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Frequently Asked Questions

About the Web Content Management Program

What is the Web Content Management program and why is it essential?

One of University IT (UIT)'s priority initiatives is to provide modern, secure, and managed cloud-based web alternatives through the Web Content Management program. The program is a collection of efforts to replace the current Andrew File System (AFS)-based web content management system. AFS is minimally supported and hosts a number of websites created by individuals and other organizations in unsupported, outdated and vulnerable versions of web tools.

By 2021, UIT will establish new vendor platforms, upgrade established platforms, and assist the web content management community in determining the closest-fit solution for their needs.

Learn more about the program and each individual project on the program website.

Moving your Drupal website off AFS and into a cloud-based solution

What are the benefits of moving my website to a cloud solution?
Moving websites into the cloud offers a better experience both for you as the website owner, and for website visitors. This includes faster loading time, integration with Stanford IAM (Identity and Access Management) infrastructure (SAML 2.0), and on-demand scalability and availability. Learn more about UIT's Cloud Transformation program.
Which of my sites will be impacted by this initiative?
Stanford Web Services (SWS) will begin contacting site owners with this information in fall 2019.
What other web hosting solutions does UIT offer?
Information coming soon.
What can I do to start preparing my website to move off the AFS platform?
Information coming soon.

Moving to Drupal 8

What are the features and benefits of Drupal 8?
  • Accessible
  • Easy-to-use authoring tools
  • Configurable layouts and dynamic content types (rolled out releases throughout 2020)
  • On-demand scalability and flexibility
Why is Drupal 7 support going away?
Drupal 7 is built on frameworks that will be deprecated and no longer supported by their open source communities with security releases and enhancements. Drupal 7 sites must advance to Drupal 8 so that those sites remain secure and functional. Once on Drupal 8, websites will automatically receive upgrades to Drupal 9 and future versions. (Learn more about why on  Drupal.org.)
When will support for Drupal 7 go away?
Open source community Drupal 7 support is scheduled to end in November 2021. If your website is hosted through the Acquia Cloud platform, commercial long-term support will be offered through November 2024. 
What happens if I do not move to Drupal 8 by then?
Websites in an earlier version of Drupal will no longer receive necessary security patches and upgrades and would be at risk for increasing security vulnerabilities over time. In addition, hosting environments will eventually no longer support outdated versions of PHP and other libraries critical to the function of Drupal websites. So while the website will not immediately stop working in November 2021, it is best to take steps now to plan and launch an upgraded website.
Which of my sites will be impacted by this initiative?
Ownership is difficult to narrow because there are overlapping individual, workgroup, and PTS group owners. Because of this, individuals should be responsible for their own sites. UIT is working with Campus IT leaders and CIO council members to review lists of sites that appear to be affiliated with major schools and units.
Will current Drupal 7 Stanford Sites be migrated or converted to D8 automatically?
Drupal 7 Stanford Sites will not be automatically migrated or converted to D8. The two versions have fundamentally different architectures built around brand new technologies. These technologies make Drupal 8 more scalable, flexible, and reliable and would not be easily adaptable for the D7 framework.
What can I do to start preparing my website to move to Drupal 8?

The best way to start preparing is to spend time reviewing and evaluating the content on your webpages to determine what you want to retain, revise, remove.

Consider the structure of your website (information architecture) and think about ways to improve the organization of pages.

Read more about website content auditing in this blog post.

