Reason Overview

What is Reason?

Reason is a web content management system — a tool for building and managing websites using your web browser.

What is content management? How is it different from creating web pages by hand?

  • You don't need to know anything about web servers, file transfer, directory structures, etc.
  • The focus is on editing and formatting content rather than crafting and troubleshooting html code.
  • The content is reusable.
  • Many things are taken care of for you:
    • Navigation
    • Institutional styles
    • Accessibility
    • Correctly formed web code
    • Mobile-friendly responsiveness

What are the organizing principles of Reason?

  1. Carleton's web presence is broken up into hundreds of separate websites; each site has its own contents. A site, then, is like a basket.
  2. Within each site, there are several kinds of items you can manage. These are like the contents of the basket. Depending on the site, these may include:
    • Pages
    • Images
    • Videos
    • News Items/Blog Posts
    • Events
    • Assets (e.g. documents)
    • Forms
    • …and more!
  3. Reason encourages the sharing and borrowing of content between sites, both to enhance collaboration and to minimize duplication of effort.
  4. Pages are a special kind of item — they are the building blocks that provide the structure of the site.

Things to think about before starting to build your website

  • What pages do you want to have, and how do they relate to each other?
  • What types of content (videos, forms, etc.) do you want to include?
  • How will the content on your site interact with other Carleton sites? What items would other sites want to borrow or share with your site?

Learning to use Reason

Many users find that they can get up to speed with basic website editing in about an hour of self-training by following these instructions.

  1. Using the Firefox browser, visit the Reason User Documentation website.
    • If you see a list of websites in the left sidebar, select “Reason 101.”
    • If you need editing access to this or other sites, let us know.
  2. Read through the “Getting Started” section and watch the video tutorials.
  3. In another tab, log in to Reason’s administrative interface.
  4. Work your way through the “Pages” section of the “Managing Content” documentation, while simultaneously creating your own page (or pages) in the Reason 101 training site.
  5. Look through the rest of the “Managing Content” section and try as many other things as you have time for: borrow an image, create an event, put a text blurb on your page, and create a form.
  6. For hands-on help:
    • Visit the weekly Web Wednesday drop-in help session, happening every Wednesday during academic terms from 10–noon in Sayles-Hill Great Space. No appointment necessary!
    • Check the calendar for the Web Help House Calls schedule. We visit academic buildings and other spaces on Thursday afternoons.
    • Schedule a personal consultation via our request form.