The SiteNow service is a free, website creation platform built specifically for the University of Iowa community. It is available to current University of Iowa members - faculty, staff, students and affiliates. SiteNow is built using Drupal 8, an open source content management system, and therefore distributed under the same GNU General Public License, version 2 or later

The base SiteNow platform is provided as-is and free of charge without any guarantees.

WWW URLs

The SiteNow service is set up to redirect www requests to the bare domain equivalent. Redirecting from a bare domain to the www equivalent is not supported.

For example, a request for www.mysite.uiowa.edu would redirect to mysite.uiowa.edu.

Sub-Directory Websites

Sub-Directory Websites (e.g. https://uiowa.edu/your-website) are no longer supported on the SiteNow platform.

Domains

University of Iowa Hostmaster has pre-approved the following domains for use with the SiteNow service:

  • *.conference.uiowa.edu
  • *.lab.uiowa.edu
  • *.org.uiowa.edu
  • *.studio.uiowa.edu
  • *.course.uiowa.edu
  • *.sites.uiowa.edu

Top level domains, e.g. something.uiowa.edu, need to be approved by Hostmaster.

Domains outside uiowa.edu, e.g. mysite.com, are highly discouraged. Vanity domains involve much more maintenance for both the site owner and ITS. They can very easily cause downtime and security issues.

We recommend using one of the pre-approved, Hostmaster managed domains and redirecting from the vanity domain at the DNS level. Many domain registrars are capable of doing this. For example:

Domain Changes

Each request to change a website’s domain will be reviewed on case-by-case basis. Complications can arise with absolute URLs within the site content. Changing a website’s domain is a multi-step process and will be billed to the site owner. In some cases, it may be more cost effective for the site owner to request a replacement website and move content manually. As the existing site might be linked to from other sites, the site owner is responsible for advertising the change to campus and others.

Website Redirects

Sub-directory Websites

As steward of uiowa.edu sub-directory websites, SiteNow can offer a redirect of all traffic from the old sub-directory website to a new URL for up to six months. Redirects from a specific page on the old website to a specific page on the new website are not supported.

Same Domain

When transitioning to a new website located at the same URL, site owners can create redirects from old to new paths manually by following the URL Redirects documentation. Alternatively for cost of development, SiteNow can perform a one-time import of a .CSV file containing "from-to" redirects during the go-live process. Please contact us to obtain our .CSV template to populate redirects with and then return it back to us.

Platform Updates

Occasionally, there will be platform updates where new features, theme changes, security updates or general functionality will be updated. During this time, it is possible for some website downtime or loss of functionality. For certain updates, a customer review or test process will be scheduled ahead of the rollout to ensure any changes to the platform will work as intended.

Videos

SiteNow sites don’t allow video uploads directly to the site. The SiteNow service is not equipped to handle the storage and playback of large video files. Instead, we encourage the use of third-party services such as YouTube and Vimeo which can be embedded into WYSIWYG text areas.

To maintain the accessibility of videos, captions should be added and/or transcripts should be made available near the video.

Browser Support

SiteNow strives to support as many modern browsers as possible given the wide range of usage across campus and tries to follow the same policy as the latest version of the Drupal content management system, upon which SiteNow is built. For backend compatibility (content editing/management), we highly recommend website editors use the latest two supported major versions of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome or the latest major release of Mozilla Firefox ESR.

For public facing content we can work to at least provide graceful fallbacks for the browsers that Drupal supports if your audience needs it.

If you encounter an issue that you suspect is related to the browser, try another browser and/or disabling any third-party extensions/plugins before reporting.

Related:

Accessibility & Security

SiteNow strives to create a WCAG 2.0 compliant and secure websites. We cannot implement requests from site owners that will not meet those standards (e.g. JavaScript embeds, poor color contrast combinations). 

If we are notified that a site has been flagged as inaccessible or vulnerable to attack, we will take steps to remedy the issue. If an immediate remediation cannot be performed to resolve the issue, we reserve the right to suspend or permanently remove the website.

Related:

Inactive Site Removal

Periodically, ITS will audit SiteNow websites for activity. Websites that have not been logged in to for at least 6 months will be considered inactive.

When a website has been determined to be inactive, ITS will attempt to contact the site webmasters via their University of Iowa email addresses to verify if the website is still needed. If ITS does not receive a response within 1 week, a follow-up email will be sent. If a response to the follow-up email is not received within 1 week, the website is subject to removal without further notice.

Once a website is removed due to inactivity, a copy of the site content cannot be restored.

Custom Engagements

Customers can fund the development of customizations to the SiteNow platform so long as they do not interfere with the accessibility, security and maintainability of the platform. ITS reserves the right to turn down any proposed customizations. Funded, custom engagements are dictated by the terms outlined in the Service Level Agreement (SLA) agreed upon with the customer. 

ITS requires all customizations adhere to the Brand Guidelines set by the Office of Strategic Communications.