What is UBC CMS?

At its simplest, CMS is an acronym for a “Content Management System”. But inherent within a CMS, there is more – CMS is not only about a system or piece of software, it’s also about a Strategy and about Services.

Authenticate with CWL

— or —

Why is CMS important?

Whether referring to a system, service, or strategy, a CMS can enable the sustainable creation and ongoing maintenance of high quality websites by establishing a common baseline of standards such as the consistent use of a common-look and feel template (or “CLF”), as well as common platforms on which to build new emerging technologies.

CMS and the web at UBC

Historically web presences across the university have been decentralized and fractured. This led to dozens of systems being in place including open source, homegrown, vendor-provided, and/or proprietary solutions, or nothing at all. This fractured web made keeping a consistent brand presence increasingly difficult and exacerbated security, scaling, and accessibility problems inherent with a multitude of solutions.

Today, with a maturity of open source tools, with wide adoption at all levels of the university, and with an acknowledgment that for an institution of our size and complexity, there is no “one size fits all” solution, CMS is part of a sustainable landscape of tools with centrally-provisioned resources and support.

As the landscape of the web changes, due to the adoption of open source tools such as WordPress, CMS is able to adapt and update accordingly. With coordinated content management strategies, common content repositories, syndication, and integration with systems inside and outside of UBC, CMS – which has existed for more than 14 years – still has a bright future for the web at UBC.

A screenshot of the gutenberg editor available in WordPress. The editor shows text, icons, a gallery, buttons, and other editable items on a page titled "Say hello to Gutenberg, the WordPress editor"
The Gutenberg Editor within WordPress

Heard Enough and want to get started?

Request a Website on UBC CMS

A history From 2008 until today

CMS Past, Present, and Future

This timeline is a work in progress. If you have something you’d like to add to it, please get in touch!

  • October, 2008

    CMS Infrastructure Begins

    The OLT (precursor to CTLT) team create the infrastructure for a series of websites. This is why all canonical URLs are something.sites.olt.ubc.ca

  • JAN 01, 2020


    Description Placeholder

  • JAN 06, 2009

    First Site on CMS

    The first site is created on what is now known as UBC CMS.

  • Jan 21, 2009

    e-Learning Opening House

    The first real site that would be populated on CMS is created.

  • Mar 3, 2009

    100th Site Created

    The first three months of CMS being live saw over 100 websites created across dozens of departments in several faculties.

  • Dec, 2009

    End of Year One

    230 sites created in the first year of CMS covering most Faculties and scores of departments.

  • JAN 01, 2020


    Description Placeholder

  • Feb 08, 2010

    e-learning Website

    The brand new e-learning website – a hub for online learning – is launched on UBC CMS.

  • Mar 19, 2010

    UBC President’s Office

    The UBC President’s website – president.ubc.ca – goes live on UBC CMS.

  • JAN 01, 2020


    Description Placeholder

  • Dec 31, 2011

    1,750 User Accounts

    (Now take a look at the number at the end of next year)

  • JAN 01, 2020


    Description Placeholder

  • Jul 01, 2012

    CLF 7 Released

    The 7th iteration of the common look and feel (CLF) is released by central brand and marketing bringing mobile responsive sites and WCAG AA compatibility

  • Aug 01, 2012

    Profiles CCT

    CTLT release the Profiles CCT plugin enabling faculties and departments to have digital profiles of their staff and faculty.

  • Sep 20, 2012

    1,000th Site

    The 1,000th site is created on CMS. It’s for the Business German Program at the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies

  • Dec 31, 2012

    6,241 User Accounts

    4,500 user accounts (quadrupling the number of users from only 12 months prior)

  • JAN 01, 2020


    Description Placeholder

  • October 1, 2013

    5 Years of CMS

    ~1,750 active sites on CMS, and approaching 80% of known public sites at UBC are hosted on UBC CMS. And nearly 10,000 user accounts.

  • JAN 01, 2020


    Description Placeholder

  • May 20th, 2014

    2,000 Sites

    The two thousandth site is registered on CMS. It was for a department within the Faculty of Medicine.

  • JAN 01, 2020


    Description Placeholder

  • July 4, 2016

    3,000 Sites

    Description Placeholder