Ways to Make Websites

AHC web supported Drupal websites

The Academic Health Center (AHC) web team supports a primary web presence for AHC units, using the AHC’s Nokomis web theme on the U’s Drupal platform. Being part of our web support system comes with many benefits, including web support from a team of web professionals.

AHC web ecosystem

We use a framework to determine whether that web presence is a standalone site, section or page of a site, or another solution. The AHC web team will not support a standalone site for every web need identified by a unit. We look first at whether there's a home with existing content that makes sense. Fewer sites with more eyes on them means better performance on search (e.g., Google), helping audiences find what they need within the context of other relevant information (adding value), wiser use of resources and greater efficiency for maintenance—which leads to better support overall for everyone in the AHC.

We can help you create a web presence that serves as your website, giving you the web home base you need. It may take the shape of a section of a larger site—"site within a site." If you have an existing URL, we can direct it to the web section. You also can have access to maintain your content directly in Drupal.

Other ways to make websites

The following tools are not supported by the AHC web team, but may offer a good solution if your need falls outside our scope. Many are enterprise tools supported by the U.

Examples outside of AHC web support system

The AHC web team does not support standalone sites for these common needs. You may be able to find a home for this content within an existing site that’s supported by the AHC web team, or you may decide to pursue a Drupal Lite site, Google Site, or other possibility.

  • Faculty research labs—Is the information geared toward the public and it could fit within the research section of an existing site (e.g., with other research labs)? If so, approach that website contact to build the section there and get access to manage it. If not, and it’s for graduate student hours or internal collaboration, consider the tools described on this page.

  • Intranets and other internal audience focus—Does it fit with a college/school wide intranet, the AHC Resource Hub, or other existing site? If not, consider the options listed.

  • Projects and grants—Do members of the public need information about your project? For example, information about a research project or grant could potentially live within your school, center, or department’s research section. Or do you need a site for collaboration, or for a project not based in the AHC/University of Minnesota? If the latter, consider the tools below.

  • Workgroups—Do you need to share files and information with others on a committee or project team? Consider the collaboration tools below.

  • Professional organizations, student organizations, and journals—Do you maintain information for a professional organization, student organization, or journal that is not housed within the University of Minnesota? Consider a Google Site or other solution.

  • Not in the AHC—While you may have faculty or staff affiliated with the AHC, if your unit is not part of the AHC we cannot provide web support for your site.

Beyond the web

Not everything belongs online. Perhaps you need an email campaign, in-person, and/or printed materials to drive people to information you already have online; use of a shared drive for file sharing and archiving; or other needs.

Consider the following before creating a new web solution or continuing one that is no longer used or serving its purpose:

  • What you are trying to accomplish?
  • Why you are pursuing a web-based solution?
  • Who you are trying to reach? Who needs to access, use, and/or contribute to the information? What do they need to accomplish? How does this audience typically like to receive and use this type of information?
  • How often will it be used and updated? What capacity do you have to maintain and manage it? Who will be the point person for it?