Drupal Site Process
Building or Migrating a Drupal Site
1. Submit the Drupal Request Form
The Site Owner will submit the Drupal Request Form to provide ITS with the information necessary to get the process started. Most notably, this will include the site URL, the name of the Site Administrator, and whether this is a migration or a brand new site. If the site request is high priority, please specify in the request.
Site Name Format
The basic format for site URLs is: sitename.calpoly.edu
Additional guidelines for site names include, but are not limited to:
- No obscene, inappropriate, or offensive words, phrases, innuendos, or references
- Site names must follow the "LDH" rule – letters, digits, and hyphens only
- Additionally, site name may not begin nor end with a hyphen
- This also means no subdomains (like name.dept.calpoly.edu)
- Site names should be specific and unique enough that they are not confused with other campus entities.
- Ex: A sub-group within a larger department must not choose a URL that leads to visitors mistaking their site for the department site.
- In most cases, site names should be reasonably formal.
- Ex: Generally, names like 1337hax0rz.calpoly.edu will not be approved.
- Site names should be relevant to the content the site will contain
- Ex: A site for a music class probably should not be named underwaterbasketweaving.calpoly.edu
Disclaimer: This list is not all-inclusive, and either ITS or University Marketing may still reject URL requests even if the reason is not currently enumerated here.
2. ITS Provisions the Site(s)
As long as there are no problems with the request, ITS will begin provisioning the required sites. For a site on our Enterprise environment, the process normally takes 2-3 business days* (Secureforms sites may take a little longer).
All sites are provisioned on stage first, where they can be built and then rolled out to production when you're ready to go live.
After the site has been provisioned, ITS will email the Site Administrator to let them know the site is now available, and with instructions regarding how to log in.
3. Building or Migrating the Site
From here, it is the Site Administrator's responsibility to replace the stage site's placeholder content with their actual content. The Site Admin should utilize the documentation and tutorials available on our website to learn how to use Drupal. If questions arise during the site's construction, additional assistance is available via the support center.
For sites that are migrating from another hosting solution, be wary of links that you may be breaking if you delete or rename your pages as you migrate!
As Site Administrator, you are responsible for ensuring your old links don't break. You can either fix this by ensuring that your new Drupal pages use the same URL, or you can reach out to other site administrators to make sure they switch their links over to your new URLs.
Customizing Drupal URLs so Old Links Don't Break
As long as your subdomain is the same, you can customize your Drupal page paths to prevent old links from breaking. When editing a page, scroll down near the bottom and select the URL path settings tab. The text box under URL alias determines the path that will take users to this page. You may need to uncheck Generate Automatic URL Alias to edit the text box.
If you are changing subdomains (for example, from abc.calpoly.edu to 123.calpoly.edu), Drupal's custom paths are not sufficient to maintain your old links. You will need to reach out to other site administrators in that event.
If a site is on Drupal, you may submit a ticket asking who the site administrators are so you know who to contact.
4. Accessibility and Security Scans
Cal Poly strives to ensure campus information and communication technology is accessible, secure and reliable to student, employee, and community audiences.
When you're done building your stage site, let us know, and we'll contact the Security and Accessibility teams to kick off the scans. For the time being, you can notify us you're ready for scans via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, although we hope to have the site process transitioned to the support center in the foreseeable future.
ATI and ISO teams will follow-up with you regarding the scan results and notify you of any action items that must be addressed before proceeding.
5. Rolling to Production
When the site is ready for production, the Site Admin must notify ITS. Again - for now this may be via email at email@example.com.
The stage site must be copied over to production to go live. This process can take several days*, and the site must not be updated while ITS is rolling it from stage to production, or the changes may not make it to prod. Technical difficulties or site readiness issues may delay the completion date.
If this is for a site migration and the original site currently occupies the production URL, DNS will be reconfigured to point to the Drupal site after the database has been copied - this avoids any downtime while your site switches hosts.
This step is primarily for sites that have migrated into Drupal – the Site Owner and/or Site Administrator will be responsible for cleaning up any vestigial web presence of the old site. For example, they may choose to decommission the server that hosted the site before it moved to Drupal. If other sites still live on that server, they may instead elect to remove the old site from the previous server.
Tilde Account Cleanup
This applies when the site URL changes from www.calpoly.edu/~sitename to sitename.calpoly.edu
- Site Owner should look for links pointing to the old site and contact other site owners to get any outdated links updated.
For questions regarding this process, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
* If the site request is high priority, please specify in the request. Otherwise, our turnaround time is usually within a week (Fridays and holidays excluded), and could potentially be impacted by the team's current load or technical issues.