Texas State’s Gato web content management system empowers institutional growth

Texas State’s Gato web content management system empowers institutional growth

Texas State University’s digital footprint has grown significantly in recent years. The university’s quest for Carnegie Research 1 (R-1) status, along with thriving enrollment, is rapidly expanding the institution’s academic and research profile. Powering the university’s amplified online presence is the Gato web content management system (CMS). An agile, responsive, and locally-developed platform designed and supported by a committed team of in-house information technology experts, Gato provides Texas State with the robust online infrastructure necessary to achieve its educational and research goals. 


Texas State is unique in its centralized model, managing over 50,000 live web pages, available to over 1,000 active editors, through a singular CMS, known as Gato. The university’s strides toward R-1 status, coupled with the demands of accelerating institutional growth, quickly outpaced vendor solutions. Determined to promote institutional aspirations, Texas State’s Division of Information Technology Mobile/Web Systems (MWS) team envisioned an entirely new iteration of Gato, developed in-house and designed to scale with the university’s trajectory. 


When it became clear Texas State’s existing CMS was no longer sustainable, MWS carefully considered its options: move to a new version of the current CMS, change vendors, or rewrite the software locally. Knowing the university’s growth was only beginning, and understanding most vendor products are not designed to support the needs of higher education institutions, the MWS team committed to rewriting the software themselves. 

Leaning into technological autonomy, the Gato CMS is a modern, flexible platform architected to remove barriers present in existing products, freeing the team to develop the best version of each new feature. Some custom features include: 

  • Continuity: Editors have reliable access to earlier page versions and can compare them side-by-side. 
  • Flexibility: Editors can drag and drop sections, layouts, and content types across pages, sections, and columns. 
  • Efficiency: New sites and site overhauls are built in “sandbox” environments and cleanly promoted to “live” upon successful review. 
  • Agility: Regular software upgrades and urgent changes require no system downtime or editor disruption. 
  • Speed: Accelerated page response rates enhance both the editing and viewing experiences. 
  • Accessibility: Gato’s editing environment is fully accessible to users of all abilities. 
  • Availability: The full suite of editing tools is optimized for operability on mobile devices and tablets. 


Following its release in the summer of 2023, the Gato system, and its users, are thriving. The CMS is stable, boasts high uptimes, prioritizes data security, and eliminates licensing fees. Since the platform is highly customizable, the MWS team actively seeks feedback to help guide the development of Gato alongside stakeholders’ needs and goals. A feature request form, created exclusively for site editors and managers, feeds directly into the evaluation process, so universally beneficial and reasonably achievable solutions can be implemented.  

The Gato CMS was built with the future in mind. As Texas State University’s brand continues to grow, Gato’s versatility will enhance our web presence, attracting students, faculty, and staff whose skills and abilities will play a pivotal role in advancing the university’s mission and vision in the years to come.

Nick Wing is the architect and lead developer for Gato, and Kimberly Conner is a publications writer for the IT Marketing and Communications team.

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2 replies to Texas State’s Gato web content management system empowers institutional growth

  1. How has the Gato web content management system (CMS) played a pivotal role in supporting Texas State University’s goal of achieving Carnegie Research 1 (R-1) status and expanding its academic and research profile? Regards Telkom University

    • Thank you for reading! That is an excellent question. To learn more about Texas State’s Run to R1 efforts, please visit the university’s information page: https://www.president.txst.edu/run-to-r1.html

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