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Workflow FAQ

When you publish content on the CMS, it isn’t published immediately. Instead, it goes through workflow: a series of approvals to make sure the new content is ready for publication. This page covers the questions most frequently asked about workflow.

What is workflow?

Ektron affords us with a procedure called workflow, which provides checkpoints for web content. Typically, the content for a web page needs to be approved at the unit level and at the university level.

So if you are an author for your unit’s website and you submit content for publishing, Ektron’s workflow will first notify your content approver (perhaps a department chair, dean, or office or program director). The content approver checks the information you have submitted for accuracy and appropriateness. He or she can approve the content as is, edit the content and send it on to the next step in the workflow process, or reject it and make suggestions for you to implement and resubmit.

After the content approver has approved the content, he or she submits it to the web editor, who works in the Communications and Marketing Office. (In some cases, you may be both an author and an approver for your site. In that case, when you submit content, it goes directly to the web editor.) The editor will not change the meaning of your content and is not responsible for rewriting it. The editor is responsible for checking spelling and punctuation, verifying accuracy when possible, making sure templates have been used correctly, and ensuring that you’ve represented your unit and the university in the best way.

The editor may publish your content as is, make adjustments and then publish your content, or reject your content and make suggestions for you to implement and resubmit.

When your content has been published by the web editor, it will appear on your site the following day around 4:00 a.m., when the information is replicated onto the production server. Please note that the daily deadline for publishing is 2:00 p.m. Items that reach the web editor after 2:00 p.m. may be delayed an extra day.

When will my content go live on the IUP website?

Until your new site is complete, website users will be directed to your existing site on the current www.iup.edu. In the meantime, the content you compile for your new site will go through workflow but will not be made available for public viewing, except on the preview site. When your new site is complete, there will be a final checkout process, and then users will be redirected to your new site.

When your new site is up and running, your content submissions will fall into the workflow schedule. In general, after your content is approved by the web editor, it will appear on the website the following day around 4:00 a.m., when information is replicated onto the production server.

Please note that the daily deadline for publishing is 2:00 p.m. Items that reach the web editor after 2:00 p.m. may be delayed an extra day.

Why did my content fall out of workflow?

Have a content item you submitted that never made its way to the editors? The most likely reason is that you edited the content after you submitted it. Editing content pulls it out of workflow, so, if you make changes, you’ll need to resubmit your content for approval.

If you start to edit a piece of submitted content, then change your mind, click the black X icon to keep the content in workflow. Doing anything else— saving it, checking it in, closing the Workarea— will pull it out of workflow until you resubmit it.

Why would the editor reject my content?

The Web Team, which includes the editor, was hired to help make IUP look the best it can in this medium. Knowing how to write for the web takes skill and experience. We know not everyone is comfortable writing for public consumption, particularly in this medium. Just as we have a university editor for print publications, IUP has a web editor for web publications. The web editor’s priority is to look out for the university’s reputation—and to make us all look good—in addition to making sure the site clearly communicates its intended message.

In some cases, the web editor will make necessary edits to your content and publish it. In other cases, because of time constraints or to help content authors learn to write for the web more effectively, the editor may reject the content and send the author suggestions to implement and resubmit. Feel free to contact the web editor if you do not understand the reasoning behind content changes or rejection.

How will I know if my content has been approved or rejected?

Content authors and approvers should be notified by e-mail when their content has been published or rejected. If content is rejected, the reasoning and suggestions for improvement should be outlined in the e-mail message.

What kinds of edits may be made to my content?

Areas where you are likely to see editing changes are spelling, grammar, punctuation, style, and format.

Toward that end, content authors and approvers can help by using Ektron’s spell-check feature on their content before submitting it for approval. They are also encouraged to check out their content in preview mode before submitting it, so they can see how it would appear on the website. In some cases, text or images may be hidden or may go off the page, but site maintainers won’t know if they don’t preview their content.

Content authors and approvers are also asked to do their best to ensure content is clear, concise, accurate, and appropriate, and the web editor will assist when necessary.

Many authors and approvers have an excellent command of the English language. However, they may not be familiar with the elements of style. For instance, when do you spell out a number and when do you use the figure? When do you write out the name of a month and when do you abbreviate it? Is it Indiana, Pennsylvania; Indiana, PA; or Indiana, Pa.? Do you use a comma before the last item in a series? These questions have no right or wrong answer, but the university does follow a consistent style in these situations and many, many others.

Does the editor follow a particular style?

Yes. While we have made some customization, the web editor primarily follows the Chicago Manual of Style, the same style the university editor uses. The editor also employs a style guide recently adopted by the President’s Office and the university’s executive team for the Council of Trustees Docket.

Moving to the content management system may eventually enable us to repurpose much of our web content for print publications. Therefore, we want our communications, regardless of medium, to be consistent and well written.

What web writing resources can you recommend to me?

You can find a good article, first published in Gerry McGovern’s New Thinking newsletter, called “Publish the Website You Can Manage.”

Other popular resources for those who write for websites include A List Apart and Jakob Nielsen’s UseIt.com.

Checking usage in The Elements of Style is also recommended.

  • Web Team
  • Sutton Hall, Room 316
    1011 South Drive
    Indiana, PA 15705
  • Phone: 724-357-3062
  • Fax: 724-357-5512
  • Office Hours
  • Monday through Friday
  • 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.