New and Changing: Updates from AIT

Posted June 7, 2016 by
Tags: Updates Upgrades

Wheaton Website Redesign

Wheaton College can look forward to a new website in the summer of 2017.

Right now, the website is undergoing a three-step redesign that includes changes to its organization, content management system, and visual design.

"The web is not just something that you look at," said Director of Web Communications Rebecca Larson. "It's something you interact with, something that provides information. A redesign doesn't just pertain to appearance."

In 2015, the Web Team began the redesign process by working with consultants to create a new website structure that is both logical and intuitive. The new organization will incorporate Intra into the same structure as the rest of the website, allowing members of the College community to log in to wheaton.edu to see information from Intra instead of going to a different webpage.

"We knew we wanted to do a visual redesign, but when you start to dig into it you realize you can't do a visual redesign without dealing with those other components of the website," said Larson.

The second part of the redesign was finding a content management system (CMS) that fit Wheaton College's needs. A CMS holds all of the information on the website and allows content managers to keep information up to date. In order to find a CMS, the Web Team collected input from the Web Advisory Committee.

"It was a good exercise to step back and ask, 'As an institution, what are we trying to accomplish with the website?'" said Larson. "It's exciting to think about how the website can both help bring in prospective students and communicate with all of our audiences in ways that more effectively serve the College's goals."

The Web Team then worked with Purchasing to create a request for proposal that outlined Wheaton College's requirements and invited vendors to explain how their CMS could meet those needs.

15 vendors responded to the initial request for proposal, and the Web Team worked with AIT to narrow those responses down to four possibilities. Members of the Web Advisory Committee attended vendor demonstrations, used different products in a trial environment, and submitted feedback about each CMS to the Web Team, which will use that feedback to reach a final decision.

Larson expects that the team will make a decision in the next few weeks.

After a CMS is selected, the next phase is a visual redesign. The College will move to a new website in summer 2017.