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: 539

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

David Dahl posted a discussion

Web Services Specialist, Towson University Libraries

The Albert S. Cook Library seeks a highly skilled and innovative Web Services Specialist to participate in all stages of the application development life cycle.  Under the direction of the Information Technology Librarian, this position provides primary web application development support for the Library’s online initiatives. Focusing on services that improve the user experience for the University’s students, faculty, and staff, the Web Services Specialist collaborates with team members, other…See More
yesterday
David Dahl joined Mark Greenfield's group
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Check out Naropa University’s new course catalog! It pulls course data from Jenzabar. Well done!"
yesterday
Profile IconDavid Dahl, tmogroup and Besart Bytyqi joined University Web Developers
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"How do you view change? Read what our CEO took away from this year’s eduWeb Conference about change in today's blog post."
yesterday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Loving the new look on the CSU Channel Islands website! Check it out: csuci.edu/ #responsive #accessible"
Tuesday
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congrats to Daytona State College on going live with their responsive design in OU Campus v10! Looks amazing! "
Aug 13
Profile IconNancy Boudreau, Rob Green and John Cady joined University Web Developers
Aug 13
Beth Hastings posted a discussion

Columbia College site redesigned - take a look!

We launched a redesign of our site on July 1. It was more than just a new skin, it was a reorganization of the content. In the past we've tried to serve all audiences - current students, prospects, staff, faculty and alumni. It ended up being link overload. It also used internal back office terminology that was confusing to prospects.Our charge was to gear the site toward prospective students and to move all content for current students and faculty & staff behind our existing portal.We…See More
Aug 12
Doug Minor posted a discussion

Anyone Willing to Share Your Mass Email RFP or Requirements Document?

We are in the process of reviewing various mass email services (services hosted in the cloud). Has anyone done this recently and prepared either an RFP or requirements document you would be willing to share?Some of our initial requirements are listed below.Agency model where we can serve as administrator to multiple, separate department accounts housed under the same agency/institutional account (each account would have their own separate login and billing)Only approved email templates can be…See More
Aug 11
Profile IconMoneca Pinkett and Lei Zhu joined University Web Developers
Aug 11
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"It’s the last week to nominate for the third annual Critics' Choice CMS Awards! Help us spread the word and let them know why OU Campus is the CMS of choice for higher education. Recommended categories include: Best Enterprise JAVA CMS…"
Aug 11
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Miss the E-Expectations webcast? Couldn't make it to this year’s eduWeb Conference to see the presentation? We've got you covered! Check out today's blog post."
Aug 6
Profile IconJoe Fitzsimmons, Lance Tully and Charlotte Marsch joined University Web Developers
Aug 6
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"Congratulations to our President & CEO, Lance Merker, for winning the 2014 Summit Award for Industry Excellence at the eduWeb Conference! Well deserved! (Pictured with Rich Vallaster)"
Aug 5
Charlotte Marsch posted a discussion

Assistant Director for Web Services at Southwest Baptist University

Job Summary: Working collaboratively with the Marketing and Communications team, this position has primary responsibility for SBU’s public website, designing and developing web sites and applications and ensuring the University is implementing web technology best-practices to communicate key messages to its audiences. Essential FunctionsDevelop and maintain site navigation and wireframe that utilizes responsive design best practicesAdminister a content management systemCoordinate with…See More
Aug 5
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"One does not simply become a new OU Campus user and not get welcomed. Great to have you with us, Murray State University!"
Aug 5
Erin Leavitt commented on Lynn Zawie's group OmniUpdate
"A special hello to our newest customer, Kennesaw State University. Welcome to the OmniUpdate family!"
Aug 4
Cheryl Tiahrt joined Brent Hoard's group
Thumbnail

Sitecore

For users of the Sitecore CMS
Aug 1
Cheryl Tiahrt is now a member of University Web Developers
Aug 1

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