On this page:

  • find out how long CMS transition took for this School 
  • read comments by the Communications Officer
  • get a behind-the-scenes look at how the School's great work was showcased to different audiences using UQ Drupal.

Transition in 3 months

Transition took place mid-October to mid-December 2015 with the site quietly launched a week before Christmas 2015.

School staff time 3 months @ 75% FTE for the School Communications Officer plus out-of-hours work
School executive time 2 meetings with School Manager - 1 for kick-off, 1 to work out internal messaging before launch
ITS support buddy editor, online documentation, training, geek stuff

Before and after

Old site 467 pages, around half old news and events
New site 150 pages of content plus around 200 people profiles which will be partially automatically maintained.

The School’s site coordinator was given access to Google Analytics with a starting dashboard. The analytics are continuous with the old site so can be used to gauge the performance of the site before and after transition.  Redirects were created by the CMS Team to ensure old pages (top 250) redirect to the corresponding page on the new site. 


What the School Communications Officer says

How did you feel before transition?

Before meeting with the Drupal migration team I felt overwhelmed about how we would manage to transition all of our relevant web pages into the new template. I also experienced some self-doubt about learning to use a new content management system. I found that being as hands-on as possible from the start, learning through trial and error each day, assisted in meeting the project milestones. The more I used the UQ Drupal School template, the easier and more logical it all became.

How did you feel after?
I enjoy updating our new user-friendly Drupal website and the ease with which I can change the appearance of our homepage by adding new events and news articles (and promoting these to the front page). I think our new website looks as though it has had a face-lift – although the underlying content remains the same, the surface appears fresh and healthy. The navigation is much smoother now and, overall, our website appears leaner and cleaner.

Any comments about how the site might suit the planned consolidation of Marketing and Communications staff in the MBS Faculty?
I think it will be easier to maintain the new UQ Drupal websites if marcomms staff within each Faculty have login access across relevant websites. This will be especially useful for promoting events and news items.

- Emma Lee, Communications Officer, School of Public Health

PS: Emma also commented that her work would have been easier if she had done UQ Drupal training up-front. Face-to-face classes for 2016 are now available on a monthly basis.  Visit the Staff Development site to register for UQ Drupal training.

About the School

This School is research-intensive, based at Herston and has limited resources for maintaining their website.  The School offers an undergraduate program, called the Bachelor of Health Sciences, that is a preferred pathway for entry to various non-clinical and clinical programs including the Doctor of Medicine Program. The School also offers a variety of postgraduate coursework programs that are offered externally (online) to suit students with work or family commitments, and short courses for practicing professionals.

The School was keen to:

  • transition quickly to minimise the period of time where they would have to maintain 2 sites
  • benefit from a lean, low-maintenance and more user-friendly site
  • showcase research projects.

How the School used UQ Drupal

Home page

  • The School wanted to showcase research projects to meet contractual requirements.  A  ‘projects’ button was created on the home page banner which links to a ‘Featured projects’ landing page.
  • The School reused its banner image and main menu items.
  • The staff resource pages (2 pages of links to forms and resources) were linked to from the footer.


The study section of the site was populated with content lifted from existing web and print content and edited for style using the Web content styles for UQ Drupal.

Limited textual explanation of study areas was provided to avoid duplication with Future Students.  Links to pdf brochures provide similar information in a 'takeaway' format.

'Study online' was used as a heading rather than 'study externally' as this is an automatic suggestion in Google.

Featured projects

A  ‘Featured projects’ landing page provides a table view of project data.  The use of the title ‘Featured projects’ saves the School from trying to maintain a complete and current list which would not be practical.


‘Create change’ was used as the first heading on the landing page text.

Views on research are provided dynamically to suit prospective RHD students/collaborators in several different ways including:

  • research areas (2nd level menu/taxonomy)
  • the research landing page which uses ‘teaser panel’ (dynamic right hand side panel with image links) to feature pages about centres, partners, Summer research projects etc
  • a manually created page which lists researchers under headings which are Fields of Research terms.  These are standard terms used to describe research for grant funding and reporting purposes and may aid discovery.

Prospective research students are encouraged to look for a potential advisor and contact them directly or the Postgrad Admin Team (created as a staff group), consider currently available topics, or try out the School by doing a Summer Research Project.

Our people

The School decided it was not necessary to have photos of staff ready for launch.  The School plans to have photos of staff and newly refurbished facilities taken later. The School and CMS Transition Team worked closely to improve the people display and message staff internally to try to smooth the approval process for ‘people’ content.  An email from the School Manager asked researchers to update their information and provided instructions.

Student support

Important student support information lurking in pdfs was transitioned to the top-level ‘Student support’ page and lower-level pages.  Landing pages were also created for larger pdfs (e.g. the ‘RHD Information Booklet’) to make them accessible and findable.

News and events

  • UQ News articles from 2013 on (around 50) were manually copied and pasted over in a morning.
  • An article was created for the quarterly School newsletter providing an index to current and past issues with a view to featuring it on the homepage when it is fresh.
  • A selection of important and recurring events (around 35) were carried over.
  • Several articles appearing in The Conversation was also copied in as news articles.

Access to the old site

The School continues to have access to their old site via the back-end of OCMPS and can revive content sitting there as they wish.  The Internet Archive, sometimes known as The Wayback Machine, provides access to snapshots of the old site for outside users.

Related links