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CMS Access and Best Practices

Per University policy, unless a specific exception is granted by the vice president for the Division of Marketing and Communications, all development of SLU.edu must occur within Saint Louis University's content management system (CMS), Omni CMS

Accessing the University Content Management System (CMS)

Editing slu.edu is a serious responsibility, as its content represents Saint Louis University in an official capacity.  Users are responsible for contributing high-quality written and visual material that aligns with the content strategy for slu.edu.

  • CMS users must be full-time employees of Saint Louis University, undergo training in the system and agree to terms and conditions of use.  Students, including graduate students and student interns, may not have access to the CMS.
  • CMS users for sections of slu.edu should be appointed by the dean, vice president or other leadership for the area of web content being edited. Employees chosen to edit the website should have excellent writing and editing skills but advanced technical skills are not required.
  • Most users will be placed into a workflow for edited content to be reviewed by a marketing professional within their college/school/division or by Marcom employees.
  • Users may edit text, images and other assets on the site but do not access source code and need to use existing stylesheets and templates. Coding is not permitted. 

 In becoming a CMS user, you partner with the Division of Marketing and Communications. After completing the training course and passing a quiz, users must also fill out an agreement to use slu.edu appropriately. 

Learn More About the University's Web Content Management Policy

Tips for Creating Digital Content

When creating content for SLU.edu, your first priority should be the user. Most often, that is a prospective student, families and alumni.

Your site should be intuitive and easy to use, so people can quickly find what they need, even if they are unfamiliar with the University and its departmental structure.

Content
  • Saint Louis University uses the Associated Press Stylebook (AP Style)  and the Saint Louis University Writing Style Guide to ensure consistency of written content for all University publications, digital or print. If you are not familiar with AP Style, we recommend consulted a printed version or accessing www.apstylebook.com with questions.
  • Content for the website should be developed outside the CMS, using collaborative tools such as Google Docs/Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. The CMS is not a place for test content, drafts or placeholder pages. 
  • Always spell check content in all fields - body copy, headlines and titles. If possible, have someone else proofread your work. Run the spell check function in the CMS again before submitting a page to be publish and ensure there are no broken links on the page. 
  • Every word matters. Most content is found via search engines. The words you use let search engines gauge how relevant SLU.edu is to their search. Once a person is on your page, they generally will only read a small portion. Use headlines, subheads, bullets, bolding and other formatting to help make your key points.
  • You should have a strategic goal for each page you create or maintain on the site. Common goals are enrollment and support.
  • Do not use "Last Updated" or "Under Construction" lines. Update your content as often as it requires and do not launch new content before it is ready.
  • General information about the University, such as the campus map and the mission statement, has already been developed. Rather than recreating or cutting and pasting the information into your web page, please simply link to the top-level content.
  • As with any content provided on behalf of the University, all SLU websites must comply with the following University and federal policies.

Organization and Navigation
  • Put yourself in a user's mindset. How would the material make the most sense? What structure would allow you to find what you're looking for quickly?
  • Before you develop or change your content, organize the information visually by outlining it on paper or using a flowchart program. Is the information available elsewhere on SLU.edu? What are the key tasks you want the user to accomplish? Finally, think about the key words a person would use to find that page.
Graphics and Photos
  • Photos, videos and graphics are communication tools, not merely decoration for the page. They should convey information and provide visual interest by breaking up text.
  • Images should not contain text or other design elements or otherwise be manipulated graphically. 
  • Images on slu.edu must comply to pre-determined sizes. In most cases, on Universal pages, these include:
    • 960x640 px
    • 720x480 px
    • 480x720 px
    • 480x320 px
  • Please resize large images and files for use on the web. The size of a graphic refers to the amount of memory it requires. A graphic's size is determined not only by height and width but also by how color information is encoded, which is determined by the file format, which most often should be JPG.
  • You must complete the  "Title" and "Alt Text" to give the graphic a brief description for screen readers/accessibility purposes, as well as search engine optimization.  
Links
  • If you link to an external page, form, PDF or other document from SLU.edu, ensure it opens in a new browser window. Links to PDFs or forms should also open in a new window. Pages that end in slu.edu should open in the same window.
  • Include a link to SLU.edu in every email you send and, if possible, on social media posts.