The Mines Content Management System (CMS) is a web-based application that al ows website
owners and administrators to update pages, add images, create links, and upload documents without
any prior web-development experience. This tutorial explains the basic procedures required to log in to
the CMS, open a pre-existing web page, and modify it.
To log in to the CMS, open a browser window and navigate to https://inside.mines.edu/cms. Note that
while any major browser—Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, or Opera—wil general y function
correctly with the CMS, on some operating systems one wil work better than another. If you have
problems using the CMS, try a different browser.
After you've arrived at the login screen, enter your username and password into the appropriate fields
and click the “Submit” button. If your credentials are accepted, you wil be redirected to the default
CMS landing page, which might look something like this:
Typical CMS landing page
To the left of the screen you'll see a directory-navigation tree. In general, you wil see only the part of
that tree for which you have rights. If an area is missing from the tree, or in some cases grayed-out,
you have not been granted access to that part of the CMS. (Contact a CMS systems administrator for
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access to other parts of the CMS.) This system helps you to find the pages you are interested in by
hiding the thousands of pages that are not relevant to you.
To the right is your work area. Its appearance wil change depending on your current task in the CMS.
In this portion of the interface you wil open pages, edit them, save them, and approve (publish) them
to the Internet.
Sites managed through the CMS are organized into directories. In many cases, these directories (and
their sub-directories) are reflected on the live Mines website as navigation elements—left-hand menu
items. For instance, here is part of the left-hand menu in the Computing, Communications, and
Information Technologies (CCIT) portion of the CMS. To the right is the corresponding menu seen in a
web browser when you navigate to http://inside.mines.edu/CCIT:
CMS menu tree
As seen in a web browser
By default, each directory that is visible on the web has at least one page in its corresponding CMS
directory. If a directory has no page in it, or if it has been manual y designated as a “hidden” directory
(as is the case with one of the directories above), it wil not appear on the web. While a CMS directory
may have several pages in it, clicking on a left-hand menu item on the live website brings up only the
first page in that CMS directory.
In the CMS, once you navigate to a directory for which you have rights, the appearance of the work
area wil change. The new view is cal ed the Main Menu and it contains four smal er areas or “bins”
that al ow various operations to take place. During basic editing of a web page, only the “Pages I am
working on” and “Pages Currently Online” bins wil typical y be used.
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Typical view of the CMS Main Menu
This view tel s us a number of things. For instance, the page titled “CCIT Support” is found in the CMS
sub-directory Inside > Top Menu on Home Page > Computing > Support. There is only one
document in that Support sub-directory. It was last updated 06/19/2013 at 11:34 a.m. by the CMS
user with username “froberts.” When you update a page, your username wil appear next to that page.
The CMS al ows multiple people to work on the same site. But to avoid version conflicts, the CMS
prevents different people from working on a single page at the same time. This means you must check
out a page to work on it, then check it back in to al ow others to do so (and to transfer your changes to
the live website). Always check pages back in when you're finished working on them for the day.
To check out a page, you may click any of several icons in the “Pages Currently Online” bin. Clicking a
yel ow “Check Out” icon wil check out, but not open, the page. Clicking either of the “Open in HTML
editor” icons wil check out and open the page for immediate editing. The latter is probably more direct
and convenient in most cases.
When you check out a page, it is copied to the “Pages I am working on” portion of the interface. It is
important to note that you wil be editing this copy of the page, not the original page itself.
A page checked out for editing in the CMS
If the page is not already open for editing, click this icon to do so:
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A page open in the CMS editor wil look something like this:
After you have checked out the page, you can edit its content in the CMS editor.
The top portion of the interface shows the page name CCIT-Support (after a page is created this wil
only be visible to administrators); a “short title” (the information found in the browser tab when the
page is viewed online); an optional “long title” (the title of the page itself; if no long title is specified the
short title wil be used instead); and other fields that wil not typical y be used.
The lower portion of the editor interface contains the page content, and a toolbar of icons you can use
to manipulate the content. This part of the CMS works very much like other word processors with
which you may be familiar. In this area you can make fonts bold or italic, insert bul eted or numbered
lists, add links to web pages or documents, insert graphics, and even embed YouTube videos in the
page. Note, however, that you wil be changing only page content—the general design of the page
including font, font size, font colors, and overal page layout is handled by the CMS itself.
A few features of this interface are worth special mention.
After you have edited a page, you may preview the page to make sure it looks right. To do so, click the
“Preview in Template” button just above the editing window:
Preview button
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When you preview your page you wil see three buttons in the upper-left corner of the preview:
A page in preview mode
At this point you have three choices (left-to-right):
You may save the document as correct and return to the main menu. You may return to the editing
window to edit the document further. Or you may discard al changes made to this point and exit to the
main menu. Normal y, you wil choose one of the first two options.
It is important to note that while saving a change does store any alterations in the CMS, it does not
push those changes to the live web server. To modify the real-world version of a page, you must first
“approve” (or “publish”) the changes.
Page approval takes place on the Main Menu screen. Simply click the right-pointing blue arrow next to
the label “Approve” in the “Pages I am working on” portion of the interface.
Ready to “approve” a page
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Note that this arrow appears in multiple places on the screen, so take care to click the correct arrow.
Clicking the wrong arrow wil result in unintended (though general y not catastrophic) consequences.
Clicking the “Approve” arrow automatical y checks the page back in and removes the copy from the
“Pages I am working on” bin. The page is stil listed in the “Pages Currently Online” bin. The page itself
is updated to the current date and time and wil note the username of the last person to edit it. Most
importantly, the changes implemented in the CMS editor are now reflected on the live webpage.
Everything is back to normal and the changes are live.
It is recommended that you open the newly modified page in a browser window to confirm that the
changes have been properly transferred (you may have to refresh your browser window to see the
changes). This is the best way to be sure that you have done everything correctly.
At this point you can log out of the CMS or make changes to other pages.
On the next page you wil find a step-by-step, “cookbook” guide to editing a page in the CMS. You
might want to print it out for easy reference.
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Start to finish, this is the recommended procedure for editing a web page in the CMS. Smal variations
in this process are possible, but this method is straightforward and wil always work. Note that these
steps assume you have not already logged into the CMS and have no pages currently checked out.
1. Log into the CMS at https://inside.mines.edu/cms
2. Using the directory navigation tree at left, find the directory containing the page you wish to
3. Click the “Check out and open for editing” icon next to the document you wish to edit:
4. Modify the page content as needed in the editing window.
5. To preview the page, click the “Preview in Template” button:
6. To save your page, click the “Save” icon at the upper-left of the preview window:
7. Or, to keep editing your page, click the “Edit” icon at the upper-left of the preview window:
8. When the page preview is correct, click the “Save” icon.
9. Approve your changes by clicking the blue arrow next to the label “Approve” in the Main
Menu's “Pages I am working on” bin:
10. Check the newly modified page in a browser to make sure your changes are live and correct.
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