As of Friday, July 21, 2023, the website for the College of Arts & Sciences has launched, making us the first of the Schools and Colleges to migrate. The transition went well and I learned a ton during this process, since it was my first new website in this migration project. I am taking what I have learned and applying it to my strategy as I begin to rebuild department sites.
So, what have I learned? On the front end, I’ve gotten used to the new design blocks and can build a page pretty quickly now. There is a handy “reusable blocks” feature, an example of which you can see at the bottom of any (non-news post) page – the footer for CAS. Now, if I build a page header that needs to be used to tie groups of pages together, such as with the Office of Research or Academic Technology Support, I can convert it to a reusable block and easily add it to future pages. If I make a change to that block, it populates sitewide, potentially saving tons of time. I have also used this functionality to create groups of buttons as seen in the Curriculum and Teaching pages, serving as a sub-menu for that group of pages.
The new theme has many cool design features and I’ve really enjoyed working with it. I’ve also been meeting with department liaisons over the past few months to lay the groundwork for their eventual migrations. This week, I’m finally getting started on a handful of new department websites which will start rolling out soon.
Many thanks to those of you who have completed the contact form so that I know who serves as department liaisons for the site and also for the new employee directory. If you haven’t yet, there’s a link to the form on the CAS Migrations page. And if we haven’t talked yet, feel free to reach out and we can schedule a Teams meeting to chat about the plan for your site.
In the meantime, it’s a great idea to comb your site for outdated content and start making a plan for any changes you’d like to see in the structure of your department website. I also recommend gathering photos that you plan to have included – especially high-resolution headshots, group photos, classroom and lab photos, and anything you feel would make a good addition and refresh your site. Please feel free to take ideas from other new sites (listed in this Campus Weekly post) to request for use in your site. I also recommend starting a OneDrive folder for the purpose of collecting documents, images, text, and notes about your site plans. Anything you can share will make it easier for me to understand your goals for the site and meet your (and your audience’s) needs.
–Sarah Vetter, CAS Webmaster