Web Toolbox

Welcome to MarCom Web

Research consistently shows that, by far, university websites are the #1 information source used by prospective students during their college search. While there are other key strategic benefits to a good website, none outweigh the website’s centrality in recruitment, i.e. the top business goal of the institution.

Oversight of Detroit Mercy's websites is one of the responsibilities of the Marketing & Communications Department (MarCom). This includes content quality, technical quality, accessibility and other aspects of our online presence. With support from ITS, the MarCom Web team administers the website content management system Cascade CMS.

What does MarCom Web do?

MarCom Web staff manage website design, functionality, and technical development for the public websites in the udmercy.edu domain. Because content quality is critical to institutional goals, especially recruitment, we also help University colleagues create, refine and maintain the content of their website sections. Therefore, MarCom oversees:

  • strategic website scope
  • website content quality
  • development of new websites, website sections, and webpages
  • consultation and training on best practices for the websites
  • training and access in the Cascade CMS system, for content contributors who make frequent updates
  • technical assistance for website content contributors
  • website design
  • usability and accessibility compliance
  • website code, functionality and other technical underpinnings

NOTE: MarCom does not maintain the academic catalog, nor support catalog editors.

Website priorities

No website can be all things to all people, so it’s critical to be clear on the strategic priorities of a site. For University of Detroit Mercy, the overriding purpose of our public websites is to support the revenue-bearing activities of the institution, namely:

  • recruitment and retention of students
  • advancement, i.e. fundraising

Based on these core Web goals, the most important audiences for Detroit Mercy websites are:

  • prospective students (and their parents)
  • donors, especially alumni

By necessity, website activities that further these goals will always be given priority.

Maintaining your website

Websites require the involvement of:

  • content experts – i.e. subject matter experts of each University area – to contribute up-to-date information that appeals to and assists their key audiences, and
  • technical experts who are well-versed in the many layers of Web-specific requirements and best practices.

In most cases, content experts should work with the technical experts on the MarCom Web team by submitting a Web Request form for help in creating and updating website content.

Catalog editors, however, are still responsible for using Cascade CMS to annually update the academic catalog. MarCom does not support the academic catalog. Catalog editors work with ITS for such updates.

In some other special cases, MarCom may also choose to grant Cascade access. See "Do you need Cascade access?" for more.

Aside from the catalog, we encourage you to contact MarCom to make sure your webpages meet the many content and technical requirements. Even those with direct Cascade access regularly run into difficulties, including in areas like webpage design, branding and style consistency, site organization, technical issues, special functionality, etc. Use our Web Request form to let us know what you need.

Contact us

The Marketing & Communications Department is happy to discuss Web-related issues, such as:

  • website maintenance questions
  • improving website content and effectiveness
  • adding files or pages to an existing website
  • building a new site or new functionality
  • choosing and integrating a third-party Web system

You can use our Web request form any time, or contact MarCom by phone or email.

Web Oversight and Assistance

The Marketing & Communications (MarCom) Web staff oversee University websites generally, including the work of website contributors outside of MarCom. We periodically audit all website pages to ensure adherence to brand, design, and content quality standards, as well as all technical requirements including accessibility.

Note: MarCom does not oversee the academic catalog. Catalog editors will work with ITS for annual updates.

MarCom's online Web Request form should be your first resource for website needs. You can also contact MarCom with questions or to request a site quality review. We usually find issues that you may be unaware of. MarCom is always happy to help improve the Detroit Mercy websites.

When MarCom staff finds any issues on any University website, at our discretion, we will either:

  • ask website contributors to correct the issues, or
  • correct the issues directly, according to MarCom Web standards, with or without notice.

MarCom strongly encourages the use of our Web Request form to ask for website changes. This is the best way to get a quick response. Catalog editors: work with ITS to make your updates to the academic catalog.

In special situations, non-catalog access to Cascade CMS may be granted, at MarCom's discretion. MarCom may refuse or revoke Cascade access at any time, for any reason. Cascade users will receive notifications of system changes, training and other information relevant to website contributors, usually via email. It is imperative that all Cascade users follow all such directions.