Using the Content Management System


About the CMS Technology

The UH Hilo CMS (Content Management System) is the tool used to create pages on The CMS uses 'Markdown', a simplified subset of HTML, to format pages. Because of the stripped down, content-first structure of the CMS, it help ensure our content-creators ensure that web content is accessible to all.

All public-facing content, and most non-public facing content, made available on our websites and social media channels must meet1 standards and guidelines outlined in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. These standards were refreshed in January, 2017 to adopt the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 levels A and AA.

Using the CMS Admin

Screenshot of the UH Hilo CMS First, login to the CMS Admin at or the admin URL provided by the . Note that the url is different - it has cms.uhh. instead of hilo. at the beginning. Once you have logged in with your email, you will be taken to the CMS dashboard, which has a number of buttons at the left of the screen.

Creating a Page

The Create Page dialog is visible on the CMS Admin home and the Pages screen. If you try to visit a page that does not exist (by typing in the URL bar), the CMS will prompt you to create a new page, if appropriate. A page title and a URL stub is required to create the page.

page not found; page creation prompt
If you try to visit a page that doesn't exist, the CMS will prompt you to create a new page using the URL stub you tried.
Create page dialog. Note the 'Publish this Page' checkbox (checked by default)

What is a URL Stub?

URL stub, showing the 'admissions/tranfer' URL stub
The URL stub becomes part of the page address.

The URL Stub is the part of the URL after, and before the trailing .php extension for the generated pages. For example, 'admissions/transfer' will be visible at The URL stub can contain the slash '/' character, which is used to indicate a folder.


To create a directory, or a subdirectory, use a trailing '/' after the URL stub.

Only pages that end in a slash '/' can be linked without the trailing '.php' page extension.

For example - the URL stub 'admissions/inspired/' will be visible at

Parent pages / hierarchy

Every page has a 'parent' page that above it in the navigation. The home page for your department or unit is a good choice for 'Parent Page'. For example, Student Affairs would be an appropriate parent page for To filter the list, just start typing the page name or URL stub of the office or department that houses your organizational unit.

screenshot of page hierarchy control
Page nesting is a reference to hierarchy.

Duplicating a page

The Duplicate page... button allows you to create a copy of an existing page, with a new URL stub and page title. To use the duplicate function, first save any changes to the page, then click the Duplicate page button. A dialog will come up, asking you to confirm the new page name and URL stub. Any styles or fragments included in the 'Additional Content' area will be copied to the new page, as well as the page template and any pre-page content. Duplicating a page is a convenient way to make sure your new page matches the others in your site.

Duplicate page / Delete page buttons
The Duplicate page and Delete page buttons are found on the 'Edit page' screen.
Duplicate Page dialog
Enter the new title and URL stub for your new page on the 'Duplicate page' dialog.

Unpublishing a page (or, why not to delete a page)

When you want a page to be removed from public view, you can 'unpublish' the page by going to the 'Meta' tab and unchecking 'Publish this page' checkbox. The advantage of doing this is that the page will still be available on (to logged-in users), but will not be available to the public on the live

screenshot of page listings, showing the unpublished flag
Unpublished pages are shown in the Pages listing with the label 'Unpublished' against a red background

It is possible to delete a page in the CMS, however there are a few reasons why it is preferred to 'Unpublish' the page instead. Deleting a page removes the edit history, and may lead to broken links. Unpublishing the page allows for it to be recovered later.

If you want traffic from your deleted page to be directed elsewhere, consider using a Redirect instead.

Screenshot showing the 'Publish this Page' checkbox on the 'Meta' tab
To unpublish a page, uncheck the 'Publish this page' checkbox in the 'Meta' tab.

Redirecting pages

Sometimes, it is useful to have a page that forwards to another page. To establish a forwarding page, enter a URL in the 'redirect' field of the 'Meta' tab on the Create Page form. Creating forwarding pages allows legacy or shortend page URLs to still point to the current page. Redirects can be useful to correct broken links, by forwarding traffic to the correct page instead.

This example redirects traffic from the shorter 'tcbes-graduate-handbook' to a longer URL.
screenshot showing redirect labeling
When viewing all pages, redirect pages will be marked with a light blue background and the word 'Redirect'.

Links are essential to web pages; they are the glue that holds a site together. Links consist of two parts - the link text, and the link destination. In Markdown format, the link text is between a set of square brackets - '[' and ']', followed by the link destination URL in between opening and closing parentheses - '(' and ')'. In the CMS page editor, the link text is colored dark blue, and the link URL is indicated in red.

[UH Hilo](
This code will be color coded as at right in the CMS edit page screen.

Link highlighted in CMS

Link URLs should start with an http:// or https://, unless they are a link to another page on this website.

Using Page Headings

Headings are used to seperate content. There are several sizes of headings available, ranging from heading level 1 (the page title) to heading level 6 (the smallest sub-heading). In the CMS, use hashtags to indicate the level of the heading, with one hashtag for each level. For example, a heading level 2 would look like ## Major Heading and a heading level 3 would appear as ### Sub-heading.

For more about headings, visit the Accessible Page Structure page.

