On Tuesday, June 30, 2015, Newman University launched its new website. The website has been in production for 10 months and was built from scratch. The project was undertaken to improve the appearance and operation of the Newman site, and to make it adaptable to many different devices, whether they be cell phone, tablet or desktop.
Web Technology Specialist Daniel Murphy and Digital Communications Specialist Anthony D’Alessio of the University Advancement team at Newman are the masterminds behind the new website. In addition to moving content from the old website to the new, they dealt with various challenges in constructing the new site. One was changing the content management system, or CMS.
“Moving [the content management system] from Drupal to Joomla had to be the most challenging thing we did in making this new site,” said Murphy.
The new website includes many improvements and different functions designed to make the site more user-friendly. Murphy and D’Alessio said the site operates better since they switched the CMS. The change involved many hours of research to decide on the best CMS to help run the system.
The new site also includes a “Flex Banner” specially designed by D’Alessio, which allows the viewer to see pictures and captions to go with the academic degree program pages on the website. Each program, whether major, minor or elective, now has its own page, as well as a new look and functionality that provide expanded information.
The new website is also mobile responsive, which means it can be viewed and operated easily on a desktop computer as well as on mobile devices such as tablets or cell phones. This is a great improvement over the old site.
“It should work just as well on the [cell] phone or tablet as it does on the desktop,” said D’Alessio.
The new website will continue to keep the designers busy as they test systems and make other improvements and features, but Murphy and D’Alessio said they are happy to have the majority of it finished.
“Anytime a web designer or developer gets to build a website from the ground up, its always fun, but there are always challenges. To release a project publicly for the first time after 10 months of work is super exciting!” exclaimed Murphy.