University Web Developers

University Web Developers

Several of us are currently migrating sites from various CMS's to WordPress. Let's use this discussion thread to share our tips and experiences with WordPress at the departmental and institutional level. (Thanks to Hillary and Steve for kicking off this discussion!)

Views: 546

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

We moved the main public website for Erikson Institute over to WordPress at the beginning of the year. We're thrilled with the change and love the affordability and flexibility of WP compared to the boutique, proprietary CMS we were on before.

The migration was pretty intense, though. Even though the design of our site didn't change with the CMS, the logic of our old platform was so different than WP that I just hired student workers to copy and paste every page of the site. It was a huge process, but actually ended up being more affordable and I think was higher quality than if we'd simply exported SQL and tried to do it that way.

We also created a mu-plugin to redirect the thousands of old URLs from the previous platform.

I actually just gave a talk at WordCamp Chicago about launching the new site. My slides are here, if that's of any interest: http://www.jgordonwright.com/wordpress-goes-to-college-a-case-study/

Great slides, Gordon! I'm working out what we think may be our custom post types and taxonomy. Since I could only read your slides, what was your presentation on curation of content like? How did you curate program pages and guides, research grants, etc.?

From a technical standpoint, we really used that Zone Manager plugin to curate a lot of that. One example is the slider on our homepage. The plugin provides an easy UI for picking any page or post on the site as an item in the slider, and then simply dragging-and-dropping to choose the order of those items.

For linking our programs, courses, faculty, and research, we used the post-to-post plugin. By doing this we can have all the courses for a particular program show up, for instance. Or all the research for a particular faculty member show up on their page.

All I really mean by curation is that we ended up having fewer areas of the site that simply list things chronologically or alphabetically than I had initially expected. It turned out that any somewhat important webpage required us to be really thoughtful about what appeared and in what order. 

Hope that helps!

Definitely. Thanks! What sort of feedback did you get from departments and other content managers who felt deep ownership of their content (that might or might not have been cut from the final)?

Aha, here's where the small size of Erikson has been a huge boon. We really don't have too many content managers out there, and we've managed to centralize a lot of that. So for us the problem isn't control over the content, it's capacity for keeping it up to date.

I see a positive trend here... Migration from proprietary and expensive 'big iron' CMS systems to open source alternatives is beginning to gather traction in the higher education sector.

I'm a big fan of moving to open source software wherever it is feasible. In the CMS realm we have three very good projects that are good candidates for consideration: WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. I'll keep focusing my comments in this thread on WordPress, but it would be interesting to see if others want to open similar threads for Drupal and (possibly) Joomla.

Our choice of WordPress for Brescia University College is based on a number of factors: ease of use and familiarity for contributors and editors, a large community of developers, a wide range of useful and functional plug-ins, clean upgrade paths between major versions, and a relatively low dependency on coding to carry out common customizations.

We've been using WordPress for a few years for blogs and news.  We are now starting to use it as a website content management system for some small marketing sites and some of our smaller campus sites, e.g  Curtin Singapore and Curtin Sydney

The rest of the Curtin site is in OpenText CMS or our in-house ColdFusion framework. We're just starting a CMS review project so WordPress will be one of the solutions that will be reviewed as a possible replacement for OpenText and our ColdFusion framework.

It would be great to have a list of universities that are using WordPress as a CMS (rather than just for blogging). Does such a list already exist or is that something we can start here?

This is a good start: http://www.wpbeginner.com/showcase/17-popular-universities-that-are.... Also, we are using WP for our sites but we're still migrating - Georgia State University: http://www.gsu.edu.

