Step Five: Learn CMS Sunflower and Planning Your Pages


Getting to Know KU CMS Sunflower

Before you begin your site content analysis and revision, we strongly recommend you take the time to understand how to use KU CMS – Sunflower before you begin the process of content analysis and revision.

Learn About KU CMS - Sunflower

  • cms.ku.edu – The KU CMS Guide website provides extensive information and resources for KU CMS – Sunflower. We recommend exploring the section and template galleries and reading through the wide range of documentation.
  • Workshops - KU IT currently offers three CMS workshops: Essentials I, Essentials II and Site Administrators. See Workshops for more information, including registration.
  • Look at Sites Created with KU CMS - Sunflower - admissions.ku.edu is the first live KU CMS – Sunflower site. The site was built almost entirely using the new sections and clonable templates that will be available to you.

Sections and Clonable Templates

There are many similarities between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8, so you will find many functions and features are similar. However, a great deal has changed for both the user interface and the content creation process.

One of the biggest changes is the addition of Sections and Clonable Templates. To make it easy to create KU CMS pages that look great and are mobile responsive, KU Marketing & Communications has designed a system of pre-made sections and page templates that can be cloned and edited to meet your needs.

Sections

The KU CMS - Sunflower pages are built using Sections. Think of a section like a layer of a cake. The layers or sections stack on top of each other to build the page.

There are several section categories:

  • Headers
  • Body
  • Call to Action
  • Events
  • Images
  • Lists

Headers are required on all pages. Only one header can be used per page.

Each page must also contain at least one Body, Call to Action, Events, Image or List sections.

Clonable Templates

  • Cloneable Templates provide blue prints or a starting place for building pages. Cloneable templates are populated with placeholder images and text that you will need to replace with actual content. They are easy to use.
  • Cloneable templates contain a page header area. Each template has a number of possible headers to choose from. Every page must include a header.
  • Each cloneable template contains a body area with a number of recommended sections for each type of page. Every page must include at least one body section.
  • Each cloneable template includes one header section. For every cloneable template there are a number of possible headers. The template includes one of the possibilities for the template. If you don't want to use the placeholder header you can remove it and select a different option.
  • Each cloneable template is populated with all the possible body sections recommended for the type of page being cloned. Sections you don't wish to use can be deleted. The sections can also be reordered and duplicated.

Plan Your Pages First, Then Revisit Your Content

With the exception of very basic pages, you will likely find it frustrating to try and copy and paste the content from your Drupal 7 site directly into your KU CMS Sunflower site. To avoid that frustration, we strongly recommend you plan your pages first.

Start by exploring the cloneable templates and/or the section gallery to decide what sections you want to use for a given page. Then revisit your content with the planned page in mind, allowing you make adjustments to your copy as needed.

As much as you can, try and see the content revision aspects of the site migration/build process as an opportunity to fine tune and improve your website. It is a lot of work, but the time investment will result in a more effective website with better user experiences.