Watched Anatomy of a Great Faculty Website by Steve RyanSteve Ryan from WPCampus 2020 Online - July 29-30 - Where WordPress meets Higher Education

Within higher education, requests to build websites for individual faculty members sit at the absolute bottom of the work queue for most marketing/communications teams. If this type of product is offered at all, it typically uses a self-service model; the institution will provide the platform while the faculty member will provide the content. And while this is the most sustainable model for most small and mid-sized web teams, it tends to produce multiple websites that are ineffective at communicating even simple messages. Worse, they have a high tendency to become the poorest reflections of the institution with a high rate of abandonment or misuse.

Let's fix that tendency together. With a careful examination of what really matters to faculty members who are looking to create and maintain their own websites, we can begin to build better sites. With better sites (and a little luck), you can start to derive value from the project at the bottom of your work pile.

Together we'll talk about:

  • A simple analysis of the types of content that you'll typically find within a faculty website.
  • A "wish list" for the types of content that you (as a marketer) would really like to see from these types of sites.
  • A working example of a theme that delivers on these key concepts and adds some "quick wins" which makes for a better experience.
  • How to leverage the capabilities of WordPress multisite to produce more value from collections of these type of sites.

This is an awesome little session at WPCampus 2020 Online. (Video for it available shortly.) It reminds me a lot of the Drupal project Open Scholar that does something similar. I can see it being useful for folks in the Domain of One’s Own space.

I totally want to start using something like this myself to not only test it out, but to build in the proper microformats v2 mark up so that it’s IndieWeb friendly. Perhaps a project at the planned IWC Pop-up Theme raising session?

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Chris Aldrich

I'm a biomedical and electrical engineer with interests in information theory, complexity, evolution, genetics, signal processing, theoretical mathematics, and big history. I'm also a talent manager-producer-publisher in the entertainment industry with expertise in representation, distribution, finance, production, content delivery, and new media.

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