With 1.9 million unique pageviews annually, the Meredith website is the College’s primary marketing tool. Because of its importance, meredith.edu is moving to a new content management system (CMS) this semester. A CMS is the system used to create and update website content.
The Marketing Department, in consultation with Technology Services, regularly evaluates how the site is hosted, how it is secured, and how content is maintained.
The site’s current CMS, ExpressionEngine 3.0, is not compatible with the newer, more secure server environments. These circumstances resulted in the decision to replatform meredith.edu, which is the term used for moving to a new CMS.
The website helps the College reach prospective students, alumnae, donors, and other important external audiences while supporting communication with internal audiences.
“Meredith.edu is how we share our story and provide essential information to every audience of the institution,” said Vice President for Marketing and Communications Kristi Eaves-McLennan. “It is of critical importance to the College that we not only continually update the content and design of the site but that we also keep the website healthy and secure.”
Replatforming takes place behind the scenes and doesn’t change the appearance of the site. Instead, changing to a new CMS offers important improvements in security, search engine optimization (SEO), and more. The site will be accessible to all audiences throughout the process, and the information available on the site will not be affected.
After researching available options, the web team chose to convert the current site from Expression Engine to WordPress, which is a popular CMS option. WordPress is free to use, with affordable add-ons and widely available technical support.
“WordPress is the platform used by Fortune 500 companies as well as most college and university websites, including several in the Triangle area,” Eaves-McLennan said. “This gives our web designers and developers a network of professionals familiar with the system.”
In order for the replatforming project to be successful, the site needs to be “locked” to departmental content contributors. Marketing’s campus partners have been made aware that the lockout has begun, and have been provided with ways to request that changes be made to their pages.
The replatforming project is expected to be complete in March. If you have any questions about the project, contact one of the co-chairs of Meredith’s web strategy team, Vanessa Harris or Karen Dunton.