WebTech Monthly News – March 2021 

Welcome to the March edition of WebTech News!

Site launches

Site launches and sites with large content updates: Latin American StudiesGlobal Humanities and ReligionsLinguisticsHistoryHealth and Human Development, and Psychology departments.  

Professional and Continuing Education and Outreach and Continuing EducationOffice of the Internal Auditor, and the website setup in the event of an emergency.  

 

Drupal Updates 

The Siteimprove plugin enabled on a webpage, it is a red circle with the number 5 inside, indicating there are 5 issues to address. 

Siteimprove Plugin for Drupal: Drupal sites now have the option of using the Siteimprove Content Management System (CMS) plugin (see image at left). It can show you details on accessibility issues on the page, broken links, search engine optimization suggestions, and other useful items to address. If you do not have a plugin on the pages you are editing like in this image, contact webhelp@wwu.edu if you would like to get setup. 

 

Managing People 

Users may have noticed that a permission they had in the past is now gone. The People menu link within Drupal has been removed. You are still able to edit users by navigating to their user profile page, on that page you will see an edit link. To add new users to the site, please reach out to WebTech and we will be glad to assist.  

 

New Modules 

The following new modules are now available on websites.  

 

  • CKEditor List Style – simply right click on a list item to choose a list style or a start number or a numbered list.  

  • Edit Profiles Permissions - WebTech can setup users on your request to allow escalation of certain site privileges. 

  • Audit Files – Those files that you know were deleted but somehow keep coming up from a URL, this module will help clean those up. 

  • Protected Pages – If you have a public page and you want to shield it until certain conditions are met, this module helps with just that. Ask WebTech about your use case. 

 

Drupal Theme Updates 

  • Breadcrumb fix for pages built with Drupal views 

  • Code refactors for background videos 

  • Styles added for schedule component 

  • Accessibility improvements for forms, Ultimenu, quick search, and locations icon links 

  • Featherlight removed (replaced by in house video code) 

 

Google Analytics 

Back in October Google announced the release of the next edition of Google Analytics (GA), named GA 4. In preparation for the eventual sunset of classic Google Analytics WebTech has been hard at work upgrading every site to Google Tag Manager (GTM) to support GA4.  

Concurrently, older GA installations are being updated to GA4. If you have Google Data Studio reports, they will need to be updated to pull data from GA4 as well. 

While we removed the Google Analytics module from the sites, Google Tag Manager still uses GA to gather information about visitor behavior and traffic on wwu.edu websites. While there are a number of reasons, we made the switch, here are the top four. 

  1. All tags are managed in one place: 
    In the old days, when tag management was just an unknown term, all tracking codes were coded directly in the website’s source code. And if you needed to do a minor change, the developer had to: (1) find all those codes, (2) update them. Thanks to GTM, this process is made easier: all tags are controlled in one place. 

  1. Event tracking is automatic: 
    GTM comes with a feature called auto-event tracking, which automatically tracks events (like clicks, form submissions, or time spent on page) without involving custom JavaScript code.  

  1. Changes are managed via version control: 
    A new, archived version of GTM is created every time you publish a change. This makes it easy to roll back to a former version at any moment (especially good if one is experimenting with new or custom tags). It’s also ideal as it helps with troubleshooting. 

  1. Built to work together with Google Analytics: 
    Since GTM is not a way to create reports, do analysis or set goals, we continue to use Google Analytics to capture data for your site. In fact, Google Analytics is the first tag we added and deployed to each GTM account at Western. With this, you have all options you would have had in your previous Google Analytics implementation.  

 

Some people confuse Google Tag Manager (GTM) with Google Analytics (GA), thinking they are the same thing, or should use one over the other. They’re not the same thing, and they can be used together to gather data about your website traffic. There are many articles on the web explaining the differences between GTM and GA if you’d like to learn more. 

 

WordPress updates from CampusPress 

  • Beehive upgrade to version 3.3.7 to support Google Analytics 4.  

  • Google Analytics moved from Settings > Google Analytics to Statistics + GMT > Accounts. Dashboard > Statistics moved to Statistics + GMT >Dashboard.  

  • Calendar+: Improved support for imports from Events Calendar.  

  • Formidable reCAPTCHA V3: Added support for file uploads. 

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021 - 11:34am

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