UBCO CMS Enhancements Round Up – Q1 2020

Below is a quick rundown of noteworthy enhancements added to the UBCO CMS in Q1 2020.

To see the full list of enhancement requests or to request something new, please visit our Enhancement Requests page.

Standard COVID-19 Message

The IT Web Team can add the COVID-19 banner to your site homepages upon request. The COVID-19 banner will appear above the homepage Featured Image (if your website uses one). Please note the wording and appearance of the banner are standardized and the IT web team will not alter it for you in any way.

To request this option, please submit a ticket titled: “COVID-19 Above-Image Notification Banner” to the IT Helpdesk system.

Revised Text for Add User Requests to UBCO CMS Directory

In an effort to improve efficiency between IT Service Desk triage and UBCO CMS directory requests, we are revising the wording for adding users to UBCO CMS directories. Please use the following revised formatting when submitting requests to add new users to website directories including the very last line marked in red:

[Firstname McLastname] is a new [Title] in [Dept/Unit/Faculty].

Their Novell or CWL username is [flastname01].  (Optional)

  1. FCCS website directory – https://fccs.ok.ubc.ca/about/contact/
  2. UBCO CMS Central directory – https://centraldirectory.cms.ok.ubc.ca
  3. Internal FCCS website – https://fccs-secure.cms.ok.ubc.ca/  (Optional/if applicable)
  4. CCGS website  – https://ccgs.ok.ubc.ca/  (Optional/if applicable)

NOTE: Please direct to Web & Applications team.

Accessibility Enhancement – Alt Text Retrofit

We have fixed a bug in the Faculty/dept theme where images in the Photo Bar and Page Section were not outputting alt text from the media library.

No additional actions are needed from communicators. Please continue to add descriptive alt text to your images as an accessibility best-practice.

Accessibility Enhancement – Alt Tags Retrofit >

Improved Layout for Post Archive Pages

The default layout for post category listings pages, known in WordPress as Archive pages has been improved to look more similar to the style of the News page template. An example can be seen here – https://fccs.ok.ubc.ca/category/spotlight/. To see a ‘before’ image, see the screenshot in the original enhancement request.

Improved Layout for Post Archive Pages >

UBC Okanagan Events Calendar – Access and Training

The new UBCO Events Calendar website launched at the beginning of March 2020. Several teams have been migrated onto the new system and website integrations continue with those units. Other teams will be added to the system in the coming weeks/months. Note: although in-person events are suspended during the COVID-19 outbreak, virtual events can be listed.

This site is owned and managed by University Relations with development support from the IT Web Team. Any IT helpdesk tickets entered on the topic of the UBCO Events Calendar will be directed to University Relations as they are the site owners. Note: this is the same process the web team follows for all other UBCO websites.

The ability to post events on the UBCO Events Calendar is exclusive to users approved and trained by University Relations. Please contact ubco.events@ubc.ca directly to request training, access, and event posting advice.

Improvements to UBCO CMS Website

The main UBCO CMS service website has been updated to detail the build process for new websites in the UBCO CMS. Updates include the clarification of roles and responsibilities for each of the groups: the IT Web Team, University Relations, Communicators/Strategists, and Webcore collectively.

Noteworthy updates to the site include, but are not limited to:

We encourage you to visit cms.ok.ubc.ca to review the updates.

UBCO IT Web Team Working Remotely Until Further Notice

For website support requests and inquiries, please continue to submit tickets in the IT Helpdesk system with a URL and a clear description of your issue. Our support hours remain at 8:00am – 5:00pm.

Furthermore, our in-person WordPress drop-in sessions are also cancelled until further notice. Visit cms.ok.ubc.ca periodically for updates on the UBCO CMS and including changes to our team’s service levels.

Resources for Working Remotely as a UBC Okanagan Employee

For assistance on working remotely, please submit at ticket in the IT Helpdesk system or phone 250.807.9000 or 855.807.9001.


  • Website User Off-boarding: To ensure a faculty/staff user profile is completely removed from your UBCO websites, you must remove the user from Central Directory as well as each department/unit websites they have been added to. For each site, go to Users > find the user > hover over the listing and click Remove > Confirm Removal. In cases where an individual needs to be removed from a directory where you are not an Administrator, contact your fellow communicator to ask them to remove the individual from their site’s users list.
  • Free Screen Reading Tools: When writing and preparing your web content, try to be mindful that a small number of users browse our websites audibly with help from screen reader software. It is very easy to hear your content read-aloud using a free Google Chrome plugin called Read&Write.
    • Read&Write is literacy software used by sighted individuals such as English Language Learners as well as individuals with learning disabilities such as dyslexia. It is a popular and easy-to-use tool to help you experience how web page content and alt-text are read aloud to low-sighted or blind website users. The Read&Write Google Chrome browser plugin (PC and Mac) is free using a Google Account.
    • Apple devices have built-in selective text-to-speech that can be easily activated in macOS and iOS.

Enhancements in Progress

Recent Website Launches

Active Website Builds 

  • UBC Okanagan News Redesign
    • High impact, ‘Heavy Touch’ web project. UBCO campus-wide service.
    • ETA Fall 2020.
  • School of Nursing
    • Site in Content Entry Stage.
    • Launch date TBD.
  • Faculty of Management
    • Faculty collaborating on content for the new site.
    • Site in Content Entry Stage – Updating Directory User Profiles.
    • Launch date TBD.
  • UBC IT Okanagan Website
    • Site in Discovery Stage.
    • Hybrid flip migration into Faculty/dept theme.
    • ‘Medium Touch’ web project. Migration/new development for lab search filters.
    • Launch date TBD.