For Immediate Release:
April 6, 2011
Glenville, WV–Glenville State College will release a new website on Monday, April 11th. With the new website come big changes: a new graphical layout, some re-organization of menus and underlying information, and a lot of changes behind the scenes that won’t be apparent to web visitors but which will make our site more effective and easier to maintain. The new site has been designed and constructed by GSC Website Technology Specialist Leslie Ward, with some assistance from student workers.
After coming to GSC in July, Ward spent her first few weeks familiarizing herself with various groups on campus, especially their needs and expectations of the website. She also learned about the structure and content of the website, and researched award winning college and university sites. A college or university site is unique, in that it does not have one target audience, but several. Students need one set of information, whereas faculty and staff need another. Alumni, residents of the surrounding community, prospective students, and parents all bring their own set of questions and need for information. While these overlap considerably, they are also divergent, which makes organization a challenge.
Eventually, she decided to build a new site from the ground up. “The current website was well designed for its day,” states Ward, “but a lot of things have changed since then.” Two of the biggest changes seen in the last five years are web standards and the methods used by search engines to navigate the content of websites they are indexing. The current website uses outdated layout techniques, and it is not friendly to search engines.
One key improvement is the addition of a more robust search feature, which will be accessible in the main menu bar on every page. “I’ve chosen a Google solution for our search needs, which should help folks immensely when they’re trying to locate information on our website,” comments Ward. She goes on to say that the search feature will not work immediately after the new site is released on Monday morning. This is because until it is online and publicly visible, Google cannot access it to build indices. After a few days, however, the search capability should be fully-functioning.
The new website also sports an improved calendaring system. The new site also has an improved directory that includes photos of most faculty and staff. Pages are also being built for each student organization as information is submitted.
“One thing I really like about the new site is the way I was able to incorporate photos into the pages. Bandwidth is not as much of an issue now as it was five years ago, so I’ve been liberal with the graphics,” states Ward. She encourages all students, faculty, and staff to e-mail their photos to her at any time, as the website will always be in need of photographs. She continues, “I’ve had a great response from the GSC community with the ‘Pics for Pizza’ campaign. I love having photographs of our college campus and community taken by our students, faculty, and staff. It brings the slogan ‘Where You Belong’ to life. This website really is a collaborative effort.”
Public Relations Department
Glenville State College