Websites

Three more college papers retool web sites

Continuing to point out student media sites that have undergone major renovations over the summer. If your site has undergone a redesign you’d want to share with the world, drop an e-mail to scmurley-at-gmail.com. Include comments about how this redesign/new CMS will help your news organization accomplish its goals.

Washington U’s Student Life switched to WordPress over the summer, and also gussied up the design.

Director of New Media Sam Guzik explains:

Last year we were on CP5 and we made the switch to WP in mid-July. Our theme was designed in house by our web team; we still have a lot that we want to do with the section fronts, but for the most part we are liking how the site looks. Starting in about a week or so, the front page will be run off an in house plug-in for dropping and dragging slugs between the carousel and latest news sections.

In terms of workflow changes, we are transitioning toward getting more content into the system earlier in the night (as opposed to dropping it all in at the end of the night). Part of that transition is getting to a place where reporters file stories and copy editors make edits in a web based system. We also have an overview of some of our new site features at www.studlife.com/new-site.

University of Delaware’s The Review upgraded their web site to College Publisher 5, this summer, and added a facelift to the site as well. Editor-in-Chief Josh Shannon said the redesign is part of a new emphasis on immediacy for the paper.

We spent the summer redesigning the Web site to better reflect our renewed emphasis on breaking news and multimedia content. We pushed the latest news updates to the top of the page and added a multimedia center. We also added eight new staff blogs and incorporated our Twitter feed into the new site. The Review is a weekly paper, but the new Web site will allow us change our mindset and begin posting daily updates.

He also praised the assistance provided by College Media Network.

Much has been written about the drawbacks of College Publisher, but we couldn’t be happier with the assistance they provided, as well as the final product. CP has been with us every step of the process and even sent a representative down to Newark to train us on the new Web site. Not having a full-time tech staff, we wouldn’t have been able to make the new site what it is without CP. Learning the new system will take a little time, but the end result will be a dramatically improved browsing experience for our readers.

The Daily Toreador at Texas Tech University also redesigned their site this summer and launched a new version (via @collegepublish on Twitter). They are using CP5 as their platform. The top photo revolves through six different sections. You might also note there are 12 navigation items in the top nav, which seems a little much from a usability standpoint. But they aren’t using drop-down menus. Interesting choice.