Frequently Asked Questions

The American Forces Public Information Management System (AFPIMS) is a combination of hardware and software used to manage public-facing Department of Defense websites. The software component of AFPIMS is called the content management system (CMS).  AFPIMS runs on a core operating system called DotNetNuke (DNN) with enhancements added to the codebase to provide greater flexibility, ease of use, and security.  The premise of AFPIMS is users can apply the CMS's functionality to create and manage pages on their websites.

DOD Skin- available for all customer organization types to include any of the military services        with approval by their chain of command

Joint Skin- Available for all customer organization types to include any of the military services with approval by their chain of command 

Army Corps of Engineers- Exclusive for only the Army Corps of Engineers

Air Force Skin- Exclusive for only the Air Force

Marine Corp Skin- Exclusive for the Marine Corps

Navy Skin- Exclusive for the Navy

AFPIMS makes the process of building websites and managing content simple and quick for even the most non-technical users. The functionality and features of AFPIMS is based on the use of modules. The available modules enable AFPIMS users to create and share website elements such as their news articles, releases, press advisories, transcripts, speeches, publications, biographies, contracts, imagery, and videos.

Account Management

Cost is based upon your amount of AFPIMS users and estimated page views.  Our current cost for FY21 is: $1,012.06 per user and $0.00276510921812384 per page view.

You will complete a survey. Once the survey is approved you will receive a cost proposal. When the client accepts the proposal you will receive the interagency agreement, Form 7600A. If your organization is a participating partner in the G-Invoicing, your agreement will be electronically completed in that system. If your organization is not yet in G-Invoicing then we will need to complete your agreement with a PDF file.  After a signed agreement is received, we will send you instructions for you to return a MIPR for payment. After we have received your MIPR, your site will be sent to Migration for the site build.

No, Public Web can only host fully public-releasable web sites. We cannot host any restricted areas such as CAC-enabled or login.

A page view is a count of how many times a page has been viewed on a website. All page views are counted no matter how many times a user has visited  the website in a chosen period of time.

Public Web is not responsible for the content of the AFPIMS customer’s website. The customer will be responsible for their entire website. Public Web will not perform any website/content management duties (i.e. page redirects, pages, text, imagery, etc.).

Public Web does not host the DNS for the AFPIMS customer’s public URL such as https://www.customer.mil/. The DNS (Domain Name System) is often referred to as the internet's phone book because it converts easy-to-remember hostnames like https://www.customer.mil/ to IP addresses like 216.58.217.46.

An authoritative DNS server holds the actual DNS records (A, CNAME, PTR, etc.) for a particular domain/ address. When a Web address (URL) is typed into a browser, DNS servers return the IP address of the Web server associated with that name. The DNS converts the URL https://www.customer.mil/ into the IP address 204.0.8.51. Without DNS, you would have to type the series of four numbers and dots into your browser to retrieve the web site, which you actually can do.

If you have an existing website, then you already have an organization (authoritative DNS server) hosting your DNS. But, if you have a brand new web site that does not exist yet, then you will be responsible for hosting your DNS or finding an organization to host your DNS.

Security

Yes, Public Web has an Agency ATO, authorized to process information cleared for public release, Impact Level 2 (IL-2).

The system is not accredited to process Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), For Official Use Only (FOUO), Private Health Information (PHI), or Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

Yes, we employ HBSS, and ACAS in support of our continuous monitoring efforts.

Yes, we leverage STIG compliant servers to process your data/content.

We also support efforts surrounding the Vulnerability Disclosure Program (VDP), as well as providing access to Attack Logs, as well as spill mitigation.

No.  AFPIMS is not authorized to process Personally Identifiable Information (PII).

No.  Only information cleared for public release is authorized on websites hosted by AFPIMS.

Yes.  The ATO covers AFPIMS, and the data processed by that system, i.e. websites, and their associated content (articles, photos, and videos).

Yes.  AFPIMS is a cloud service, hosting mission partner websites, and their associated content.

No.  Federal policy requires all publicly accessible Federal websites/web services be provided through a secure (HTTPS) connection.

Training

For a list of FAQ specifically for training please visit https://pwtraining.dma.mil/Resources/FAQs

The American Forces Public Information Management System (AFPIMS) is a combination of hardware and software used to manage public-facing Department of Defense websites. The software component of AFPIMS is called the content management system (CMS).  AFPIMS runs on a core operating system called DotNetNuke (DNN) with enhancements added to the codebase to provide greater flexibility, ease of use, and security.  The premise of AFPIMS is users can apply the CMS's functionality to create and manage pages on their websites. They then use "modules" to create and manage content on each page. It's here at the AFPIMS Training Center where you'll learn what modules are available to you and how to use them to create a robust, well-designed website through which you can communicate organizational information to your public audience.

Everyone who uses the AFPIMS system is required to earn a training certificate before they work on AFPIMS. 

Site managers are required to take additional training with a focus on site manager duties

There are four training options: Online training modules (Included); VILT - Virtual Instructor led training (Cost per user) ; OILT - On-Site Instructor Led Training (Cost per user + travel)

Go to https://pwtraining.dma.mil/Login/ and click on the “Create Account” button. Follow the instructions to create your account.

