Frequently Asked Questions

General

I don't have a CUIMC Distribution site yet, but I am interested in learning more. What are the next steps?

You are welcome to stop by for our Open Office Hours or contact us.

I heard that my website needs to be accessible to conform with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, what do I need to do?

Accessibility is built into the CUIMC Distribution! This means that most of "heavy lifting" has been taken care of in regards to the overall accessibility of any standard CUIMC Distribution website.

However, as content creators on your site, there are additional actions you can take to ensure that your content is accessible as possible to people with disabilities. See the guidelines for Accessibility to learn more.

Support

Who should I contact if I have questions?

The Web Services team (the developers and maintainers of the CUIMC Distribution) is available to provide support for all CUIMC Distribution sites. You can check the User Guides to see if instructions are available. Otherwise, please create a Jira ticket, or contact us.

My website is down, what do I do?

First, outages are something we work hard to avoid but can happen. We apologize for the inconvenience. Regardless, we are most likely already aware of the issue and are working on a resolution thanks to system monitoring mechanisms put in place by our team. If this is a major outage impacting any of our sites, we will post it on our announcements page. For all other inquiries, please create a Jira ticket, or contact us.

Who do I contact to make updates to my website?

Website update requests should go to a primary or secondary Web Liaison. If you are unsure who that is, please contact your Department Administrator. If you need to contact Web Services directly, please use our contact form.

How long does it take for my request to be resolved?

Once your request is submitted either through Jira, or our contact form; it should be reviewed and assigned within 24hrs. Once assigned, it can take several days depending on some factors:

  1. The difficulty and complexity of the issue
  2. The number of requests we have already in the backlog
  3. The amount of staff we have available for support

Typically resolution times are as follows for the two rates we offer:

  • Standard Requests: 2-5 business days
  • Expedited Requests: ASAP 

For more information on our support rates, please review our support pricing page

How do create or update a CUPS Profile?

To create or update a CUPS profile, please refer to our CUPS user guide.

Who do I contact for email, computer or network access problems?

If you are looking for help with your CUIMC email, computer, or network access, please visit the CUIMC IT Department for assistance.

How do I contact Web Services directly?

If you need to contact Web Services directly, please use our contact form.

Training and Access

What do I need to get access to a site managed by CUIMC Web Services?

To get access to a site that has already launched, you'll need the following:

  1. A Columbia UNI. If you don't have one, contact your Primary Web Liaison about getting one.
  2. Complete the required trainings. See the questions below for a list of the required trainings
  3. Approval from your Primary Web Liaison. Once you have completed the required training, contact the Primary Web Liaison for the site you would like access to and inform them you have completed the required training. Once approved by the Primary Web Liaison, they will need to create a support request with CUIMC Web Services using JIRA, granting the associated user access, including what their project role will be for the site.

If you are unsure who your Primary Web Liaison is, please contact us.

What are the required trainings for Distribution sites?

All users will need to take the following trainings to gain access to any Distribution site.

  1. Web Content Strategy Training
  2. Basic Distribution Training
  3. Advanced Distribution Training: News & Events (Optional, but recommended for users dealing with news or events)

You can view upcoming trainings and register on our Training Schedule page.

What are the required trainings for Platform or Legacy sites?

All users will need to take the following trainings to gain access to any Platform or legacy site.

  1. Web Content Strategy Training
    1. You can view upcoming trainings and register on our Training Schedule page.
  2. Platform Training or Site Specific Training (Case-by-case basis)
    1. Platform site trainings are only scheduled based on demand. If you need to attend one, have your Primary Web Liaison put in a request to Web Services. 
    2. Legacy site trainings are not typically scheduled. If you need to attend one, have your Primary Web Liaison put in a request to Web Services. 

If you don't know whether or not your site is a Platform or legacy site, or who your Primary Web Liaison is, please contact us.

 

How much do trainings cost?

Regularly scheduled trainings are included in annual costs and there is no limit to how many people attend or how many times they attend. 

Any training scheduled outside our regular monthly trainings specifically for a particular group or site will be charged at the standard or expedited hourly support rate that it qualifies for. For more information on our support rates, please view our support pricing page.

