Changes coming with the next WCMS

While the intent behind building the next WCMS is to replicate the functionality of the existing WCMS, that does not mean that there will not be some changes. This page will document significant changes we encounter while building out the new system. Note, this will not be an exhaustive list of every single change, and as we go along we may end up changing the changes!


  • Log in using ADFS instead of CAS
  • Remove log in link at bottom of pages
  • Replacing reCAPTCHA with hCAPTCHA
  • Horizontal top navigation will replace current left-hand side menu
  • Removal of left-hand side menu will allow for wider web page by default
  • Users with permissions to log in to a WCMS site will see/have access to a toolbar that will allow them to view and edit their account on the site, as necessary (e.g. update name)

Working with content

System-wide changes

  • Content will be added to pages using a new authoring method based around Drupal's layout builder functionality
    • some content types (e.g. Blog) may require adding content in fields (i.e. details specific to title, date, tags) in addition to creating main copy using layout builder
  • The content blocks added will have the option of filling the full width of the page, instead of within a contained margin
    • Users may also create content within a narrow (current standard width), wide (current wide width) or extra wide (new wide width) contained section
  • Some buttons will be removed from the WYSIWYG menu (e.g. embedded call to action, social media embeds) as they will be available/created as content blocks under the new authoring method
  • The styles drop-down menu (e.g. paragraph, highlight, Heading 1) will be separated into two drop-down menus: styles (e.g. caption, address) and format (e.g. paragraph, heading)
  • The red asterisk will mark content that is required, a blue triangle (symbol and/or colour may change) marks content that is required in order to publish
  • Content templates (e.g. 2 columns, 50/50) will be available as "sections" in layout builder
    • A four-column option will also be available
  • Listing page images will be separate from associated or meta tag images (i.e. social media images)
    • If an associated image is not included, the University of Waterloo logo will be used
  • Page-specific settings/options (e.g. Menu settings, page settings, Meta tags, Publishing options) will change from an expanded "tab" view to a expand/collapse style
    • Exceptions:
      • Publishing options will appear above the Save button when working in a content type
      • Meta tag options will be moved within the content type itself
        • Users will be required to enter a brief description of the the content
        • Advanced meta tag options will be available in this new location
        • Unneeded meta tag information for social media services will be left blank if not completed by the user
        • Support for will be added to the advanced meta tags section
  • Files and images can be uploaded directly from the WYSIWYG via the new Insert from Media Library menubutton 
  • New option to add a caption when adding an image
    • Add a caption that will be associated with and appear anywhere that image is used, or enter unique/different captions across content types if desired
  • A preview of uploaded images and files will appear to the user without having to search via the current File Browse option
  • Commonly used functionality under My Workbench and Dashboard will be combined under a new default My Dashboard view in WCMS 3, configurable by the user
  • Link text field autocomplete functionality moves to URL field
  • Content type listing pages(e.g. Contacts, News, Events) will now use meta tags to improve the content or data that is displayed with when shared

Changes impacting specific content types

  • All current content types that begin with the word "embedded" (e.g. embedded call to action) will be available as content blocks under the new authoring method
    • embedded content types on WCMS 2 websites will continue to work as-is on WCMS 3 websites
  • Image gallery will no longer be its own content type and instead will be available as a content block under the new authoring method
  • Webforms will undergo many changes, which will be broken out in more detail once confirmed
    • Webforms will be able to be added to any page, including a column 
  • Sidebars (i.e. sidebar complementary content and sidebar related links) are now a dedicated content type that is "attached" to a page
  • Sidebar related links are now "related links", a block that can be added to any content type

  • Home page banners have a random option in WCMS 2 that will be removed in WCMS 3 (i.e. sites can have a single banner, or use the slideshow feature)
  • Person profile will be renamed to Profile to support profiles outside of person profiles
    • Profiles, promoted to the home page, can appear in random (when more than one is promoted) in WCMS 2. This functionality will no longer be supported in WCMS 3 (i.e. sites can have a single person profile or several, but they will no longer randomly appear)
    • Profiles will no longer automatically promote to the home page
    • A single profile will be able to be placed as blocks in any content type
    • Profile will support custom link text for link to personal website or CV
    • Profile will support links to additional information
  • Home page banner is now a generic banners block that can be placed in any content type
  • The Hootsuite embed will be removed
  • The podcast field will be removed from Blog posts
  • News, Event, Blog post, Contact, and Profile blocks can be listed (arbitrarily) in any content type
  • Elements of a Contact can be promoted within content types (i.e. avoid having to type in and/or update pieces of their contact info)
  • Contacts and Profiles will have a new field called Name for sorting purposes, in additional to the Name field e.g. Name field: Linus van Pelt Name for sorting purposes: van Pelt, Linus
    • Name for sorting purposes field is for internal use
    • Ability to manually sort content will still be available 
  • Promotional item content type will be removed
    • Instead, content that would be a promotional item will be added directly to the content type(s)
  • File and image uploads will use Drupal's Media Library functionality
    • Video embeds (YouTube, Vimeo) are now one block type called Remote Video, which uses Media Library (these used to be two separate buttons)
  • Embedded Maps will now display in one of two Google Map formats (Google Maps or Google My Maps) depending on the URL used
  • Special Alerts will no longer be a content type, but will be available as a configuration screen
  • Simplified method for creating Repeating Events  
  • Event End Date options will now show by default and user will need to adjust if no Event End Date information is required
    • If an Event duration is set, e.g. 1 hour, the end date information will be pre-fill automatically

New functionality

  • Posts from Instagram will now be supported

New role: Site owner

  • Not assignable other than by WCMS administrators
  • Role will be manually assigned when sites are first created (or migrated from WCMS 2) to the site’s website lead
  • Website leads can request this role be assigned to others on a site-by-site basis, either permanently or with an expiry date, with the expectation that there be a limited number of users assigned the role
  • Role has no access to edit content
  • Role can assign the following roles to any site user, including themselves:
    • Site manager
    • Content editor
    • Content author
    • Form editor (removing the requirement that this must be assigned by Training and support)
    • Form results access
  • Role takes on any “site config” tasks, which previously had been assigned to the Site manager role
  • Role is responsible for determining what content types the Site manager, Content editor, and Content author have available, and what level of control they have over each, through a custom configuration form (the "Content access" link on the dashboard)

Role access change: Site manager

  • “Site config” tasks are no longer available; these are assigned to the Site owner role