Part of the work of redeveloping our website is deciding the right platform for the site’s content management system (CMS). Since 2011, trincoll.edu has been supported by SharePoint as its CMS. In thinking about the right tool for our community of content contributors, we had some priorities in mind:
- Ease of use for editors
- Functionality and design flexibility
- Intuitive user experience
- Deep and accessible knowledge community
To help us along the way, in April 2017 we reached out to the website editors across campus, as well as the campus community broadly, to ask for input on our next CMS. Using a short survey, we asked:
- Have you used our current CMS? (SharePoint)
- Have you used any other systems?
- What is your impression about the other systems you have used? (easy to use, too many steps, etc.)
- Do you prefer a particular CMS?
We heard from 3 students, 43 faculty members, and 66 staff. Most respondents had familiarity with WordPress, while some had Drupal experience. While most respondents (65%) had no preference for the system, some indicated they preferred WordPress, and one person preferred Drupal. Most folks noted they felt WordPress was easy for the end user and offered more flexibility than what they’re currently used to.
Given the results of the survey, and our core team’s research and conversations with peer institutions, we decided that WordPress would be the right choice for the new trincoll.edu. Currently the college has an installation of WordPress on commons.trincoll.edu, where any member of the campus community can have a site (including this one!). This is helpful in building a knowledge base among our campus users; many have already used WordPress here at Trinity or in their non-Trinity lives.
We will be creating a multisite setup for the WordPress installation for trincoll.edu.
What does that mean?
A multisite setup means that a single installation of WordPress will contain multiple websites. Each site within trincoll.edu will be its own site. This means if you are responsible for the content of one or more sites within trincoll.edu, you will have access to those sites as individual sites. Themes and plugins, however, will be available to users at a network level (for example, you won’t be limited because your access is for a single site).
Prior to the launch of the website in late August, content editors across campus will receive training to get to know the new CMS environment and learn how to manage their content in WordPress.
Do you have thoughts about WordPress as the CMS for Trinity’s website? Let us know in the comments!