Requesting your site

Step 1 - Organizing your sites

With your planning work done, you are now ready to have your site created. Before submitting your request, an important consideration will be how they are organized. In the uOttawa Drupal version, this is done using Drupal multi-sites. A multi-site installation allows you to divide your main site into multiple sub-sites. These sub-sites have a completely separate database, but share code with your top-level site. There are numerous reasons why you might divide your site into sub-sites:

  • You can have a different group of editors and contributors in each sub-site. Where content is going to be split between different groups, divide your site into sub-sites.
  • If parts of your site have different navigation, divide your site into sub-sites based on the navigation.
  • If you have a large amount of content (i.e.. more than 100 pages in one language), you should divide your site into different sub-sites for better performance.
  • If your organization has sub-units (such as departments), these can form logical places to divide your site into sub-sites.

That said, sub-sites require more work as they cannot reuse anything from their parent site or each other. They also require more database storage. Where sub-sites would share a great deal of content or would be very tiny, you should consider keeping them together. If you are not sure, please consult with the Web CMS team for a recommendation.

To start your site request, create a list of your sub-sites. You will need to follow the rest of this section once for each sub-site. Update your content inventory to indicate which sub-site each page belongs to if needed.

Case Study: Organizing your sites

Through this exercise, the Department of Game Development has discovered more content underneath PC Game Development that is managed only by their internal team. In order to allow them to manage the content directly, they separate the site into the main site and a sub-site for PC Game Development.

Since there are only two sites, the Web CMS team will choose to co-locate these two sites with the other four Engineering Department sites as sub-sites of the Engineering site, but this decision has little relevance to the Department’s process.

Step 2 - Collecting technical information about your site

You will need the following information for your top-level site and each sub-site.

You will need a primary contact for the site. This is normally the designated webmaster who will be the person that the Web CMS team will communicate with for matters such as planned outages and site-specific issues,. You will need to supply their name, email address and phone extension.

  • Will your site be bilingual or only on one language? 
  • What will the primary URLs of your site be in English and French?

○     The primary URL is the path to your home page (e.g. http://engineering.uottawa.ca/game-development/)

○     Your primary URL must be short and clearly communicate what the site is about.

○     It should be different in English and French

○     Words must be separated by hyphens

○     Omit small words such as articles, conjunctions as long as this does not alter the meaning of your URL

○     Accents should be replaced with the non-accented version of the character (for SEO reasons)

  • What is the name of the site, in English and French, as you want it to appear to the front-end user? 
Case Study: Collecting technical information

The Department of Game Development has amassed the following information for their site(s):

  • DEPARTMENT SITE:

○     The primary contact for the main site will be A. Smith, whose extension is x555 and can be reached at asmith@uottawa.ca.

○     The site will be bilingual.

○     The English URL will be http://engineering.uottawa.ca/game-development

○     The French URL will be http://genie.uottawa.ca/developpement-jeu

○     The English site name will be “Department of Game Development”

○     The French site name will be “Département de développement de jeu”

  • PC GAME DEVELOPMENT:

○     The primary contact for the main site will be M. Dubois, whose extension is x666 and can be reached at mdubois@uottawa.ca.

○     The site will be bilingual

○     The English URL will be http://engineering.uottawa.ca/game-development/pc

○     The French URL will be http://genie.uottawa.ca/developpement-jeu/pc

○     The English site name will be “PC Game Development”

○     The French site name will be “Développement de jeux PC”

Step 3 - Requesting your site

Once you have your information lined up for each site, open this URL in your browser: Request a Drupal website. You can use this form to request that your site be created. Start by creating a request for the top-level site, then create another request for each sub-site. Here is a short guide on each field: 

Name

Enter the name of your primary contact

Email

Enter the email address of your primary contact

Number

Enter the phone extension or number of your primary contact

Site Language

Select the language of your site

Language Detection Method

See below.

Site Name (English)

The English name of your site as you want it to appear to your visitors

Site Name (French)

The French name of your site as you want it to appear to your visitors

Site Theme

Leave this as “University of Ottawa - Default Theme”

Colour Scheme

If your organization has a specific colour scheme (usually only Faculties), please select it from this list.

Primary URL (English / Bilingual)

Enter the English or Bilingual primary URL for your site.

Primary URL (French)

Enter the French primary URL for your site (if not the same as the Bilingual one)

Extra URLs (English)

Usually you can ignore this, but if your site is designed to be access through other URLs, please enter the English ones here. Please consult with the Web CMS team if this is the case.

Extra URLs (French)

As above, but enter the French URLs.

Parent Site

If your site is a sub-site of another one, please select it from the list. We try to minimize the number of top-level sites, so if any of the options are logical, please select it.

Apps and Widgets

Based on your technical requirements document, select the features of the site that you will need.

For the Language Detection Method, consider your primary URLs. Each has two important components: it’s domain and its path. In http://engineering.uottawa.ca/mechanical, “engineering.uottawa.ca” is the domain and “mechanical” is the path; note that not every URL has a path. Follow these rules for selecting an option: 

  • If your site has different English and French domains, but the same path (or no path), select “The site has language-specific domains”
  • If your site has different English and French paths, but the same domain, select “The site has language-specific paths”
  • If your site has different English and French domains and paths, consider another factor. If the user visits the site using the English domain and the French path, which of the following scenarios would you want to apply?

○     To have them land on the English page, select “The site has both language-specific domains and paths, and I want to use the domains”.

○     To have them land on the French page, select “The site has both language-specific domains and paths, and I want to use the paths”.

  • If your site has the same English and French primary URLs, select “This site does not have language-specific domains or paths”.

Note that it is preferable to have language-specific domains and paths.

Step 4 - Processing your request

The Web CMS team will review your request within five (5) business days and either have your site created or reach out to your designated contact person in order to gather some extra information. Once created, you will be able to login to your site and start working on content! All new sites are created in our Authoring environment.

 

    Status: 
  • Accepted
    Topics: 
  • Getting Started
    Types: 
  • User Guide
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