The Drupal CMS

Introducing our new Drupal CMS

We know that our community is excited to move to the new Drupal Content Management System (CMS), and so are we! We’d like to thank you for your interest and patience while we put all of our systems in order and completed the development of the new platform. We’re happy to begin migrating select OISE websites to our new content management system starting this April.

Our new CMS has been designed to create a cohesive experience for our site visitors, ensuring that all webpages follow the same brand standards with a unified design and common elements throughout. The components of the CMS have been developed to meet industry best practices in site architecture, mobile and responsive design, visual design, usability, and WCAG 2.2 accessibility standards.

The design and layout of pages and visual elements in the Drupal CMS are based on the Future Students website design, which was developed after extensive consultations with the OISE community conducted by the communications department, and through continuing consultations with OISE communications.

OISE homepage

New Standards

To facilitate the efficient re-platforming of your content, Education Commons is asking OISE website administrators to prepare in advance. Below is a list of new practices and standards being applied to the OISE Drupal CMS to keep in mind when preparing your content.

The OISE website

  • All OISE websites will exist as pages within the main OISE website and will follow the URL rule
  • Fonts and colours are aligned with uToronto Defy Gravity brand guidelines and adhere to AODA standards. 
  • Our CMS will have an independent media library for images and documents, the content of which will be monitored to ensure that unused content is deleted.
  • Faculty profiles will be hosted on a different platform, Discover Research, and linked from the OISE website.


The elements and components available on the CMS have been developed to meet a wide variety of use cases, and all web pages will use the available components.

  • There will be no need for custom coding or custom-builds.
  • The available components will be the same for all pages and sites.
  • New components will be developed based on the needs of the community that are carefully reviewed and follow an approval process.
  • Analytics tools will be available:
    • Hotjar, Twitter tracking, Facebook pixel, LinkedIn tracking, Google Analytics
  • Slideshows and carousels will not be available in accordance with WCAG 2.2 accessibility standards.
  • Accordions are limited to 10 accordion tabs per section.
  • Meta and featured images are available. A placeholder image is built into the CMS, and will be the same on all pages until changed by the page administrator.
  • The OISE signature will remain on the top left of all webpages above the navigation, and will link to the OISE homepage. The name of your website will appear at the top-centre of each of your pages.
  • Your top navigation menu has a 120 character limit. We recommend limiting your top menu items to 8 headers.
    • There will be a large sub-menu available for each navigation header. Clicking the navigation header opens this menu and does not lead to a new page (unless there is no sub-menu)
    • The sub-menu can have up to 12 pages listed, with a max 50 character limit for each item listed.
Drupal menu

New Content Principles

  • Videos, multimedia, and audio files will be hosted on YouTube, MyMedia or Vimeo and not uploaded directly to web pages
  • Content more than five years old should be revisited for accuracy
  • Social media links will be available, but social feeds are no longer supported
  • Images sizes are restricted to 350kb
    • Avoid embedding text on images unless the text is repeated on the page in an accessible format.
    • Training is available for image optimization at our weekly multimedia drop-in.
  • We have discontinued the use of sidebars as tertiary menus. Please review your content and navigation to merge pages where possible.
    • “Quick links” (up to three) are available as a component when additional linking on page is necessary.
    • A new tertiary menu design is being developed for use when necessary
  • Header images (“Hero” banner image) are not required but are available on every page.
    • OISE communications has an image bank of approved photos
    • Other images must be purchased or owned by OISE, or be free through a Creative Commons license. It is the responsibility of site owners to ensure images are licensed, owned or properly attributed.

Pre-migration considerations and site inventory

There are some key tasks that site administrators are encouraged to complete before considering the migration of their web pages to our new OISE Drupal CMS. You can view and download a printable checklist.

  • Determine the key roles on your team, and what kind of user roles you will need within the CMS
    • Who is the main contact for your website for communicating with Education Commons?
    • Who approves content before it goes live online?
    • Will there be several people posting content to your pages, and what access and restrictions should they have? Available roles include Viewer, Editor (can also view), and Approver (can also view and edit)
  • Make plans for your PDFs
    • Education Commons recommends avoiding the use of PDFs on the website. If PDF or Word documents are necessary, they must adhere to AODA requirements.
    • To avoid the use of PDFs on the Drupal website, consider web first when developing content. Instead of making a PDF, make a web page.
    • Determine what content needs to be public-facing and what could be moved to Sharepoint.
  • Prepare your video and media files
    • Ensure all video/multimedia/audio files used on your website are uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo or MyMedia and prepare to archive outdated content
    • Prepare your images by ensuring they are owned or licensed and smaller than 350kb
  • Using an excel spreadsheet, make a list of your web pages and URLs
    • Complete an inventory of you webpages using this webpage inventory template or similar. Add columns as needed for additional sub-pages, notes, or analytics.
    • Determine if pages should migrate to the new site, merge with other pages to reduce content, or be deleted because they are no longer relevant.
      • Tip: If your website has Piwik, Google Analytics or another analytics tool running, use the tool to determine which pages are most viewed and least viewed. You can also use the bounce rate and time on page to determine if the content is valued by users.
  • Decide on your new website navigation and menu items, and prepare your site map
    • Use the excel template to record the headers of your main navigation menu. These are headers under which you will organize your pages.
    • These headers activate the sub-menu and are not linked to pages
  • The sub-menu
    • Decide what pages will be listed under each header in the sub-menu. See sample below

We're here to answer your questions

We're available to answer your questions about these standards and preparing your site and pages for re-platforming. Join us for our weekly online drop-in for information on Wednesdays from 3:00PM – 4:00PM. You are also welcome to book a demonstration of the template by submitting a request. (Category> OISE websites > request Drupal demo)