Carnegie Mellon University


A service provided by the University CMS Team


Common terminology related to the CMS and university templates.

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  • Accessibility: The ability for all individuals, including those with disabilities, to understand and interact with a website. More on accessibility.
  • Action Toolbar: A menu with available actions when an asset is selected in the CMS. More on the Action Toolbar.
  • Alt Text (also Image Description): An input field required while adding images to pages. Alt text is needed in the event an image doesn't load. It is also required for accessibility standards, as the visually impaired cannot see images. Alt text provides descriptive text where images would be.
  • Analytics: See web analytics.
  • Anchor, Anchor Link: Anchors are used to designate specific areas on a page which can be linked to directly. Anchors are defined using the Section or Grid ID fields available in content areas of pages. After an anchor has been designated, an anchor link to it can be created.
  • Asset, Asset Tree: Assets are the pages, folders and files (PDFs, Word documents, etc.) that comprise a site in the CMS. The Asset Tree is the left column in the CMS interface that displays the assets. 


  • Back-end: The CMS software used to build sites, only accessible to authorized website managers.
  • Base Folder: The top-most folder in the Asset Tree containing the entire site; the folder with the site's name in the CMS
  • Batch Actions: Actions that can be performed on multiple assets at the same time. More on batch actions.
  • Breadcrumb Links: Links that provide navigation on pages. They appear as a string of horizontal links above the first content area and are provided to reference a page's location in relation to the home page.


  • Call to Action: A set of words, typically used as a link, to drive users to perform a specific task such as "Apply Now" or "Donate Today." A call to action style (CTA) is available when creating links.
  • Cascade CMS: The software used for the CMS service.
  • Categories, Categories Block: Categories are terms that can be used to tag special page types and allow filter functionality. Custom categories are defined in the Categories Block. Part of the Categories, Filters & Dropdowns functionality.
  • Chooser: A tool in the CMS for selecting an asset while performing a task such adding an image or linking to a page. More on the Chooser.
  • CMS: Abbreviation for Content Management System, the web application used to build websites.
  • Content Type: An option in which to lay out content on a page; four types are available: Content WYSIWYG, Grid, Slideshow and Wide. More on Content.
  • Content WYSIWYG: One of four content types used for page layout consisting of an open content area. More on Content WYSIWYG.
  • Context Menu: A menu with available actions when right-clicking on an asset in the CMS. More on the Context Menu.


  • Dashboard: The home area in the CMS containing widgets (tools) to help facilitate site management. More on the Dashboard.
  • Dropdown: A menu provided to website visitors used to filter page content on special index page types (e.g., Bio Index, News Index) by categories. Part of the Categories, Filters & Dropdowns functionality.


  • Expand/Collapse: An add-on feature of the Content WYSIWYG which provides a method to display content in an initially collapsed (hidden) state with a clickable link to expand it. More on expand/collapse.


  • Filter: A method of featuring pages tagged with specific categories to include on special index page types (e.g., Bio Index, News Index). Part of the Categories, Filters & Dropdowns functionality.
  • Front-end: The public-facing website available to website visitors; the front-end is accessed by visiting a site's official URL.


  • Google Analytics: The service provided for measurement and analysis of website visitor data. More on web analytics.
  • Grid: One of four content types used for page layout consisting of boxes of content. More on grids.


  • Hamburger Menu: A menu represented by three horizontal lines ☰. There is a hamburger menu on the front-end on the templates and the back-end in the CMS.
  • Hero: A large visual at the top of a page. It may contain photos, news articles, or a silent video with options to add text and links. More on the Hero.


  • Index Page: The landing or main page of a folder; all folders that should be included in the navigation are required to have a page with a system name of index (all lowercase). More on index pages.
  • Indexing: The process of including assets in elements that are auto-generated such as the navigation and special index page types (e.g., Bio Index, News Index); when indexing is disabled on an asset, it will no longer be included in the auto-generated elements; breadcrumb links are also turned off on pages.


  • Kabob Menu: A menu represented by three dots ⋮. There is a kabob menu available in a few places in CMS including during the quick submit process.


  • Live Server: The web server in which a live website resides and is available to website visitors after site launch. More on the live server.


  • Navigation: The functionality to traverse a site using menus that are available on every page. More on navigation.


  • Orphan: An asset that exists on a live website but has no corresponding counterpart in the CMS. More on orphans.


  • Page Element: An element which can be customized on a per-page basis. More on page elements.
  • Page Type: A page template which is used for a specific type of content. More on page types.
  • Parent Folder: The folder in which an asset resides; assets within a folder are referred to as its children assets.
  • Project Lead: The secondary owner of a CMS site and the primary website manager. More on site ownership.
  • Project Sponsor: The primary owner of a CMS site. More on site ownership.
  • Publish: The act of pushing content from the CMS to a web server. More on publishing.


  • Responsive (also Mobile-friendly): The ability for a website or web application to adapt to multiple platforms, devices, and display sizes to provide the best possible user experience. The university templates and the CMS are both responsive.


  • Sample Pages: Page examples available in every CMS site. More on sample pages.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of making a website easier to find via Internet search engines, such as Google or Bing. More on search engine optimization.
  • Section Heading: The label in the page edit interface for a section such as Hero, Content, etc. Section headings are collapsible to simplify the interface. More on collapsing section headings.
  • Setup Block: The asset in which to configure the header and footer regions of a site. More on the Setup Block.
  • Sidebar: An add-on feature of the Content WYSIWYG which provides an additional area for content. More on sidebars.
  • Site-wide Element: An element which appears on every page and is identical on every page. More on site-wide elements.
  • Slideshow: One of four content types used for page layout consisting of images paired with text. More on slideshows.
  • Staging Server: A web server in which to publish content to for previewing and testing purposes; available to all CMS sites. More on the staging server.
  • Starter Site: The generic "out of the box" site provided for all new CMS sites. More on starter sites.
  • System Name: The name of an asset displayed in the asset tree and published URL; set guidelines for system names must be followed. More on system names.


  • Tag Path: A reference tool at the bottom of a WYSIWYG which displays the HTML elements as you work on them (such as a paragraph or link); it also allows you to select a tag and apply a style. More on tag paths.


  • URL: A website's address; most CMS website URLs begin with
  • Users: Typically used to reference website managers, i.e., CMS users who manage a site.
  • User Menu: A menu in the CMS with system settings, history, notifications, and more. More on the User Menu.


  • v6 (Version 6): The current version of the CMS service which includes the templates and the CMS web application.


  • Web Analytics: The measurement and analysis of website visitor data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing web usage. More on web analytics.
  • Web Search: The university's web search tool incorporated into all CMS sites. More on web search.
  • Website Visitors: Your website's audience; visitors who access your site via the official URL.
  • Wide: One of four content types used for page layout consisting of a page-wide WYSIWYG. More on wide.
  • Widget: A tool provided on the dashboard to facilitate management of sites, content, notifications, and more. More on widgets.
  • WYSIWYG: Acronym for "what you see is what you get"; an open content area for text, images, media and more. More on the WYSIWYG.