The UTMB Web Blog Tips, tech and news for the UTMB web community


  • Save the Date: Introduction to the Sitefinity CMS planned for Aug. 4

    July 27, 2015, 16:27 PM by Pep Valdes
    On Tuesday, August 4 at 1 p.m., members of the Internet Technology Committee will be presenting an introduction to UTMB’s new web content management system, Sitefinity. The session will offer an overview and demo of the tool and target anyone involved in web site creation or web management at UTMB. Details are coming soon…
  • Update on the Sitefinity CMS

    June 18, 2015, 16:21 PM by Pep Valdes

    It’s been a busy few weeks since we introduced the Web Reboot last May. In this post, I wanted to provide an update on where we are with one of the key tools of the project, the Sitefinity content management system.

     We’ve been working to build (and then optimize) the multiple installs/instances that will serve www, intranet, academic and .com. That work is finished, and we hit a major milestone last week when we started (on a limited basis) building actual pages.

    We selected a few developers to help us kick the tires and do some initial development. Part of the goal is to stress test the tool, but we also want to help inform the development of the training. So far it’s been going well. One of the sites being built is a user reference for Sitefinty users and developers, and that will likely be one of the first items we share with you.

    We will be working to push our first Sitefinity pages live in July; we are looking at dates in August for some classroom training sessions (on top of a decent amount of online content that exists or is being developed).

    The sandbox/playground we’ve set up for the Web Reboot introduction is still available for you. We are using it as the starting place for people interested in the tool, to give them a chance to get a feel for how it works.  

    To get the credentials to access the Sitefinity playground,  contact us at itc@utmb.edu.

    There is a good library of Sitefinity-related material online; not all of it applies to every user or to our implementation, but it’s a good way to scan what some of the capabilities are:

    More coming soon…

  • UTMB web outage scheduled for Sitefinity CMS software upgrade: What it means

    June 9, 2015, 09:45 AM by Pep Valdes

    Hopefully many of you have seen the alert that’s posted for this evening:

    UTMB www.utmb.edu and intranet.utmb.edu home pages and other select sites hosted in the UTMB Sitefinity Web CMS will be unavailable on Thursday, June 9, 2016 starting at 10:30 p.m. for scheduled Siteifnity CMS software version upgrade.If you have any questions please contact Mike Cooper, Marketing and Communications at mgcooper@utmb.edu.

    Upgrades are nothing new, we’ve actually rolled out about five since we launched the tool. However, we’re actually pretty excited to be rolling this upgrade out, as it brings some nice performance enhancements and adds some features that many have been waiting on. The Sitefinity event calendar widget is part of this upgrade, and we’ll be developing templates/styles, training and communication around these new features in the coming days and weeks.

    If you are currently using Sitefinity, there is one thing you need to know: it’s going to look a little different the next time you log into your dashboard. We’re a house divided in our shop on whether the new look is better (OK, maybe I’m the only one that preferred the old look). It does look cleaner and fortunately the functionality is all still there and in the same place, so I don’t think anyone will struggle much once they get adjusted. Not even me. Here’s a screen shot of the old vs. the new:

    Old Sitefinity administration area screens

    New Sitefinity administration area screens

  • A look back and a look ahead

    January 27, 2015, 16:13 PM by Pep Valdes
    There’s some rumbling underfoot in the UTMB Web World, and it’s not the “Big Dig” that has streets torn up around campus for the work on utilities and infrastructure. We (Internet Technology Committee) have been working quietly but steadily in the background, assessing tools, acquiring new capabilities, building the digital web equivalent of the robust infrastructure that the construction teams are burying under campus. Many of you have seen or heard about bits and pieces of it: mobile templates, inventory tool, site checking capabilities, image library, a new CMS. Now it’s almost time to reveal the entire package. While we can’t squeeze it all in a single post, we can share an infographic that summarizes 2014 and lays the groundwork for 2015 and beyond.

    Infographic of ITC Web Update and Goals
  • Sitefinity web content management system sessions scheduled for Jan. 29, Feb. 11

    January 15, 2015, 17:27 PM by Pep Valdes

    In the coming weeks, members of the Internet Technology Committee will be presenting additional information about UTMB’s new web content management system, Sitefinity. Two types of sessions are planned: a high-level introduction for people new to the system, and two ninety-minute, hands-on workshops for those who have had some initial experience with the tool or attended one of the 2015 sessions.