Editing an existing page

We recommend installing a spell-checking browser plugin, to alert you to any spelling or grammatical mistakes before pressing 'publish'. The Language Tool Grammar and Spell Checker tool does this via a FireFox Addon or Chrome Extension. Please contact the Help Desk if you need assistance installing a browser plugin.

To edit a page, first login to the CMS Admin, and then find the page you wish to edit. You can do so by browsing, and looking for the 'Edit this page' link in the lower left corner.

Screenshot showing 'Edit this Page' link on a CMS page
The 'Edit this Page' link shows up on the bottom of pages on, so long as you are signed in and have edit access
Search field
The search dialog is at the top of the navigation menu for the Admin panel.

You can also use the site search from the admin panel to search for the title or URL stub of the page you want to edit.

Search results screenshot
Results from a site search are shown with links to edit (page title) and view the page (URL stub)

Hawaiian Characters

The UH Hilo CMS is designed to make it easy to spell Hawaiian words properly, using Hawaiian Characters such as the ʻokina and kahakō. Do not use the single quote ('), apostrophe (’), or backtick (`) in place of the ʻokina.

The 'Insert special character' button includes all of the hawaiian characters, plus hard-to-type characters such as apostrophes and quotes.

backticks interpreted incorrectly Backticks (`) are used to denote a code block, and will not be interpreted correctly if used instead of the in place of the ʻokina (ʻ).

Insert special character menu items

Adding Files or Images to a Page

The insert asset button is located in the toolbar above the main content edit box

To add images or documents to a page, you can use the ' Insert Asset' button from the edit page screen.

Upon pressing this button, a dialog will come up, with a few tabs. The 'Select Asset' tab will show all of the image and documents in the current folder. You can also browse to other folders on the website. Once you choose a photo, the code to show it on the webpage will be inserted into the page.

View images from the current folder in the 'Assets' tab.
Select the 'Upload' tab to reveal the uploader. Drag and drop files from your computer to upload them and place them on the current page. The files will be uploaded to the folder of the page you are editing.

Uploading New Files From Your Computer

If the file you want to insert into your page is on your computer, you will need to upload it before placing the image or a link to the file on your webpage. To do this, select the 'Upload' tab in the 'Insert Asset' dialog, and drag one or more files onto the target. The file will be uploaded, and a link to the file or files will be placed into the page you are editing.

If you drag more than one file into the uploader, each file will be uploaded, and a markdown formatted document link or image code will be inserted into the page as part of a bulleted list.

Alternative Text on Images

If you have text selected when you press the ' Insert Asset' button, that text will become the Alternative text that screen readers will use to describe the image. Otherwise, you will have to add a text description of the image afterwards.

Not all visitors to our website are the same. Some see differently, or not at all. If you rely on things like the contrast between different colors to convey different information on a chart, how will a coloblind person be able to interpret it? Similarly, if you publish an image of a flyer for an upcoming event, with the alternative text 'poster' or 'flyer', that is doing a disservice to those using a screen-reader to access the content.

Alternative text markdown rendering demo
The text within the square brackets becomes the alternative description of the associated image

Good alternative text should be descriptive and describe the image within the context of the content—all within one sentence. Ask yourself: How would I describe this image to someone over the telephone?

For charts and graphs, the web office may be able to assist in making patterned charts accessible to the colorblind.

Using the Assets manager

Files and images stored on your website can be found in the 'Assets' section of the CMS. To view / add documents to your site, go to the Assets section of the CMS, then choose the appropriate folder. Files are kept in a folder that has the same name as the URL stub. For example: Documents uploaded from the /uhh/vcaa/ folder will be in the uhh > vcaa folder.

To upload files, drag and drop them onto the light blue upload area at the top of the Assets page.

Clicking on a file from the assets page will display a code to link to the file, or to diplay the image, in markdown syntax. You can also rename a file or move it to a new location by clicking the 'Rename' button.

Clicking on a file will display the code that can be used to include the file in a page.
Images will be previewed when they are selected from the Assets page.

Please note that all web content must be accessible. This includes images and documents that you link from a web page. See Accessibility of Web Content and contact the web office for more information.

Folders and Permissions

The Assets manager is folder based. When the Assets page loads, it defaults to the root folder of the website, which may not be a place where you are permitted to upload files.

screenshot of assets upload screen, without upload permission
A user without permission to upload to the current folder will see an upload target that is solid grey with no texture.
screenshot of assets upload screen, with permission to upload
A user with permission to upload has an upload target with light blue textured background.

Consider an individual with access to studentaffairs/womenscenter/. When they first visit the assets page, the upload area will have a grey background, and a warning message will appear above the folder list.

To find any existing files, or to upload new ones, this individual would first need to go to the studentaffairs folder, then to the womenscenter subfolder. Upon navigating to a folder where a user can upload, they can upload, rename, delete and move files.

Files outside of a user's permitted folders can be linked or used in a page, but cannot be modified by that user.

Advanced file management

There are some powerful tools built into the asset manager. It is possible to find unused files and download an archive of selected files using the 'Actions on Selected button.

The 'Select...' button allows you to check all files in a folder with one click.
Once you have files selected, the 'Find File Usages' option will deselect any files or images that are linked from pages, meaning the remaining files are safe to delete or archive.
Actions on selected button
One of the available actions is to download an archive of the selected files