How do I move my Drupal 7 site to Drupal 8?
Stanford units on existing Drupal 7 sites can start by filling out our D8 Adoption Assessment form. SWS will be in touch to assess your current website and provide information on D8 training and support — all at no cost.
How much will it cost to move my site from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8?
Stanford units can build their websites on the university’s centrally-managed Stanford Sites Drupal 8 CMS at no cost. Alternatively, they can contract Stanford Web Services for fee-based design and development services. Security upgrades and monitoring is managed by University IT at no cost for all websites on the service.
When will ‘X’ feature be available?
Stanford units can build their websites on the university’s centrally-managed Stanford Sites Drupal 8 CMS at no cost. Alternatively,For updates on the feature release schedule, visit https://uit.stanford.edu/sws/drupal-projects. You will also be able to follow the D8 Stanford Sites Release Notes that will be published in February 2020.
I am a non-technical user. Will I be able to assemble a site with no coding experience?
Yes! Stanford Web Services will help you get started with a user guide and our usual friendly support team. Additionally, training options from UIT are planned and coming soon.
What flexibility do we have on branding/design?
Stanford websites should follow the university’s identity guidelines. These guidelines for websites make the Stanford web experience consistent while providing the flexibility needed to communicate unique messages. We have two essential web branding elements – the Stanford Brand Bar and Global Footer – that should be included in all Stanford websites. Further information on the guidelines and flexibility can be reviewed on the identity website.

Form Builder Replacement

Why is Form Builder going away?
Replacing Form Builder is one part of a larger UIT initiative to modernize Stanford’s web content management systems that currently rely on the Andrew File System (AFS). AFS is minimally supported and hosts web content created by individuals and other organizations in unsupported, outdated, and insecure versions of web tools.
When is Form Builder going away?
After April 30, 2020, you will not be able to create new Form Builder forms. After July 30, 2020, the service and all existing forms will be retired.
What are the benefits of using a cloud-based vendor solution?
A cloud-based solution will provide continual security updates and enhancements.
What can I use in place of Form Builder?
In place of Form Builder, you can use Google Forms, a secure, easily-managed web forms solution that provides many of the same features and functions as Form Builder. For more complex form creation, Qualtrics is a secure and supported alternative.
What will happen to my current forms?
You may still access your current forms but after April 30, 2020, you will not be able to create new forms. After July 30, 2020, the service and all existing forms will be retired.
How can I start preparing for this change?
The best way you can start preparing for the new web forms service is to review your existing Form Builder forms, remove any that are no longer active (check with other form admins first), and determine which forms you may need to replace.
Will Google Forms have the same features and functionality that were in Form Builder?
Yes! With Google Forms, you can create polls, quizzes, surveys, evaluations, and more within Google Drive. Build your own form using the tools in Google Forms, or choose from a variety of templates, such as event registration, course evaluations, and RSVPs. Google Forms’ many features work seamlessly with other collaboration applications in G Suite (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, etc.) through your Stanford login.

These features include the ability to:

  • Create and preview the form as you build it using a simple interface
  • Export data to Excel, Sheets, or other spreadsheets
  • Share forms with collaborators for editing
  • Embed forms in webpages or protect them through single sign-on (SSO)
  • Store forms in Google Drive for easy access
  • Collect and store file uploads submitted with forms in Google Drive
Get more information about the Google Forms service and learn how to get started on the Google Forms service page.
How do I embed my Google Form in a webpage?
You can embed a Google Form in a webpage using iframes. Follow these instructions.
How can I restrict my Google Form to just Stanford users?
Follow these instructions to restrict a Google Form to just Stanford users.
With Form Builder, I could auto-fill user data in a text field. What tool can I use to do this and how?
You can use Qualtrics to auto-fill user data in a text field. Follow these instructions on how to set up the auto-fill.
With Form Builder, I could capture the SUNet ID and other data about a person filling out a survey. What tool can I use to do this and how?
You can use Qualtrics to capture SUNet IDs and other data about the users who fill out Qualtrics surveys. Follow these instructions on how to capture the SUNet ID and other data.

WordPress

Where can I host and get support for my WordPress site?
Information coming soon.
My department/group has a Wordpress site. Can you give me admin access to the site?
Information coming soon.

Accessibility

What are the accessibility requirements for my site?

Stanford's online accessibility policy applies to all academic and administrative units that create and maintain websites and web‐based applications used in the programs and activities of the university. See the policy at: https://ucomm.stanford.edu/policies/accessibility-policy.

Each Stanford website should contain “Accessibility” contact information for the site’s webmaster and/or the SOAP Office. The contact information may take a variety of forms, such as an email address, a link to the Stanford Services & Support portal, or a contact form on the site. The recommended location for this information is the website’s “Contact” or “About Us” page.