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Web Services Knowledge Base

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Services

Overview

Access to the Drupal Content Management System (CMS) works on the basis of roles. Roles control what level of editing access is available for user on a site.


Roles

Each role focuses on specific Drupal 10 functions. The Drupal roles available to users across all the ASC Standard Sites are:

  • Content Editor (CE)
  • Content Manager (CM)
  • Course Manager (CRM)
  • Form Viewer (FV)
  • Form Manager (FM)
  • Newsletter Manager (NM)
  • Research Manager (RM)


Need access?

If you'd like access to any of the Drupal roles, please ask your supervisor or a website's Web Content Owner (WCO) to submit a ticket requesting access.

You may review the training playlists before or after you submit a ticket, since the playlists are viewable on our YouTube channel.

Overview

ASC Web Services provides units analytics reports with Google Analytics 4 and dashboards from Google's Looker Studio to visualize your website's traffic.


What’s Covered

Your report contains a high-level overview of traffic on your website; you’ll receive stats on your site's top pages and other sections of interest (like an Undergraduate section).

After we share your analytics report with you, we can also offer you a quick glance at other categories related to your site, like demographics, what people search for to find your site, and more.

Overview

All College of Arts and Sciences Departments and Centers are eligible for free web support and hosting as a Drupal Standard Site or U.OSU depending on whether Drupal best suits your needs. 

If you don’t currently have a website or would like to move from a different platform, Web Services can help you find the right solution for your needs.

Request a New Website


What does a Standard Site offer?

With the Drupal platform, you receive:

  • Pre-built Arts and Sciences templates
  • Free hosting for your website
  • Support for any web problems
  • In-depth training
  • Automatic security patching and updates
  • An easy, simple editing interface


U.OSU

For smaller groups, such as labs, museums and research groups, we offer assistance with utilizing the U.OSU platform. Unlike a Standard Site, U.OSU uses WordPress as a content management system (CMS).

 

Custom sites

For more advanced use cases, our Application Development group takes on custom sites at unit expenses.

 

Legacy sites

Legacy non-Drupal applications and websites are eligible for hosting on ASC’s Tri-Dub server.

Frequently Asked Questions

Add a CAPTCHA element to your form

CAPTCHA is an automated security feature that protects your forms from spam by testing whether submissions are from a human or computer.

CAPTCHA works by issuing a response test to determine whether the user is a human or a bot. CAPTCHA helps protect your web forms by preventing submissions from bots while allowing human submission to process.

To add a CAPTCHA element on to your form:

  1. Go to your webform's Build tab
  2. Click the Add element button above the list of your current elements
  3. Find the row that says "CAPTCHA" under the Advanced Elements section and click the Add element button 
  4. Choose the challenge type or leave it set to "Default challenge type"
  5. Click Save and the CAPTCHA will display in your elements list
  6. Click Save elements to update the form
active elements under the "Build" tab on a webform

 

list of available elements to add to a webform
Menu for configuring the CAPTCHA element before adding it to a form
CAPTCHA element present under the "Build" tab

Required Image Sizes for ASC Drupal Feature Modules

  • Events image

    • 600 pixels x 400 pixels
       
  • News image

    • 600 pixels x 400 pixels
       
  • People images

    • 300 pixels x 400 pixels


Advanced Modules

  • Slideshow Images 

    • 1600 pixels x 900 pixels
       
  • Single Column Media 

    • 1600 pixels x 900 pixels
       
  • Callout Boxes

    • 800 pixels x 500 pixels
       

Adobe Photoshop

  • Use any image editing software to change your images to the correct size
     
  • As OSU employee, you should have access to the Adobe CC Suite.
    • The Suite includes Photoshop, an excellent option to make adjustments to images


Adding an Image/Photo to a Drupal Web Page

To add an image:

  1. Put your cursor at the location in which you want the image to appear
     
  2. Select the Image Insert/ Edit icon button
     
  3. The Image Properties dialogue box will open (see example below)
     
  4. If the image is already uploaded to your site, you can search for it in the view images tab using the media name
    • If it’s a new image, you will select the Upload Images tab to upload the image
Embed media item prompt window showing selected media file, display as percentage size, alt text field, alignment and caption
  • Use headings to give pages a logical and systemic structure.
    • H1 for page titles
    • H2 for sections
    • H3 to H5 for subsections
       
  • Write accurate but concise alt text.
    • Alt text should describe the most relevant parts of an image.
    • Ask yourself:
      • What’s the most valuable things to know about the image?
      • What does the image communicate?
      • What are the parts you need to describe to get your point across to a reader?
    • Be concise: describe the image with roughly 20 words.
       
  • Use bulleted or numbered lists when describing a series of items.
    • This means avoiding tables whenever possible.
    • Tables aren’t completely prohibited; if you have any questions about using tables on a web page, please reach out ASC Web Services.
       
  • Keep your paragraphs short.
    • Paragraphs should be from 1 to 3 sentences.
    • This makes it easier for sighted users to skim the page, and for users with reliant on-screen readers to quickly parse through each paragraph.
       
  • Link text should tell the user where the link will take them.
    • Avoid using language like “Click here” for link text.

