The Microsite System

The microsite system is a shared web hosting and content management system (CMS) that The School of Pharmacy manages and maintains. All sites offer similar features and easy-to-use functionality based on the Drupal framework. Site templates, layouts, and themes (look-n-feel) are standardized and set by the communications team.

Browse our list of sites (https://pharm.ucsf.edu). You'll notice many labs, programs, studies, and other types of microsites that take advantage of this system.

The information below pertains to common methods and functionality that you'll use and encounter.


Making changes to your content is easy.

Besides choosing to edit the pages you're viewing when logged in, My Workbench (in the black Drupal toolbar at the top) shows your edited content and all site content.

Content Types and Landing Pages

Select an appropriate content type when creating content.

Besides the basic page type, you may also create news, event, or gallery types. You should select the appropriate content type because each have different, pertinent fields related to its type as well as special landing pages that display your latest news, events, and galleries.

Paths and URLs

You'll interlink content or pages with system paths, and link to other websites or files with URLs. The difference is that Drupal manages system paths; they never change in our system. URLs to other sites may change.

System paths and domain aliases

An example of a system path is "node/123." An alias may be created to represent this system path, like "news/some-news-title." Or in the case of this page, "node/1891" and "microsite."

Path standards and site hierarchy

The Home page of your site is always at the "root level." Paths should be structured similarly to how visitors navigate your site. For example:

  1. Home (root, or "/")
  2. About ("about")
  3. News ("news")
    1. A news item ("news/some-news-title")

News and Gallery pages are automatically given a path alias by Drupal, and the only pages you'll provide your own paths for are "Basic pages."

A few tips, when creating your own path aliases:

  • Hyphens, not underscores in URL’s ("page-name" NOT "page_name")

  • Establish a proper URL hierarchy ("about/page-name")


Menu architecture

Most lab sites follow a default menu architecture:

Editing navigation menus in Drupal

Editing your site menu is easy, and simply click on the "gear" that appears by hovering your mouse over the top-left of your menu.

  1. Home
  2. About ("about")
  3. People ("people")
  4. Research & Projects ("research")
    1. Research A ("research/a")
    2. Research B ("research/b")
  5. Publications ("publications")
  6. Facility ("facility")
  7. Contact Us ("contact")

This default menu hierarchy is not required, and this is structure is based on our research to identify the most commonly and consistently used hierarchy for lab information. Sites for programs, studies, and other types of microsites may adopt their own information hierarchy, for example:

Sub-menus and placement

Editing menu placements

The drag-n-drop interface makes it easy to change the placement of menu items, as well as create sub-menu items by dragging them under another item.

  • News, Events, and Gallery landing pages are not included in the menu by default. You should add them ("news", "events", "gallery") to your menu if you want the landing pages more visible to users.

  • Do not include a leading slash ("/") nor use the full url ("http​://​site-name​/") when linking to an internal page like "page/some-page-title".

Can't find what you need?

File a ticket at our Website Support form.