When should I take the required trainings?

New Sites

If you are working with Web Services to launch a new Distribution site, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Keep in mind, typically, trainings are scheduled to occur once a month, so please plan accordingly. 
  • Take the Web Content Strategy Training ASAP.  We recommend having this completed before you start working on your content with a content manager. At the end of this training, you will also get training on GatherContent
  • Take the Basic Distribution Training right before your soft Launch. We recommend having this completed right before your soft launch so that the information is still fresh in your mind.
  • Once trainings are complete, and our digital project manager approves access, you will be given credentials to the site.

Existing Sites

If you need access to a Distribution site that has already launched, you should follow these guidelines:

  • We recommend taking both trainings as close together as possible in order to keep the information fresh and reduce the time to access.

When are trainings scheduled?

Typically we have 1 of each training scheduled every month depending on demand and availability of our team. Please check out our training schedule page for exact date, times and information.

If there is a training you are interested in, and it is not listed on our schedule, please contact us.

Who are the trainings intended for?

With the exception of the Advanced Distribution Training, our trainings are intended for users of all levels.

We recommend that anyone working on web content attend the Web Content Strategy Training. Anyone who requires access to edit any portion of a site, must also attend the Basic Distribution Training. Sponsors or stakeholders are not required to take training, but it is recommended as a way to ensure coverage in the event of team member changes.

The Advanced Distribution Training is recommended only to users who already have access to a site and wish to learn more advanced techniques.

Do I need to have a UNI for training?

Yes. In most of our trainings, you'll need to have the credentials for your own CU UNI account. You can confirm your UNI credentials are functional by logging into my.columbia.edu.

Do I have access to my site during trainings?

Unfortunately, no. Other than our Open Office Hours, all trainings are conducted on a staging site and access is only available to clients during the training.

Do I need to bring a laptop?

All trainings that require a laptop should be in a computer lab where laptops are provided. If not, your trainer will let you know prior to the training.

Regardless, bringing your own laptop is encouraged for all trainings.

If you don’t have a laptop and need one, please let us know and we will do our best to provide you with one.

Do I need to bring anything else?

In addition to a laptop, we recommend bringing the following:

  • Writing materials to take notes
  • Sample content to create test pages (recommended for all trainings, except Web Content Strategy)
  • Snacks for trainings over two hours

I've already been trained on Drupal, do I still need to attend your training?

Yes. Unfortunately, any Drupal training by other organizations, such as CU IT, or trainings completed in the past for legacy systems, are not applicable to this system. 

Product Usage

I made a change on my site and it isn't showing up / something looks strange on my site - what do I do?

The first action you should take is to clear the cache on your browser. If clearing your cache does not fix the issue, please contact Web Services with the following information:

  • Which site you are working on
  • An explanation of the problem you are seeing (include screenshots if possible and include URLs to specific pages on your site)
  • If applicable, provide any notes about which actions you were taking on your site before this issue started occurring 

What size images should I use on my site?

Images sizes vary based on where they are being used. Visit our Image Guidelines user guide to get detailed specifications.

Can I embed iframes, external content, or third-party widgets on my site?

No, not unless you are using one of our built-in widget types. (See below for a list.) Content and widgets generated by third-party services may cause security, accessibility, and maintenance problems if embedded directly. Embedding a widget that has not been properly tested with the CUIMC Distribution could have any of the following issues:

  • The widget could display improperly (especially if it loads an application/product that requires some kind of authentication)
  • The widget could be using insecure code that will pose security risks for your site visitors
  • The widget could load functionality that is not accessible to people with disabilities 

In order to prevent these issues, tags used to embed external content, including but not limited to iframe tags, object and embed tags, and script tags, are stripped from your page content when saving.

Several of our widget options allow for embedding of outside content, such as:

  • Google Custom Maps
  • Google Business Hours
  • Youtube Videos
  • Paypal Buttons

If the information you need to display is from an external site or application and is not included in the above list, you can simply link to it instead of embedding it on your site.

Still Need Help?

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If you've already been trained and you've searched the user guides and still need assistance, we understand. All you need to do is contact us.

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