Platform Benefits 

Why is YaleSites upgrading its platform?

Most YaleSites are on Drupal 7, which is being retired. The new platform will use the latest version of Drupal. This exciting platform evolution is a result of Yale’s technology infrastructure investment. 

Site builders will be able to move from customizations that are difficult to maintain. Instead, they will use pre-built, Yale-branded components and layouts to build beautiful sites. Accessibility and analytics tools are included in the platform. 

In addition, Drupal is evolving from complicated upgrades to a model that pushes out new updates regularly. So future upgrades will be easier and more seamless.  

What are the benefits of the new YaleSites platform? 

The new Drupal platform will simplify the user experience for:  

  • Building and maintaining sites. Components, layouts, taxonomies, and views make it easy to create beautiful, impactful websites. 

  • Ensuring accessibility requirements. A built-in tool shows editors how to improve accessibility. 

  • Adhering to Yale identity standards. Design components have Yale’s identity built in. 

  • Evaluating site analytics. A metrics tracker is integrated. 

Feature-Specific Upgrades 

When will “traditional” Drupal CMS features be introduced? For example, views, taxonomies, and entity references. 

The new YaleSites platform includes a new design system on the latest version of Drupal. Users will be able to create websites that are simple to build, easy to maintain, and are accessible. While the process of building websites will be different, we are committed to empowering the YaleSites community to build dynamic websites with confidence. 

Resources Needed for Pathways 

What does the upgrade mean for my department? 

All YaleSites on Drupal 7 will need to be rebuilt using the new, flexible, more effective platform. Resources to rebuild depend on a site’s pre-determined upgrade pathway. 

The YaleSites team analyzed each site to assign upgrade pathways. Factors include site size, complexity, and how it was initially built.  

Potential upgrade pathways are: Self-service, Supported Build, Vendor Supported, and Archive. 


  • The department that owns the site will be responsible for rebuilding it on the new platform. Timing is at their discretion and will likely be determined by available resources.  

  • Technical expertise is not necessary to build an accessible and Yale-branded site. Departments who do not rebuild right away will be supported on D7 until the rebuild occurs. 

Supported Build 

  • Sites in this pathway do not need the customization and resources a vendor would provide. They will be rebuilt through a combination of ITS and department site owner efforts.   

  • Departments who do not rebuild right away will be supported on D7 until the rebuild occurs. 

Vendor Supported

  • Sites in this pathway were most likely built by a vendor for D7. These sites are complex and need outside support to maintain their functionality.   

  • Any sites on Yale servers must have a long-term support agreement with the vendor. 


  • Outdated sites will be archived on archive.org. If necessary, they can be restored. 

How did my site get categorized? 

Our team analyzed each site and categorized based on size and complexity. We also took into consideration how the site was initially developed. For example, vendor-built sites will likely require an outside vendor for the rebuild. If a site was built with department resources, then those resources will develop the new site as well. 


When is the new platform launching? 

Summer, 2023 

When should self-service sites begin rebuilding? 

It’s never too early to audit current site content and develop new content. The YaleSites team will be offering training to help guide the development process. Please be on the lookout for training invitations.

Once the upgraded platform is launched, the timing for self-service rebuilds is at the discretion of the department. Sites that do not upgrade in the short term will be hosted and supported via a long-term support agreement.


Will the new platform make it easier to comply with accessibility requirements? 

Yes. A tool called Editoria11y makes it easier to make changes to content without introducing accessibility barriers. 

It alerts editors of accessibility issues and provides clear direction for fixing problems. 


What training and resources is the YaleSites team providing to site authors and editors? 

A broad array of trainings and resources will be available in several formats. Topics include: 

  • content auditing 

  • writing for the web 

  • SEO 

  • composing with platform components 

  • site analytics 

  • and many others. 

How can I find out when training sessions are scheduled?

We will soon allow users to sign up for a mailing list for updates about the project, including scheduled trainings.

Where can I access past training sessions? 

When past training sessions are made available, you will be able to find them in our training and resources section

Content Support 

What happens to my sites if I don’t rebuild them right away? 

A long-term support plan is in place for sites that don’t rebuild right away.