Web development should not be confused with design, layout, or content creation, all of which can be done in Sitecore by non-technical staff. If you need assistance in this area, marketing and communications professionals are well-versed in these topics.
Development services we provide
OIT's web team provides custom development on a case-by-case basis. Examples of our work may include:
- Creation of biography templates and associated features
- Creation of news templates and associated features
- Creation of filterable or searchable content
- One-time implementation of third-party content, such as calendar plugins
We are also available to fix bugs with design elements we have created.
Because custom development can be time consuming, requests must be accompanied by a concrete business need. Priority is generally granted toward groups that are actively engaged in a website migration or requests that impact university revenue.
When we work together on a custom development request, OIT will work with you to understand any needs and requirements (business analysis). We may provide a mockup showcasing design and functionality and request your approval prior to scheduling back-end development work. We may also use OIT's project management system, which will require you or your leadership to sign an agreement accepting the services we are providing.
We can only implement and support designs, layouts, or wireframes created by OIT.
When creating websites or content, use the design and layout options provided within Sitecore, and standardize your layouts as much as possible.
While you may have a vested interest in modifying an existing feature or creating something new, doing this will result in a design or layout that breaks consistency with the university's brand. By intentionally deviating from the templates, you may be in violation of SMU's policies.
Modifying existing design elements
Do not write custom code to modify existing design elements, fonts, or color, or to create new design elements. Do not add borders or background colors except where documented and supported.
Copying code from other sites
Occasionally, you may find an element on another SMU website that you would like to implement on your own site. If the element is not available in our documented design and layouts, do not copy the code or content from the other site. The website may have undergone a unique engagement to create the content, or it may have a customized design that is not intended to be reused across the university. Copying designs from other websites may be breaking the university's policy.
Impact on website support
Impact on future brand migrations
In this case, you may be responsible for rebuilding your site or the aspects that do not meet our brand guidelines prior to us working with you on a website migration.