Columbia Sites

Modern, affordable, easy-to-use websites for Columbia research, academic, and administrative groups.

Also known as Drupal distribution (distro), Sites.

The Columbia Sites project has grown out of the need to provide low-cost websites quickly to academic and administrative units across the University; sites with a consistent user experience, appropriate security protocols, approved branding, the latest technology, and complimentary designs. Columbia Sites is a collaborative effort of Columbia University Information Technology, the Office of the Executive Vice President for Research, the Office of the Provost, the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, and the Office of Strategic Communications within Facilities and Operations.

Columbia Sites is open to members of the faculty as well as research, academic, or administrative units of the university. There are some protocols on the use of URLs, branding, etc., that must be considered based on your group’s affiliation(s), so please fill out the form to help us understand your web needs.

What’s Included?

  1. A fully responsive (mobile-friendly) site
  2. An accessible site compliant with Section 508 of the Americans With Disabilities Act
  3. Modern design aesthetic based on extensive user testing and analytics
  4. Drag-and-drop editing for easy updating of a wide range of content types
  5. Integration with Columbia systems such as CourseWorks and Vergil
  6. A dedicated calendar that integrates with the University Events Calendar
  7. Profile pages for faculty, students, and staff with easy updating of contact info, CVs, and research papers
  8. In-house technical support from a dedicated team of developers
  9. Several pre-approved, custom-designed branding options
  10. Content migration consultation
  11. Workshops on social media, content creation and curation, analytics, and using Drupal


Standard website models—labs/research, administrative, and academic—are free. They come with everything mentioned in What’s Included? and will suit the needs of most administrative units, departments, and research centers.

If we determine that your group is not a good fit for a standard site, custom requirements will be discussed in detail and itemized in a scope of work that will be agreed on prior to the commencement of any work. Please see the Service Package section for specific prices for each model.

Basic Model

This model is ideal for smaller sites or for teams with content development and site-building experience as well as the resources to build a site on their own. The Basic model provides a blank site template, system patches and updates, and a pre-production site review by the Columbia Sites team.

Extended Model

Our Extended service model builds upon the Basic model and adds 10 hours of content management and site-building support, as well as user research, usability testing, and content migration assistance. The Extended plan is ideal for teams with smaller sites who don't have the resources needed to migrate content from their existing site to the Columbia Sites template.

Premium Model

This service model includes most services from the Extended model and is designed for teams with larger sites. This model is ideal for those with the resources needed to migrate content from an existing site to the Columbia Sites template, but need assistance with usability testing, user research, content analysis, and new content development.

Ultimate Model

Our Ultimate service model includes all Columbia Sites services and is ideal for teams with larger sites or significant user research and content analysis and migration needs.