow content editors and authors to make changes to site content from within their Web browser, using tools that are very similar to common modern word processing applications. In fact, almost every feature of a WCMS is devoted to simplifying and streamlining the processes associated with site creation and management.
In the context of WCMS, workflow management refers to built-in mechanisms that support logical and efficient content creation and publishing processes. Most WCMS allow the creation of different user "types" with distinct functional permissions. These user types may dictate who is able to author, edit, review and eventually publish and/or delete content from a live Web site. WCMS workflow features standardize and often automate steps in these processes, such as by notifying editors when new content needs to be reviewed or by notifying publishers when content has been approved for distribution.
No. The MSU Denver student activities office manages websites for official MSU Denver student organizations. Please contact the student activities office for more information.