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Cascade Server guidelines

Schools, colleges, departments and units who use the content management system (CMS) are responsible for adequately preparing their websites and their assigned personnel prior to being granted access to the software. CMS access is restricted to on-campus faculty and staff via their SSO.


Build your team

Migrating or building a site in any CMS is a large undertaking and takes more than just a one person to get it done. It requires everyone’s participation: Web developers, programmers, writers, editors and supervisors. Get your project off to a good start by getting everyone on board.

Set reasonable goals

Make sure your team understands what the CMS can and cannot do. You should select a site or part of one for your initial project that is complex enough to provide a good learning experience while small enough to complete in a reasonable amount of time. Your project timeline should be flexible to allow plenty of time for learning and correcting mistakes. Keep in mind that it will take several weeks to migrate your site into the system.

Review, organize and revise your site content

Complete a thorough content inventory of your site, identifying material to be updated or archived. Tag content that can be reused, and assign editors and approvers to each piece. Note the review periods (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, every August, etc.) for each piece of content. If you have content that needs to be revised, now is a good time to make those updates. 

Complete your project proposal

Once you have identified your project site and have gotten a good start on the content inventory, complete the project proposal. Download the proposal application form (PDF) here. When complete, the project proposal should be submitted to the Digital Communications team in Mizzou Creative.

Clean up your code and make sure your site is compliant

All sites entering the CMS must be compliant with the MU Web Policies and Guidelines and be a form of XML. This may include XHTML or HTML5 so long as the code is well-formed.

Visit the W3 Schools tutorials for more information on XHTML and HTML5. Once you have your site in a valid format, use the W3C Validator to make sure it is compliant.


XML and XSL are used to automate certain areas of a site such as menus or breadcrumb navigation and to create forms for users to enter or edit content. You can get a head-start by doing these tutorials. Training sessions are also provided by DoIT.


After reviewing the proposal, the director of Web Communications will convey approval to both the submitter of the proposal and CMS Support personnel in DoIT. DoIT will contact the designated person in the department to provide access and begin the developer training necessary for using the CMS.

Site managers must receive training in the use of the CMS and its supporting technologies before being granted rights to start creating sites. In addition to training, DoIT staff is available for on-site, e-mail and phone consulting as initial sites are being created in the system.

Launching your site in the CMS

DoIT, working with departmental users has developed a checklist process that must be followed when preparing to publish a site to a production web server.  Failure to follow all steps in the checklist, including prescribed pre-launch deadlines could possibly result in a failed implementation of the final web site(s).

Maintaining a site in the CMS

It is crucial the sites in the CMS be kept current, both in content and technology. The MU Web Policies and Guidelines state:

1.1.2 — MU Web editors should review and update content regularly to maintain currency.

a. Review contact and deadline information every semester.
b. Check all site links at least quarterly; monthly is recommended.
c. Remove outdated pages from server.
d. All pages must have a last revised date.

You should plan to archive old information on your site regularly — the Division of IT recommends every six months. This keeps the information current, and reduces the space occupied by your site as well as re-enforcing the non-archival nature of the CMS. Owners of sites with severely outdated information in the CMS will be contacted by the Digital Communications team in Mizzou Creative and given a reasonable period of time to bring their site into compliance according to the type and necessity of the information that is outdated. Site owners who do not make the requested updates within that time period risk losing their permission to use the content management system.


Related policies