New Campus-wide CMS
Despite attempts over the past decade or so, UMBC has been unable to successfully implement a universal content management system for its website strategy—and one which integrates with the university intranet, myUMBC. In lieu of such a tool, many departments and divisions—and even individual faculty and staff—turned to legacy server-side hosting of basic HTML sites and pages. Due to the high technical requirement to update individual pages in this way, many of the sites became severely outdated.
The information technology department and the communications department worked together to identify a simple toolset with versatility and customization and settled on a custom WordPress framework and template. The new system allowed users to easily request a WordPress build, which inherits a standardized template that follows the university style guide, yet offered users flexibility in the presentation and organization of the site content. Additionally, the framework included linking to myUMBC intranet groups to display posts and content automatically through RSS.
Working closely with the site developer, we created documentation and FAQs to assist new users on the system and establish a set of best practices when building site structures and navigation in the new WordPress template. In coordination with documents we also began hosting annual in-person trainings to users of all levels for hands-on learning.
Through the implementation and promotion of this new website building tool, we successfully migrated more than 400 legacy sites and helped in the development of many more. The annual trainings have grown exponentially and include presentation of case studies and best practices from the community to inspire continued adoption of the tool.