At the February Quarterly meeting, Janet Scannell and Joe Hargis announced that the college would be migrating from Reason to another web platform, and that the two platforms under consideration were Drupal and WordPress.
Over the past several months Web Services interviewed colleagues at several liberal arts colleges, conducted research with vendors, solicited RFP proposals, and facilitated several user experience sessions with faculty and staff. We evaluated the strengths and challenges of both platforms and put together a proposal for a more modern way of delivering web services to our campus.
We’re happy to announce that our proposal to go with WordPress has been approved by the Technology Planning and Priorities Committee (TPPC) and Tuesday Group. The name of this project is “Web2020.”
What happens next? (September 2017 – June 2018)
- Web Services (WSG) is in the process of selecting a vendor partner, and will begin to plan for the new platform. (Fall 2017)
- WSG and the vendor will get the infrastructure in place for running both Reason and WordPress for the duration of the transition. (Winter 2017)
- A redesigned Admissions site will be our pilot implementation on WordPress. (Target timeline: Spring 2018)
When will the site for my department move to WordPress and what will I need to do?
- Admissions is the only site scheduled to move this fiscal year. We will identify logical groupings of sites to migrate and will be in contact with site owners as soon as we have a plan.
How long will the full migration to WordPress take?
- Timing is dependent on several factors, but it will likely take 3–5 years to migrate the 700+ sites that need to migrate and find ways to deliver features currently delivered via 60+ custom web applications. There will be plenty of opportunity for training and more information as the project progresses.
Will Web Services continue to help me with the things I need?
- Mission critical work will continue to be done in Reason, but we hope to be able to focus the majority of our time/effort on developing the new environment and migrating sites. We understand that this may be frustrating at times, and we appreciate your understanding. TPPC will work closely with WSG on prioritizing requests during the transition.
What’s in it for me?
- We aim to expand the self-service options for site editors, putting more power in your hands. WordPress is one of the most popular web publishing tools in the world, known for its ease of use and supported by a wealth of online tips and tutorials just a Google search away.
- WordPress has a huge developer community, with thousands of plug-ins already available to add special features and functionality. This gives us more options to meet your needs without requiring new custom development by Web Services.
- Academic technologists and many Carleton faculty and staff already have a working knowledge of WordPress, giving us more in-house knowledge from the start.
- Vendors and freelancers experienced with WordPress are readily available, if you have a project that needs additional resources.
If I need a new site, can it be set up in WordPress?
- We do not have a WordPress environment to create sites in yet.