Carnegie Mellon University


Marketing & Communications with Computing Services

Frequently Asked Questions

Get the answers to some of the most common questions about the university CMS. Don't see your question? Come by during office hours and get your question answered in person or send an email to

CMS questions

There is no limit to the overall size of your CMS site, however there is a 200 mb size limit for individual files (e.g., PDFs, images).

While we don’t provide broken link reports, you can check for broken links using a few methods. See instructions for Check Links.

Deleted items are moved to the Recycle Bin for 15 days and can be restored during this time period. See instructions for Restore an Item.

Any content that appears on your live site that has no corresponding counterpart in the CMS is called an orphan. An orphan is created when an item is moved, deleted or renamed in the CMS without being unpublished from the live site.

You can remove an individual orphan manually if you know the URL of it on the website. However, to identify all orphans on your site we can run an orphan report. You'll then be provided with a list of orphans, and with your approval we can delete all of the orphans from the live site in one shot.

More on orphans including how to manually remove them individually can be found on the Orphans page.

Each time a site-wide element is modified in the CMS, a site-wide publish is required. For large sites, please perform the publish outside of regular business hours (before 9am or after 5pm).

No, at this time all website managers are given the standard manager role which gives them full ability to manage the site.

No, when you use the CMS you are required to use the official university templates (v5). Customizations to these templates including the layout, styles, formatting, etc. are not permitted. For custom-built websites, please consider using the AWPS service.

Yes, if the page has already been saved you can revert the page to a previous version and start over. See Audits and Version History.

This is a result of using the Metadata tab, which currently has fields that are not functioning properly. For instance, when the keywords field is filled, the data erroneously appears in the description field. To avoid this, do not fill any of the fields in the Metadata tab. Keywords in metadata have largely been deprecated by search engines, and the tab will be phased out in a later version of the CMS.

Filling out the Title and Description fields in the Content tab is sufficient for search engine optimization.

One of the objectives of the new template designs was to build consistency across university websites to strengthen the CMU brand. A key component of that is having a font that is easily readable, accessible and quick to load. For these reasons, Open Sans was selected to be used for web publishing (Note: to improve load time on mobile devices, the native defaults for the device are used).

What's more, not every computer has a wide variety of fonts installed natively. So, a font that you have on your computer may not display properly for someone else on theirs. Loading Open Sans guarantees that everyone will see the text displayed properly.

Visit the Marketing & Communications web standards page for more information about Carnegie Mellon University's branding guidelines.

  1. Make sure your page has 15 or fewer WYSIWYG areas. Note that WYSIWYGs can be found in Content, Sidebar, Grid, and Slideshow sections.

    Screen shot of WYSIWYG editor
  2. If you're using a Bio Index, use 15 or fewer bio index sections on the page and 100 or fewer Bios pages. If you need more than 100 Bios pages, consider splitting them into separate folders, grouped by category.
  3. Cascade CMS runs fastest with Firefox Web Browser.

Still having trouble? Email

General web questions

We suggest that you don’t copy content from other sites, if it exists elsewhere. It confuses users and search engines. Link to the appropriate source pages instead. If someone else has copied your content, reach out to the site owner, or email to find out who the site owner is, and request the content is taken down.
Yes, restrictions can be set on your website to allow access to individuals with Andrew IDs. Please submit a request to for instructions.

No, the CMS is offered for official university units only (e.g., academic or administrative departments, research groups, labs, etc.). You may build a personal website using UserWeb or G Suite Sites.

Yes. All of the sites use Urchin and you can request an Urchin report for usage and analytics.

You can also install a site-wide script for such tools as Google Analytics. Review the instructions for adding a site-wide script.

Mixed content means there is a combination of secure and non-secure items on the page. All CMS websites are served using a secure URL (i.e., HTTPS://) however there may be embedded content on the page using a non-secure URL (i.e., HTTP://) such as a YouTube video or mailto form. This is often easily corrected by modifying the URL of the embedded content to be secure.

For more information, read the CMS Announcement regarding HTTPS.



The side navigation appears when the page you are currently viewing has child pages that are set to be visible in navigation. This allows for deeper content navigation and has been tested by users for functionality and content findability.

The appearance of the side navigation is automatic and cannot be turned on or off on a page-by-page basis. Even if a page does not have child pages, users can always access the side navigation via the "hamburger" menu icon right of the search box (on desktop) or the top right of the screen (mobile).