Top 10 WSG highlights of 2019

In 2019, the Web Services Group delivered a boost to community engagement with updates to the Twitter block, non-Roman characters support, McGill-branded short links, and SMS links. Content optimization was also a common thread with the release of the meta tags module, a new search engine, and new digital standards.
  1. Updated Twitter block

    Twitter icon in a circleThe switch to Twitter's official widget brought different ways to embed curated content from Twitter's API in the WMS, whether it be via a:

    • profile;
    • collection;
    • list; or
    • likes timeline

    Learn more:

  2. Increased support for non-Roman characters

    We extended the existing accommodation for non-Roman characters in the WMS by adding better right-to-left support as well as support for emojis which was a real crowd-pleaser. 🙂

    Learn more: Support for non-Roman characters in the WMS

  3. Articles by Author

    WMS Articles were updated to include clickable author bylines so that readers could easily access more from their favourite content creators.

    Learn more: Create an article and enable the Articles block in the WMS

  4. sms: and tel: links

    two people's hands holding cell phonesIn response to the community and the needs of a mobile-driven culture, we added support for both SMS and telephone links in the WMS, making it easier for users to interact and communicate.

    Learn more:

  5. Related Content links

    The new Related Content feature released in the fall of 2019 made it possible to add links at the bottom of WMS Basic Pages and Articles to related content in both English and French — a great way to invite visitors to discover more content.

    Learn more: Related Content links in the WMS

  6. Download files with webform submissions

    As part of WSG's mandate to protect user data in WMS webforms, we will make user form submissions automatically expire. (Don't worry, we'll give you lots of warning before this happens!) In preparation for that change, new functionality was developed allowing Site Managers to choose to include user submitted files when downloading webform results.

    Learn more: Viewing and downloading results of webform submissions in the WMS

  7. Short Link Creator role

    Responding to feedback from the community, we gave users the power to manage their own McGill-branded short links. The URL shortening service has been a hit with communicators who need to create secure and reputable short links along with the ability to track their effectiveness.

    Learn more:

  8. Meta tags

    The Meta tags module was taken out of Beta testing, giving all WMS Site Managers the ability to refine their meta tags — useful for improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as well as for defining how content is shared on social media.

    Learn more: Meta tags in the WMS

  9. New search engine

    Did you notice our new search engine? If you didn't, that was the plan!

    WSG successfully deployed a new search engine in the WMS at the end of August to seamlessly replace the deprecated tool that was previously in place.

    This new search engine sets the foundation for further improvements to come next year when we plan to make content management more fine-tuned and search functionality even more powerful. Stay tuned!

  10. New McGill Home page

    As part of McGill's Web Evolution Program, WSG collaborated with Digital Communications to launch the redesigned mcgill.ca home page, introducing a new and modern user-centred design.

    Learn more: Web Evolution Program


🏆 Honourable mention 🏆

New Digest name & new Web Services site

It was such an epic year that our honourable mention packs a double punch.

The WMS Digest became the WSG Digest at the beginning of 2019 to reflect the broader scope of our communications covering not only topics related to the Web Management System but all services offered by the Web Services Group.

In the same spirit, we closed out the year by folding the Web Management System and Web 101 sites into the new Web Services website at mcgill.ca/web-services.

This new site brings together all resources managed in partnership between the Web Services Group and the Digital Communications team from central Communications and External Relations (CER).

Here you'll find the new digital standards guide along with a comprehensive set of resources for assistance with your website. Be sure to check it out.

Learn more:


That’s a wrap for 2019! We hope everyone enjoys a well-deserved break and we wish you all happy holidays. See you next year as we look forward to more continuous improvements and innovations for web services at McGill.