  •  Additional FAQ, Quick Reference Guides (QRG’s) and information is found at https://pwtraining.dma.mil/  
Migration

For new AFPIMS customers, a Migration specialist will be assigned to provide the customer with guidance and assistance for the first 120 days of the actual website build or rebuild within AFPIMS, referred to as AFPIMS migration. After the 120 days of migration support or completion of the migration, whichever is sooner, the migration specialist is no longer expected to support the customer with their website content.

No direct external database integration.

  •  API integration is acceptable but could require additional funds for configuration.

Migrating a previous site is a combined effort between the client and Migration Specialist. We encourage the client to do most of the work so they become comfortable with the system.

Yes, you can, but we urge extreme caution when linking to non-gov content because those sites could be changed to something nefarious down the line. The Link disclaimer should cover you, but unless it's a well-known organization, it should be cautioned.

https://www.dodig.mil/Disclaimers/Link-Disclaimer/

Yes. But it is not supported.  You can use HTML and CSS.

There is a 120 days of support with a Migration specialist. A lot depends on the following:

  • - The amount of legacy content you have.
  • - The amount of legacy content you want to migrate over.
  • - The amount of time it'll take for you to get familiar and comfortable with AFPIMS, to the point where you're building pages yourself, adding modules to those pages, and populating the system with your content.
  • - The number of other people in your organization who will need to have user accounts and permissions to update your site.
  • - The amount of time it will take for you to receive the proper go-live approvals from your leadership and/or other colleagues.

All of these factors require some level of time and effort; all of them will have an effect on the duration of your migration.

Currently it is unlimited, however, when completing your paperwork with Account Management, you can indicate how many users you want.  Keep in mind that you are charged per user.

After your site has gone Live, you will be turned over to our Service Desk for any AFPIMS support you need.

Any image uploaded to the AFPIMS systems needs to be verified by a VIRIN number by going to   https://www.dimoc.mil/Submit-DoD-VI/Digital-VI-Toolkit-read-first/Create-a-VIRIN/

It depends on the branch of service and URL but your Migration specialist will walk through it with you.  DOD sites ending with .mil would need to be registered with https://nic.mil

No. The live URL will be separate. The AFPIMS URL is the backend where you can make changes to the site.  The public cannot see it.

Service Desk

Public Web Service Desk provides support during normal duty hours between 0700 to 2100 Eastern Standard Time (EST) Monday through Friday, and 0900 to 1700 EST Saturday & Sunday, and *emergency on-call support after normal duty hours. Emergency on-call support is provided between 1800 EST and 0730 EST.

The Service Desk can be contacted for both normal duty hours and emergency after hours via email at pubwebhd@defense.gov  and phone at (301) 222-6600 and you can also submit a ticket via the portal at https://helpdesk.defense.gov/servicedesk/customer/portal/17

*Note: An emergency situation will need to fulfill the following criterion:

• The web site is completely down and needs to be fixed immediately.

• AFPIMS is completely down and needs to be fixed immediately.

• A security incident (e.g. spillage) has occurred on the web site.

The Public Web service desk has three SLAs, Tier-1, Tier-2, and Tier-3.

• Tier-1 support is basic troubleshooting of an issue and has a 3-hour initial response time and 8-hours to resolution SLA.

• Tier-2 support is when an issue is escalated for additional time and troubleshooting; this tier has a 10-business-day time to final resolution.

• Tier 3 is for tickets that have been escalated for development support, and have a 90-business-day time to resolution.

Site Gauge

Open a ticket with the Search and Analytics team at https://helpdesk.defense.gov/plugins/servlet/desk/portal/19. Provide the full names of the user(s), government email address, and the public URL of the requested site for access

It is against DoD Policy to share credentials, https://www.stigviewer.com/controls/8500/IAIA-1

Quick Reference Guides can be found at the following link: https://pwtraining.dma.mil/Resources/QuickReferenceGuides2. There is also a help button (a button marked with a question mark) on each page on the top right panel on Site Gauge.

Yes, the Digital Analytics Program (DAP) is the government-wide implementation of Google Analytics. DMA Public Web participates in the program at the direction of the DODCIO, however, it is not intended to be a replacement for Site Gauge, and here's why:

-Google Analytics (DAP) uses a javascript file to call out to Google's servers to record which pages were hit and tracks individuals using a browser cookie.

-Pros: Tracks individual / unique users more accurately

-Cons: NIPR configurations may have javascript blocked, or the call to google blocked. In these cases the data simply vanishes. There is no way to know how many systems this may affect. It is essentially a silent failure. The call to google just never arrives and therefore they aren't counted. This isn't a problem with Akamai because Akamai records every request for content it receives.

-Additionally, the DAP program was set up with government-wide data collection in mind, so all of our data goes into a single DOD bucket. This makes accessing an individual site's data fairly difficult. You can run filters on the data, but often the data is sampled - meaning a small percentage of visits is used to extrapolate out an estimate of visits to a particular page. Lastly, DMA / Public Web has no ability to manage users, or to show specific users certain segments of data. As a result, it can be an overwhelming user experience.

-All in all, Site Gauge (or logfile based analytics in general) are more likely to be accurate in the NIPR environment. As a result, this is the data we report on. Also, because the two systems are different, you can't compare them side by side. They measure using totally different technology.

If you would like to pursue a DAP account, please contact their service desk at dap@support.digitalgov.gov. 

Please take a look at Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide for more information https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en&authuser=0