Bethel's Getting a New CMS

A CMS is what we use to build and manage Bethel's website. And it's time for a new one.

We have a content management system (CMS) right now. It's called Silva. It's been a good system for us, but we need something that's more sustainable and flexible for the future of web development.

Moving to a new CMS is a major endeavor. With thousands of webpages, numerous built-in applications, and many users, it's no small feat.

But moving to a new CMS doesn't mean the design of Bethel's website will change. As we migrate, visitors won't be able to tell what's in the new system and what's in the old. All of the change is happening behind the scenes.

What we've done so far...

Winter 2013

Bethel made the decision to migrate to a new CMS.

Spring 2013

The Web Services team mapped out needs and requirements for a new system.

Summer-Fall 2013

We evaluated vendors and saw product demos of top contenders.

December 2013

We selected a vendor and purchased the system (Cascade by Hannon Hill).

January 2014

Our development team installed Cascade here at Bethel.

February 2014

Once we had access to Cascade, we really started digging in:

  • Integrated single sign on
  • Planned project scope and system build-out process
  • Assessed information architecture
  • Consulted with SEO vendor on architecture changes
  • Set up basic Wufoo integration
  • Evaluated migration tool
  • Audited test sites and created migration plan for test sites
  • Outlined content requirements for test sites
  • Watched hours and hours of training videos
  • Attended full-day training session with Cascade staff
  • Integrated video player
  • Upgraded to Cascade 7.10 (released in February)
  • Made decisions about site structure and asset organization
  • Moved our basic design template to Cascade
  • Learned about templates, configuration sets, formats, blocks, data definitions, metadata sets, content types, asset factories, and so much more...

Spring 2014

  • Created templates, blocks, asset factories, and more for test sites
  • Set up metadata structure
  • Evaluated solutions for image management
  • Learned how to create role structures and access levels
  • Set strategy for shared content
  • Built out Google maps
  • Set up publishing process and workflows
  • Evaluated needs for calendar and events

What we're working on...

May-June 2014

  • Production server setup
  • Training process for web authors
  • University calendar, event pages, and event feeds
  • Event submission form
  • Site migration for websites using event pages and feeds
  • CAS academic sites

Milestones we’re aiming for....

April 2014

  • 1-2 undergraduate academic departments live in Cascade (update: websites ready, waiting for production server)
  • Bethel's About section live in Cascade (update: website ready, waiting for production server)

Summer 2014

  • University calendar and event submissions running in Cascade
  • All sites using event pages and feeds migrated into Cascade
  • Most CAS academic departments running in Cascade

December 2014

Have a good chunk of the website migrated and live in Cascade

If you have questions about the project, send an email to web-services@bethel.edu. Also, check out our Web Services Blog for project updates and announcements.