WiscWeb (formerly “WiscWeb CMS”) is a web content management service that enables users to easily deliver an engaging online experience for students, potential students, parents, faculty, staff, and interested visitors. We provide website authoring, collaboration and administration tools designed to allow users with little knowledge of web programming languages or markup languages to create and manage the site’s content with relative ease. The WiscWeb service utilizes a custom campus theme (known as the UW Theme) in a content management tool known as WordPress.
Our team is made up of highly skilled individuals who provide a host of services including onboarding, training, technical support, server support, and development. We have been building websites on the UW-Madison campus since 2008.
- What Does WiscWeb Offer?
- Benefits Analysis Chart
- Suggested Use Cases (including where WiscWeb is most helpful and where we might recommend alternatives)
For a quick overview of what to expect in WiscWeb, please review our welcome video:
What Does WiscWeb Offer?
The WiscWeb service utilizes an open source content management tool as WordPress for site development. WordPress allows users to build out websites with no prior knowledge or expertise in HTML, CSS or other web development languages.
The WiscWeb WordPress instance is built on the UW Theme. The UW Theme was designed by DoIT Developers, in conjunction with University Marketing (UMark). The theme includes various bits of functionality aimed at making your websites more user-friendly, campus-branded, and robust. These include things like accordions, tabbed content, faculty/staff lists, image galleries, etc.
In addition to the functionality that comes standard with the UW Theme, we also install vetted and secure plugins to our projects in order to allow users more flexibility when building their sites. Unfortunately, we cannot allow users to download plugins themselves as it creates a security risk.
Maintenance + Upgrades
We implement WordPress and theme upgrades, patches and fixes for you. Unfortunately, this will not be something that your team has control over. However, since we handle it ourselves, it is one less thing for you to have to worry about!
We host our sites in Amazon Web Services (AWS) – in the cloud! We take care of the hosting for you.
If you have questions about what we can offer, we highly recommend reviewing our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Benefits Analysis Chart
|Campus Branded||✓||We use the UW Theme|
|Accessible||✓||More information about accessibility|
|‘How To’ Instruction||✓||Visit our KnowledgeBase|
|Managed Updates||✓||We manage WordPress Core, UW Theme, and plugin updates|
|Custom Plugins||✓||Learn more about the plugins we support|
|Best Practice Guidance||✓|
|CSS Access||—||See alternative support options|
|FTP Access||—||See alternative support options|
|Ability to Add Plugins||—||See alternative support options|
|Ability to Upload Custom Themes||—||See alternative support options|
The WiscWeb service is centrally funded and free for campus departments and divisions to use for campus-related content that contributes to the core mission of the University:
- Academic Departments
- Administrative Departments
- Project Teams
Access + Eligibility
Users must have a valid NetID in order to edit and maintain your site.
The service is available to UW-Madison Departments, Faculty, Researchers and Staff.
Students may be editors, but not owners of WiscWeb sites.
By default, all WiscWeb sites are publicly accessible.
Suggested Use Cases
WiscWeb utilizes both the UW Theme and a select list of plugins to provide users with robust functionality and user experience options.
Typical Website Types
WiscWeb hosts sites for numerous groups across campus.
Here’s our most common website types:
- Research and lab sites
- Academic** (specifically, campus academic departments. Please see notes in the “Alternatives” section below regarding Course Content)
Typical Website Content
WiscWeb is great for groups looking for dynamic content with a host of different display options.
Here are the top uses of WiscWeb webpages:
- Informative and descriptive text (example: what does your department do?)
- Departmental promotional content
- Blog/post/news content
- Faculty/staff contact information
- Digital forms
- Event calendars
There are a few situations where alternatives might be more appropriate. They are as follows:
If you really only need to host static content, WiscWeb may be overkill. Consider Google Sites, instead.
WiscWeb is not funded to support personal websites. Google Sites would be a more appropriate alternative.
If you require NetID or Manifest protection on part or all of your site, this is not something that WiscWeb can deliver. Consider adding the content to the UW KnowledgeBase, to a Google Site, or hosting the content in Web Hosting.
Access to CSS
In WiscWeb, we control the styling of the site and users are limited to only a few paid customizations to the UW Theme. If you need more control over your CSS/styles, or want customize your own theme, we suggest hosting the content in DoIT Web Hosting. If there are features you wish to be added to the UW Theme, please submit these via our Feature Request Board.
WiscWeb’s small team hosts, maintains, and supports a select list of vendor and custom-built plugins. If additional plugins are needed, consider hosting your WordPress site in Web Hosting, where you’ll have a little more flexibility to customize your site with as many plugins as you desire.
WiscWeb isn’t really set up to support course-related content like quizzing and grades. Instead, add this content to a Learning Management Tool (LMS) like Canvas.
Registered Student Organizations (RSO)
Student organizations are not supported in WiscWeb. Instead, try adding your content to the WIN site.