It’s launch day for Site Editor

A new way to create websites

Today marks an auspicious day – it’s the launch of our new Site Editor product. We hope this product will make it easy to create fantastic looking websites at the University of Kent.

The plan is for Site Editor to eventually replace the legacy Dreamweaver system and Pantheon templates, which have been in use for a long time.

Some facts:

  • We’ve been working on Site Editor for roughly one year
  • It’s made completely in house – using Laravel and VueJS frameworks
  • In the beginning there was just one developer working on it – We now have around 4.5 developers working very hard on it

We decided to create a system in house following funding difficulties for a commercial CMS. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as were able to create something completely tailored to the University’s needs. It allowed us to be masters of our own destiny now that we’ve created our own foundations.

Functionality wise:

  • It creates pages in our new responsive theme
  • School sites can be created in seconds as opposed to weeks
  • Whilst editing it, our users can see what their site will look like on mobile, meaning they can create a true ‘mobile first’ experience for their visitors
  • There is a innovative templating system that lets users easily swap out certain sections of a template – a nice tradeoff between having full control and a fully restricted template
  • This means that users can focus on creating quality content for their website without having to worry about their page layout

Our plan for the next few months

  • Have it dynamically create pages based on data coming in (news, events)
  • Introduce form building functionality
  • Improve the media manager through machine learning (auto-cropping, auto-tagging, auto-resizing etc)
  • Introduce new components and layouts for new use cases
  • Fixing the inevitable bugs!

When will editors be able to access it?

The Site Editor will be made available to schools and departments over the coming months as part of the KentWeb programme of projects and full training will be given. Currently, content editors in Enrolment Management Services (EMS) have access to it.

My thanks go out to the whole web dev team – Jack, Sam, Christian, Justice, Jonathan, Matthew and Mark. Without whom none of this would have been possible.

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