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Anna Watt Posted by Anna Watt on Monday, November 26, 2018 - 4:40pm

Let’s say you want to make a cake but you don’t have a lot of time to make one from scratch. You already have a box of cake mix ready to go but this box is for chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. But you really wanted one with dark-chocolate ganache frosting —because you can never have too much chocolate.

gif of chocolate cake with buttercream frosting switching to chocolate ganache frosting

You’re not going to throw out the entire box of cake mix just because it doesn’t have the frosting you want, are you? You don’t have to reinvent the wheel and make a chocolate cake from scratch. You can still use the box of cake mix to save time preparing the cake and instead focus on making the perfect frosting you want. The end result is the same chocolate cake but with your own unique dark chocolate ganache frosting on top.

This experience is similar to the benefits of our open source software development approach for building websites at scale on a shared platform. We are able to share functionality and features for different units while also accommodating their unique needs or flavors. 
Last summer, the School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S) Web Team sponsored the design and development of an edge-to-edge image or video feature with other fun display options such as a curtain-reveal or scroll button. One example of this feature with the curtain reveal option is currently live (at the time of writing this blog post) on the Center for East Asian Studies website to showcase their 50 year anniversary.
We’ve also used this feature for the Woods Institute for the Environment website to feature videos on the research focal area landing pages.
So when the School of Engineering (SOE) communications team came to Stanford Web Services and asked for the ability to feature content on their homepage with a large image or video, we scratched our heads and thought...this is the same chocolate cake we’ve made before but they just want different frosting!
screenshot of soe homepage
We forked the existing code for the feature we made for H&S—which essentially means we took a copy of the code (like starting with our box of cake mix) and added new code to it—that allowed us to add new functionality and design on top of the existing code (our dark-chocolate ganache frosting) all with the specific needs of the School of Engineering website in mind.
We released the first version (or minimum viable product) of the new feature on SOE’s site within four weeks of forking the existing code from the H&S project. This would have taken far longer without the boxed cake mix (reusing an existing feature and adding customizations.)
Sharing features allows us to save time and money for our clients. This means we can focus on building more advanced features and improving our existing features for the platform benefiting even more people in the long run.


Anna Watt Posted by Anna Watt on Friday, March 31, 2017 - 8:45am

Do you have a collection of ongoing related events? Try the Event Series module to collect events onto a single page and display upcoming and past events.

Stanford Event Series joined Stanford Sites during the Summer 2016 Updates. Previously it was only available to our Jumpstart clients, but high demand for this functionality on Stanford Sites, combined with our commitment to contributing back to the greater community brought this module to sites created on Stanford Sites.

Stanford Event Series requires the Stanford Events module. It uses the Context module to place event blocks on the event series nodes to display upcoming and past events. You can provide details and background information about the event series, such as the topics covered, speakers to expect, when the events are usually held (e.g. every third Thursday of the month), and other helpful information that applies to all of the events hosted in that series (like if there will be donuts provided at every event. Everyone loves donuts.)

Add Stanford Event Series to your site

  1. Log into your Stanford Sites site.

  2. In the Admin toolbar, select Modules.

  3. Filter by ‘event series’.

  4. Select the following modules:

  • Stanford Event Series

  • Stanford Event Series Administration

  • Stanford Event Series Context

  • Stanford Event Series Event List View

  • Stanford Event Series Event Short list View

  • Stanford Event Series List View


  5. Click the Save configuration button.

  6. Your site will prompt you to enable other required modules, if they have not already been enabled.

  7. In the Admin toolbar, go to People > Permissions.

  8. Make sure everyone that needs access to event series actions has them.

Create an Event Series

  1. In the Admin toolbar, select Content > Add Content > Stanford Event Series.

  2. In the Menu Settings tab you can add this event series to the menu structure of your site, or not. For example, sometimes it is helpful to nest under /events.

  3. Click the Save button.

That was easy. Now what?

Now, we need to select which events belong together in an event series

  1. In the Admin toolbar, select Content.

  2. Filter by type: ‘Stanford Event’ and click Apply.

  3. Click edit on an event.

  4. Select the event series title from the checkbox list titled “Event Series” (toward the bottom of the edit node form.)


  5. Click the Save button.

What if I want to see a list of all my event series on one page?

We have a view for that! You can use the event series list view by going to

Check out an example event series list view here »

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