Choose an address for your Web site

If you want a third-level sub-domain name within the domain (, contact your department's network liaison and have them request it from the hostmaster. Third-level sub-domain names are created only for department names and a few other specific entities, not for individuals or projects. University Relations determines whether a third level domain will be approved.

If you want an address under the third-level domain of your department, send an email message to the network liaison for that domain, asking for approval. To find out who to contact, refer to the Network Liaisons page.


Request the site from the Ensemble Web Team

File a Ensemble support ticket for the Content Management System (CMS) using the "Request CMS Support" link in the bottom right corner of this page. In the description section of the form, please also include:

  • Title of the website (Example: Sample Site)
  • The URL. This is also known as the Web site address (Example:
  • A short description of the purpose of the Web site to show that it is an organizational Web site, as opposed to a personal Web site.
  • A list of Virginia Tech PIDs of people who should have administrative privileges
  • Your name, department, and phone number

Once your site has been created in Ensemble, you will receive an email. You should then be able to login and see your site in If you are logged in and have a prior session, you may need to log out and log back in to see the new site. 


Get department approval

Fill out a DNS authorization form and attach it to an email reply to the Ensemble web ticket created above (or attach it directly to the Jira ticket). You will need a signature from your Network Liaison. The DNS authorization authorizes the web team to set up a stage site, request a certificate for your future site, and to deactivate your old site and activate your live site when you tell us too.

Stage Sites

Stage sites offer a way to work on updated sites while leaving the legacy site up and functional. You'll build out your stage site using the authoring system.

Your stage site, once it gets set up in the next couple of weeks, will be your domain with "" replaced by "". For example would have a stage site of Please note that the stage site will not include the "www" portion of the domain name. Once the certificate creation process is completed, stage sites are protected by pid/password authentication instead of by IP restriction. Anyone with any Virginia Tech PID can view a stage site.

You must publish your pages, images, and other assets to your stage site in order to properly preview your website. Please use Safari or Firefox to preview your site in stage as the other browsers don't consistently show images behind

Note that you need to publish out the site level, the /en/ level, and at least a page called index to activate your stage site and before launching your site.


Access and Group Management

The requestor of a website is designated as a web_admin as is anyone requested on the site creation web ticket. Web_admins manage who has author, publisher, and web_admin access and permissions. To manage memberships, please use and add members to the appropriate group. Groups will appear in the format:

cms.departmentname_vt_edu.web_designer (only for sites which use local assets)

When you add additional web admins, they will eventually be automatically added as a manager of the author, publisher and web_admin groups. If you remove someone from the web_admin group, they will eventually be removed as a manager from those three groups. The process to sync managers runs every couple of weeks. If you need web_admins to immediately become managers able to add additional users, please open an Ensemble web ticket and request a group manager sync. 

Web content creator PIDs should only be in one of the groups. Publishers automatically have author priviledges while web_admins automatically have publisher and author priviledges. Only web_admins can use advanced features of Ensemble like vanity urls (automatic link shortening and redirects), modify site properties, changes themes, and add page classes.


For any problems, suggestions, improvements, and questions, please file a support ticket by clicking on "Request support" in the "Help" drop down when you are logged into Ensemble. You may also go the and click on the "Request CMS Support" link on the bottom right hand corner of the browser window.



Ensemble has a Google Group (mailing list) that can be joined:!forum/ensemble-cms-users-g

We are also on the following Slack Channel (#ensemble in the vtdoit group):

Network Liaisons

A list of network liaisons at Virginia Tech