There's a open Google spreadsheet for higher ed sites using Wordpress: http://bit.ly/12nblfc

There's also a mailing list for wordpress and higher ed: http://lists.automattic.com/mailman/listinfo/wp-edu and a new site/community: http://wphighed.org

RSS

Elsewhere

Latest Activity

Jenn Baker posted a discussion

University of Alaska Fairbanks Digital Communications Manager

The Digital Communications Manager is a key member of the leadership team of the Marketing and Communications office. Reporting to the director of Marketing and Communications and working with highly motivated colleagues, the manager will oversee a cohesive, leading-edge digital communications strategy that advances the university's national and global impact and image. The manager will oversee staff responsible for the UAF website, social media, and videography. The Digital Communications…See More
6 hours ago
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Another responsive site! Way to go Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Looks fantastic! www.clarion.edu"
7 hours ago
Profile IconJenn Baker and Jose Vidal joined University Web Developers
Saturday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Loving all the gadget ideas! Have you submitted yours? http://omniupdate.com/campaigns/gadget-challenge/2014/"
Friday
Sean Walsh posted a blog post

The Results are in: TERMINALFOUR Higher Education Web Survey

In our first annual higher education web survey report, almost 250 individuals and 169 higher education institutions reveal where they focus their online marketing activities, how they measure their online efforts and how they engage with their audiences. Discover the results for yourself by downloading a free report today: http://www.terminalfour.com/survey2014/See More
Friday
Mike Tackett is now a member of University Web Developers
Thursday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Look who’s responsive now! Clark College went live with their new site. Congratulations! www.clark.edu/"
Wednesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"  How well do your campus emails render on mobile devices? Read about our Email Campaign Manager in today’s blog post! "
Sep 16
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Nominations for the third annual Critics' Choice CMS Awards are closing Oct 1! Don’t forget to submit OU Campus for consideration. Recommended categories include: Best Enterprise JAVA CMS, Best Cloud CMS for Enterprise, and Most…"
Sep 15
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"  After the mad rush of classes starting, how do you keep your web editors energized for the rest of the academic year? Read how Lower Columbia College does it in today's blog post!"
Sep 12
Profile Icondavid wickins, Alice Nguyen and John Hartley joined University Web Developers
Sep 12
Seth Meranda posted a discussion

Seeking an Web Interactive Producer

I'm looking to add someone with HTML/CSS and UI/UX experience to my team at Concordia University, Nebraska. We're located just outside Lincoln, NE.Position Summary:  This position serves as a member of the marketing communication team and provides leadership and strategy for the creation, implementation and maintaining of web and email productions used in promotion and advancement of the University's mission.General Duties:Implements, designs and optimizes user interfaces for cune.edu and…See More
Sep 11
Nancy R. Bailey posted a discussion

Web Development Specialist

The Institute for Transportation Research and Education at North Carolina State University is looking for a web development specialist (technology support analyst).  To provide support and consult on web development, design, coding, and modifying hosted websites.  Provide web application development and web communications support, as well as maintain duties for web-based projects which include interactive multimedia, graphics, tutorials, and social media.  Knowledge of and experience with…See More
Sep 10
Maggie Slater commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Such great information within the talk! Thanks for sharing!  :)"
Sep 9
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Missed yesterday’s E-expectations talk with Chris D’Orso, Stephanie Geyer, and our own Lance Merker? See it here."
Sep 9
Sara Clark posted a discussion

Missouri State University seeks new media specialist

Missouri State University is accepting applications for a new media specialist in the offices of university communications and Web and new media.Position comes with superior benefits, including group health insurance, life insurance, retirement, tuition waivers, wellness programs and professional development opportunities. Learn more about benefits.Responsibilities:Works to ensure that assigned websites and social media content,…See More
Sep 8
Profile IconAmy Filardo and Jeremy Cumbo joined University Web Developers
Sep 4
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Central Connecticut State University went live with their responsive website. Great job!! www.ccsu.edu"
Sep 4
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Learn more about our 2014 Gadget Challenge with today’s blog post! "
Sep 3
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Part 3 of our E-Expectations series available on our blog! Get the facts you need to improve your best resource—your college website. "
Aug 29

UWEBD has been in existence for more than 10 years and is the very best email discussion list on the Internet, in any industry, on any topic

About

© 2014   Created by Mark Greenfield.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service