Content Management System

CMS Best Practices

Getting the Most out of the UCR Content Management System

UCR's CMS is a robust system that gives users a great deal of flexibility when creating or editing websites. C&C has created this best practices page in order to ensure CMS users are getting the best possible experience.

1. Navigating to editable pages

C&C recommends that you navigate to the pages that need editing by using the site itself and logging into the system through the "last modified" link, as this is the easiest way to get to the specific content that needs to be updated. This is especially helpful in cases where sites are divided into many folders, or where file names are not chosen carefully.

2. Make file names easy to type and remember

When creating new pages, we recommend that short but easy-to-remember file names be used. File names should also be entered all in lower case, and should not contain any spaces or special characters. For example, a page with the title "Best Practices" might be named "best_practices" at the page creation screen. Please note the use of an underscore in place of a space.

Having clean and simple file names serves two purposes. For content editors, it makes finding and linking pages much simpler. For site visitors, it makes website URL's cleaner and more understandable

3. Re-size images before inserting them on your web page

Images are a great way to enhance your web pages , however, we recommend you re-size your images to the proper width and height for web pages before uploading them. Photos should never exceed the width of the content area, which is currently 484 pixels, and in most cases should probably be even narrower than this.

iPhoto and Windows Photo are basic image editing tools that come with Mac OS X and WIndows Vista and are great for resizing images. If you don't have access to either of these, Picasa is a free photo editor by Google. If you're an advanced user, Photoshop Expess is an online version of the popular professional photo editor Adobe Photoshop, and allows you to edit photos without installing any software. Note that Computing & Communications does not support these options.

4. Don't place off-site links in your left hand navigation

Often times you may want to link your audience to a non-UCR or even a different UCR site. For this reason, a "Related Links" section has been placed at the bottom of each page where such links can go.

Hyperlinking inside the content area is also a preferred method of linking to other sites.

5. Use descriptive links

"Web cliches" such as using "click here" as link text should be avoided. According to W3C's QA Tips, a link:

  • provides some information when read out of context
  • explains what the link offers
  • doesn't talk about mechanics
  • is not a verb phrase

(from http://www.w3.org/QA/Tips/noClickHere).

6. Avoid writing in all capital letters ("All Caps") on webpages

Writing in all caps is generally considered a web faux pas, and sometimes even rude on the internet as it implies shouting. If you would like to emphasize a point or short block of text on your webpages, using bold or italic text is the preferred way. Follow the capitalization guidelines in the Web Content Online Style Guide.

7. Use headings

Heading styles help break up the text of a page into smaller, easier-to-read blocks, and also help assistive devices such as screen readers present the page accurately and correctly to disabled users. Headings can also improve your page's visibility to search engines, which often use page headings to determine what a page is about. Note however that Heading 1 and Heading 2 are reserved; use only Heading 3 - Heading 6.

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Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Content Management System Support
Computing & Communications Building

Tel: (951) 827-4741
E-mail: bearhelp@ucr.edu