CMS: Frequently Asked Questions

Who can use the CMS?

The CMS is available to UCSD Academic & Administrative units. At this time, we cannot support labs, student organizations, or Health Sciences sites:

  • Health Sciences clients can find information on branding and templates on the Health Sciences Branding site.
  • ACMS provides websites for student organizations.
  • ACMS also provides web development on a recharge basis for UCSD clients.

Can a CMS site be password-protected?

No. All CMS sites are public. If you have internal content that needs to be password-protected, you have the option of keeping that content on an internal server and using the CMS application decorator that mimics your CMS site.

Can access within the site be granted to a specific folder?

Generally, no. Access is granted to an entire site (except campus intranets, Blink and TritonLink). However, you can grant staging-only access so a user can only publish to the staging site, not the delivery (live) site.

Can students access the CMS?

Yes, but they must have a Business Systems account first.

How can I get CMS training?

All training documentation is online but we recommend classroom training for new users. Classes are 2 hours long and offered through UC Learning Center. Just enter "cms" in the search box and select USING THE CAMPUS CMS.

My site has a lot of broken links. Is there something that can help me find them?

Yes. See Web Development Resources for links to web maintenance resources.

Also, be careful with link syntax. Some common errors include:

  • Email links missing the “mailto”. The syntax for an email link is: <a href=””>
  • External links missing “http” or containing blank spaces (blank spaces can be introduced when you copy and paste a link into the CMS)
    • Correct syntax: <a href=””>
    • Incorrect: <a href=””> and <a href=””>

I just made an update and published the page. Why am I not seeing the change on the site?

As you browse the Internet, your browser downloads elements of the pages you view and stores them on your computer in a cache. This improves browsing performance by loading pages faster. In some cases, this is why you might not see edits reflected immediately.

To force the new page to reload, try a hard refresh: Ctrl + F5  or Cmd + Shift + R for Macs.

If that doesn't work, you may need to clear the browser cache.

Help! I just deleted a page in the CMS. Can I get it back?

The CMS keeps deleted assets in the recycle bin for 15 days. To recover a deleted file: 

  1. Select Home from the CMS blue ribbon.
  2. Select Recycle Bin.
  3. Find the file you want to restore and select the green "restore" button.

    Restore file screenshot

The file will be placed back in its original location.

Can I access the CMS from home?

In order to access the CMS from outside the UCSD network you must be connected to the campus Virtual Private Network. Otherwise, won't be accessible and you'll get an error message.

Get instructions on how to use the client and install the VPN client application for Windows, Mac and Linux at Make sure you choose the allthruucsd – Route all traffic through the UCSD VPN option.

Note: There is a known issue when using the "EasyConnect" web interface. Therefore, we highly recommend downloading and installing the application.

I used to have access to the CMS but I can no longer log in. What happened?

If your business systems account changes, access to some applications is terminated. If you (or one of your employees) have had a name change or moved to another department, you will no longer have access to the CMS. Email us at to re-establish access.

When I search my site, I'm seeing, "Enter Title Here" in the results. How can I get rid of this?

If you are seeing "Enter Title Here" or "Enter Summary Here", you are missing some metadata. When creating a CMS page, make sure the “Inline Metadata” section is filled out. The Title and Summary fields don’t show up on the page but they do show up in search results. 

The metadata Title should be the actual title of the page and the Summary should be a one-sentence description of what the page is about. Good summaries encourage users to click on the link to see what is on the page.

How do I resize images for my web pages?

It is important to resize images before you upload them into the CMS as this simple task can help you optimize page loading times and reading experience on your site. Uploading images directly from the source, such as a digital camera, and simply resizing the image via html or the image editor, can significantly increase load times, especially if you have several images on one page.

You can use Photoshop or online tools ( to resize your images. 

CMS template column widths:

  • Left Column - 222px
  • Middle Column - 540px 
  • Right Column - 166px

There are pages on my site that no longer exist in the CMS. What can I do?

The CMS and your website are 2 different systems that only communicate via publishing and unpublishing. If you delete a page from the CMS without unpublishing it first, it will still show up on the website. To prevent this from happening in the future, make sure you have "Un-publish on Delete" checked in your preferences (access via My Settings link at top right corner of the CMS):

MySettings screenshot

To remove a deleted page from your website, just recreate a page with the same system name (the page doesn't need to have any content) and then delete it. The CMS will unpublish the page for you before deleting it.

I just deleted a page and it is still showing up in the top navigation on my site. How do I get rid of it?

Since the top navigation is on every page of your site, any changes to first and second-level topics require a full site publish. This includes adding a page, deleting a page, or changing the display name of a folder or page.

Some links on my site have funky characters in them. How can I fix this?

Have you ever wondered why your url looks like this: ""? That's because web browsers encode system names containing spaces, either as a plus-sign (+) or %20. And as you can see from the example above, it's not easy to read. 

To fix this, you need to change the system name. The system name is the filename that shows up in the left-hand column in the CMS. It also becomes part of the page URL (link). Find out how to change a system name.

I'm trying to update a file with a new version and keep getting error messages!

Sometimes you need to update a pdf, Word doc, or other types of files kept in the _files folder. You can replace these files by dragging (or browsing) the new file into the edit area of that existing file. 

However, occasionally you might run into errors that prevent you from doing this. Check to make sure your new file only has valid characters in its name (alphanumeric, underscore, or hyphens are fine). Parentheses within a filename are not allowed, so rename your file to something else if you have a parenthesis or two in its name. Spaces in a filename will work, but are not recommended as they can cause problems in URLs. Replace spaces with hyphens or underscores.

How do I make text stand out on a page?

The best way to make text stand out is to use headings. Use Heading 1 (<h1>) for the title of the page, Heading 2 (<h2>) for the top level sections of a page, and Heading 3 (<h3>) for the next level down. Using headings makes the page more scannable and helps with accessibility and search engine optimization.

Please use centering very sparingly. Sure, it feels like it'll make the text stand out better but it comes at a cost. Centered text is much more difficult to read because the starting place of each line changes. You force users to work harder and make them less likely to stick around and keep reading:

Here are some other tips to make it easier for users to scan your content

  • Use bullets to call out key points.
  • Less is more. Reduce the amount of text on each page.
  • Proofread your work. Publish the page to staging and have someone else take a look at it before it goes live.

I want to change a page from one template to another. How do I do this?

Changing a page from one template to another requires admin-level access. Email for template changes.

How can I find out when a page was last edited?

You can find out when an page or folder was last edited, published or changed (and by whom) through the asset's audit trail. Just select the More tab and then Audits. You can use the Audit Type drop-down to filter results by specific actions such as "Edit" or "Publish".

Why can't I publish a page?

If you can't publish an asset (folder, page, image or file) within the CMS and you're presented with the following error:

Publish error

The asset is set to not publish. To enable publishing:

  1. Select the asset and click the Edit tab.
  2. Click the System sub-tab (skip this step if you're working on a folder).
  3. Check Include when publishing and click Submit.

Note: If the asset is enabled for publishing but you still get the error message, check the folder one (or more) levels up (this setting will cascade down to the entire folder hierarchy). Some assets, such as block content, aren’t publishable. Instead of publishing the block, you publish the page the block shows up on.

I want to just put in a line return but when I hit "return" I get a blank line. How can I fix this?

If you are using the WYSIWYG editor and hit the "Enter" key, it will introduce a blank line. If you press "Shift" plus "Enter" you just get a simple line return. This introduces a break tag <br /> rather than a paragraph tag <p>.