Alt text is required for an image to be accessible

  • Be concise; aim for around 20 words to describe an image
     
  • Describe the context behind what’s happening in the image
     
  • Mark an image as “decorative” if it’s just there for aesthetic purposes
     
  • If the image is a link, alt text should describe where users will go if they click a link
     
  • If the image has text, alt text should match what the image says
     

Things to avoid when writing alt text

  • Don’t use the terms “Image of”, “Picture of”, or ”Photo of” in alt text
     
  • Redundant descriptions
     
  • If image already has a caption, don’t repeat the caption text in the alt text
     
  • Using jargon or technical language instead of plain language
     
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes
     
  • Vagueness and ambiguity in your descriptions

Resources

Want to connect with your fellow content editors and easily reach out to the Web Services team?

We have a space where you can chat with others who manage content on ASC Drupal sites, offer feedback and get direct support for questions from the Web Services team.

Join the Team!

Trainings, presentations, and more

Visit our YouTube channel to find all of our Drupal  training playlists, presentations on a number of web related topics, and other helpful videos about how to get the most out of Drupal.

Visit our channel

Below is the full playlist of videos included in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) series.

If you are interested in a specific video from the FAQ series, you can review it from the list below.

Content


Users


Updating files

If you have a role editing or managing content on our Drupal 9 standard sites, you’re welcome to join us for monthly trainings and open office hours to learn about our sites’ features, tips, best practices and to ask questions and provide feedback!

Every month, our team will conduct a training session based on your suggestions about a subject you’d like to learn more about.

Additionally, we’ll hold open office hours once a month for you to stop by with any questions you have related to using our sites’ tools.
 

Training Sessions

We’ll cover a variety of topics related to the ASC websites like how to use new features, analytics and how to write for the web. We’ll use the feedback you provide to know what subjects you want to learn!

If you’re a content editor or manager, you’ll receive a regular email invitation from us that you’re free to RSVP to and join us to learn more about our websites.


Open Office Hours

We’ll also hold our open office hours, where a member of our team will be available to talk with and walk you through any questions you have about using the Drupal 9 standard sites.
 

Schedule

Our current schedule for our training sessions and office hours are:

  • Open Office Hours: First Tuesday of each month
  • Trainings: Last Tuesday of each month 


Recorded Training Archive

You don’t have to attend an in-person training session to learn about our sites’ features, best practices and other interesting topics that our users want to know more about.

You can review any recorded training presentation topic on our YouTube channel's playlist.

Recorded Training Presentation Playlist

Because of the way we read text on screens, average users skim most text and instead choose to scan pages for relevant information instead

Only 16% of people will read every word on the page; this means 4 out of 5 people will not read everything on a page

Most people skip through the page, scan the content for what they are looking for and read through the headlines.

For years, usability researchers found that web users rarely read entire pages word for word

Web Users

  • Scan pages
  • Pick out keywords and phrases
  • Read in quick, short bursts
  • Are action oriented
  • Search for key bits of information that lead them towards goal
  • Ignore most text because of the difficulties of reading on the Web

Tips


Use short sentences and paragraphs


Don’t be too wordy

  • If you can say it in less words then do


Use bullets and bold words

  • Pick out the key points that you are wanting to get across
  • Bold important words so their eye catches the key parts


Clear headlines and subheads

  • This helps when people are scanning the page for what they are looking for


Leave whitespace on page

  • Don’t make your page too crowded with content; this helps legibility


Use simple, familiar words

  • Avoid trying to sound too formal or “fancy” with the vocabulary
  • Try to be simple and to the point
  • This way, people will read through and process your content faster


Avoid trying to be clever or creative

  • Be simple and to the point, people don’t want to have to interpret what you are saying


Use Images as support

  • Make sure they support the information in the text
  • Don’t use too many images for just texture


Address your readers directly

  • Use the word ‘you’ to grab the reader’s attention


Use Active Voice; Avoid Passive Voice


Inverted Pyramid Style of Writing

  • The Inverted Pyramid (Purdue Online Writing Lab, Purdue University)
  • A traditional structure in mainstream journalism writing
  • Most important facts are in first sentences
  • Less important information appears in following paragraphs
  • First paragraph (lead) provides essential information; Who, What, Where, When and Why
  • Following paragraphs (called a “nut graph”) list additional details, quotes, stats, etc
  • Structure priorities essential details first, then describes secondary information down the article


Do not use ‘click here’


Have your links end the sentence

  • Try to arrange your sentence so that it ends with their action


Proofread

  • Proofread your content before you publish it
  • When people see typos they lose trust in your site


People won’t just land on your front page

  • Many people search for something and click directly into the first page they see has that info
  • Look at the analytics of your website to learn where people are coming from to your site


Read what’s on your site

  • Outline what pages you have on your site and what is the path people need to take to get to important information


Create Personas

  • Think about who you are writing for
  • Imagine you are these people
  • Create a persona for the types of users that you expect to visit your site
  • Imagine what info would be useful for them
  • Think less about what you or your higher-ups want to publish
  • Think of ways to be more useful and kind to the people you want to reach to and imagine what ways could be helpful to them


Resources on the Web

A List Apart


Online Articles


Tips from other Universities


Resources on campus

  • If you are staff or faculty at the College of Arts and Sciences, you can speak with the ASC Communications Team and we can talk through suggestions for your website
     
  • If you’re outside the College of Arts and Sciences, consider talking with your unit’s communications team to see what changes you can make to your website