    Here are dates and details:

    1) Introduction to the Sitefinity CMS

    This one-hour session will provide a general project update and overview, define roles and types of users, show the CMS dashboard and primary tools, and describe the templates, navigation and types of pages and content. It will also outline how to request a new site and direct attendees to additional online information and resources.

    Friday, Jan. 29, 2016
    10-11 a.m.
    Levin Hall South Auditorium 2.222

    The introduction session is open to anyone and there are no prerequisites or RSVPs required.

     2) Working w/ Sitefinity (Intermediate Training)

    Two 90-minute, hands-on training opportunities with be offered in a small classroom setting with access to PCs. Users with some prior exposure to Sitefinity will have an opportunity to be guided through the use of the tool. Reservations are required and there are prerequisites for attendance: Users should have either attended the introduction or a former Sitefinity demo or already been working in earlier test versions of the tool, and should have reviewed the training materials and instructional videosthat are already online.

    Initially, two sessions of approximately 15 people each will be hosted.

    Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016
    10:30 a.m. – Noon
    NEW LOCATION: SON/SHP Building, LRC Room 1.808

    and

    Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016
    1 – 2:30 p.m.
    NEW LOCATION: SON/SHP Building, LRC Room 1.8088

    To reserve your spot in either of the intermediate sessions, send a message with your preferred time (morning or afternoon) to itc@utmb.edu. You will be sent a meeting confirmation.

    The content management system is part of a larger new web suite of tool and updates that were introduced in May 2015. Called the “Web Reboot,” the project also includes mobile site templates, link and spelling validation, a digital image library, new guidelines and page requirements, social media changes, and training and tutorials to support the web development community and those they serve.

    To learn more about Sitefinity and the Web Reboot, visit http://intranet.utmb.edu/web/welcome, or explore this blog.

  • We’re ready to run a report for you

    February 6, 2014, 15:37 PM by Pep Valdes

    Last November we started testing and piloting a new quality tool that scans UTMB’s public facing sites looking for broken links, misspelled words and accessibility issues. It also has a nifty inventory feature that lists the number and types of pages, types of files, problematic content. During testing, we used the tool aggressively on UTMBHealth.com (our patient portal); more recently we’ve begun targeting our edu sites. Developers in our schools were also among our initial group of testers, and some other high profiles sites such as IHOPwere in the first round.

    The consensus: we like the tool, it’s proven useful. We still have a lot of work to do to address all the issues. But as we do, we’re also ready to help you with your sites by running some reports for the resources you manage. If you have a public facing site (not on our intranet and not a blog or business app on a dedicated server like MyChart), we can auto-generate a weekly report for you of potential problems. If that’s not enough, we can get you access to an online dashboard.

    Speaking from personal experience, it’s very gratifying to watch the reported errors drop. One little glitch in your navigation or a relocated/missing document in a shared footer can generate a lot of errors.

    To request this service, contact Melissa Harman or Pep Valdes with your directories or sites to be scanned.

    A recent screen capture of a UTMBHealth.com report

  • UTMB Modern Responsive Web Templates

    New responsive web templates now available

    November 1, 2013, 15:27 PM by Pep Valdes

    New institutional web templates have now been released. The templates are responsive; they are designed to work well across a wide array of devices, and take a “mobile first” approach to content delivery. While the new templates look similar to current designs (evolution vs. revolution), they function in a totally different way. We encourage you to visit the templates site and explore what’s available. (For best experience, visit with FireFox or similar modern browser. Templates are designed to degrade gracefully for older versions of IE. )

    View templates and info: http://sandbox.utmb.edu/web/templates/
    Project contacts: Mike Cooper mgcooper@utmb.edu, Toby Smith tlsmith@UTMB.EDU

  • Site Check: testing for quality, broken links, spelling

    November 1, 2013, 15:20 PM by Pep Valdes

    We have been testing a new quality tool that scans UTMB’s public facing sites looking for broken links, misspelled words and accessibility issues. We’ve found it to be very useful during our pilot on utmbhealth.com. For those being scanned in the public utmb.edu domain, we can auto-generate a weekly report for you of potential problems. To request this service, contact us with your directories or sites to be scanned.

    Overview: http://siteimprove.com/
    Project  contacts:  Melissa Harman msharman@utmb.edu, Pep Valdes pvaldes@utmb.edu

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