Addendum E – Web Software Development Tools
Web Software Development Tools for Creation and Maintenance of Official Unit Websites that Reside on the Primary UIS Web Servers
- The UIS Website Project
- Legacy Websites
- About Website Content
- About Web Editing Software
- Graphics and Media Tools
- Databases and Other Tools
- Best Practices
The UIS Website Project
In March 2013, UIS began the migration of all official unit websites from Adobe Contribute to WordPress Content Management System [CMS]. Responsive Web Design was implemented on all official unit websites that were updated to the new theme. A new UIS homepage was launched in August 2013. Read more about The UIS Website Project.
In January 2006, UIS began implementation of a new system for official unit websites using the Adobe (formerly Macromedia) Web Publishing System with Contribute Web editing software. The Office of Web Services systematically redeveloped all official unit websites, using official templates that were technically correct and that met state standards for Web accessibility. The construction of the templates and site navigation was based on extensive research with particular attention paid to meeting the university’s need to attract prospective students and to limit the amount of technical support our websites require.
- Personnel who are assigned to be Editors and Authors for official unit websites must attend WordPress CMS training before they will be given access to edit the site.
- Effective March 2013, every official unit website was required to use WordPress CMS to edit websites.
- Effective January 2006, every official unit website was required to use Contribute Web editing software and was connected to the Adobe Web Publishing System.
Some official unit websites have not yet been redeveloped and are not yet part of the new system.
- Editors of those sites may continue to edit their sites as they have done in the past until their new site is developed.
- Limited technical support will be available.
- Department Web personnel can greatly speed the process of site redevelopment by following the Academic Program and Department Guidelines for The UIS Website Project – available on the Office of Web Services website.
About Website Content
Our redevelopment project addresses the technical construction of websites and the software used to maintain them.
- The Office of Web Services does not create content for official unit websites. Content creation is the responsibility of the individual unit.
- Accuracy of website content is the responsibility of the Editor and the Web Liaison of the website.
About Web Editing Software
As of march 2013, UIS began using WordPress CMS to manage official unit websites.
UIS has ceased the support of Front Page software. If you are using Front Page or Contribute, we strongly advise that you move to WordPress.
What are your options?
- Move quickly to prepare your website materials. Then, the Office of Web Services will redevelop your website. After you have been trained in WordPress CMS, you will use WordPress to maintain the site.
- Free WordPress workshops are available from Web Services.
The above are your only two options.
- Effective December 31, 2014, UIS will cease to provide technical support for Contribute software.
- UIS will only support WordPress CMS.
- If you use other software, you will not be able to receive technical support from UIS.
For more information about Technical Support, contact the ITS department.
Graphics and Media Tools
We strongly advise the use of Adobe Photoshop for creation and editing of graphics for your website.
This software is available in all campus computer labs. Free training and technical support is available from the ITS department.
The ITS department continually tests software and production methods and makes recommendations for the software and methods that will be supported on the UIS campus. Contact the ITS department for more information.
- If you choose to use software and methods not supported by the UIS ITS department, you will not be able to receive technical support for your projects.
Databases and Other Web Development Tools
The following addresses some basic mandates related to construction and maintenance of official UIS unit websites.
Feedback and Other Forms
- UIS no longer supports the use of Formmail software for forms on UIS websites.
- Any UIS website that requires the use of a form, must use the WebTools Toolbox provided by the UIUC campus.
- These tools are easy to learn and use. Free Toolbox workshops are held on this campus.
When databases are used in conjunction with websites on UIS servers, the following policies apply:
- Microsoft Access or a comparable database program may be used for content that allows read-only access.
- Microsoft Access or a comparable database program may be used for content that allows write access to the database, only if the users are in the UIS domain.
- UIS website developers may not construct databases that allow anonymous users to write to a Microsoft Access database, (i.e., when a WWW user from outside the UIS domain is completing a form that will send results to a database).
- If you contact the Technical Support Center to set up a database connection for a website, you will be required to provide specific documentation about your database. If you do not, you will not be able to receive technical support for your website.
- This policy is necessary to preserve maximum security for UIS Web servers.
For more information about databases connected to websites, contact the Technical Support Center.
At this point in the development of the Internet, there are many conventions and standards that have been agreed upon by professional Internet-related organizations and Web developers. If you are not a professional Web developer, you may not be aware of these conventions. It will be helpful for you to read and follow the guidelines prepared by the UIS Office of Web Services.
Please download and read the Best Practices document from the Office of Web Services website.