Best Practices for Using the CMS-Templates and CMS - Carnegie Mellon University

Best Practices for Using the CMS

Use Firefox as Your Browser

  • The CMS runs more consistently when using Firefox as your browser. There are known issues when using other browsers.

Use Plain Text

  • Do not copy and paste text directly into the CMS from an email, from another website, or from a document such as a Word Document or a PDF. Please copy it to a text editor first, such as Notepad or TextEdit, to convert it to plain text before copying it into the CMS. This will prevent the content from inheriting any unnecessary styles or extraneous coding that may cause issues in the CMS. It will keep your HTML code clean. Learn more about pasting text into the CMS.

Prepare Images Before Using Them

  • Use JPGs for photos and GIFs for graphics (logos, cartoons, etc.)
  • Make sure images are the ACTUAL SIZE before using them on a page.  Do not try to resize images simply by typing in different dimensions of the image in the CMS.
  • Make sure images have a resolution of 72dpi (dots per inch.)

About Links

  • Use relevant text for links. Do not use generic words like "click here," "go to this page," "learn more," etc.
    Good Example: Visit the website of Carnegie Mellon University.
    Bad Example: To visit Carnegie Mellon University's website, click here.
  • Links to a document (e.g., PDF, DOC, XLS, etc.) should open in a new window and be labeled [pdf] or [doc] or [xls] in the link.
    Example: CMU Campus Map [pdf]
  • Links to an external website (i.e., a website that is outside of your own website, including other CMU-affiliated websites) should open up in a new window.
    Example: If you're not sure about something, Google it. Hungry? Find a place to eat on the Dining Services website.
  • Links to email addresses may be created by entering in the external link field.
    Example: or CMS Team are both acceptable ways of linking to an email address.