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UNI Webtools: Resources for Web Developers

Drupal

Drupal is the open source content management system chosen for university-wide use. Any UNI department or program may move their site to Drupal, but you are not required to. Some of the advantages of Drupal are:

  1. User friendly interface:  While the developer side of Drupal requires a fair amount of web and programming skill to build the initial site, the interface for updating sites once they are created is user friendly and easy to learn.

  2. Lots of functionality is available to you at little cost. There are hundreds of free modules available that plug into Drupal adding complex programming features with very little effort, meaning that the cost of adding certain features to your site drops significantly. Some of the modules available include:

    • Site search
    • Calendar
    • Polls
    • Password secured content
    • Blogs
    • Discussion forums
    • Photo galleries
  3. Fresh Content: The most obvious reason is that your website will be easier to keep up to date. It just takes a minute to add new content, if it's easy you're more likely to do it and your website benefits by staying fresh. No html skills are required to update your site.

  4. Dynamic content: Content used in one web site in Drupal can easily be used in another area of the site as well. If, for instance, the catalog is in Drupal, not only can that content reside in the main catalog web site, but the course information for the English Department could also appear on the English Department web site. If that course information needs updating, it's updated in one location and the updated information appears wherever it's on the site.

  5.  Developer and User Support: There are support groups for both users and developers, with regular meetings and listservs. If you need help with your site, there are many others on campus who can provide information and support.

Getting your Drupal account

To sign up for a Drupal account, complete the ITS web account form. An account will be set up on the Drupal development (dev) server, where you can develop the look and function of your site. Once it's ready to go live, your account will be transferred to the production server and your previous production server account (if there was one) is archived.