October 13, 2015

WordPress for Higher Ed

WordPress is considered by many as the most popular online publishing platform with nearly 1 in 4 websites utilizing this user-friendly content management system. While it got its start as a simple blogging platform, WordPress has quickly shifted to accommodate more enterprise-level websites and complex intranets, and more recently, has found its calling in the world of academia.

Higher education institutions use their digital presence for a number of important reasons – to set themselves apart from other institutions, to serve as a resource for students, parents and faculty and to stand out during the recruitment process, to name a few. Thanks to WordPress, institutions are able to create beautifully-designed, mobile-responsive websites that resonate with their target audiences, but also allow for efficient administrative controls as well.

In case you need more convincing, we’ve rounded up eight reasons why WordPress is the best choice for your higher education institution.

  1. Cost – Although migrating an entire institution’s digital platform over to WordPress can be costly at first, the platform pays dividends in the end (especially when compared to some larger subscription-based or proprietary platforms available). WordPress is a completely free and open source content management system, which means that anyone in the world can work on your website.
  2. Flexibility – WordPress can be leveraged for so many different needs and requirements because of its extensive flexibility. Whether using an existing theme, installing an out-of-the-box plugin or creating a custom solution, WordPress caters to your institution’s needs.
  3. Security – Security is paramount to any higher education institution. Unlike many other platforms, there is a large security-conscious community around WordPress that strives to constantly identify, safely disclose and patch security bugs. If something is particularly concerning, WordPress has a forced-security-update feature where they can update millions of sites automatically.
  4. Shared Access – WordPress by default provides built-in user roles. This means that people can be granted varying levels of administrative access and control, from total administrative control to simple read-only access. You can even customize your access and editorial flow with a plugin or custom build one with professional development help.
  5. SEO-Friendly – WordPress aims to make SEO easy by automatically generating search-friendly URLS and titles. What’s more, customization of every page through SEO plugins gives the highest probability of getting your pages in top search results positions.
  6. Open Source Perfection

    Thousands of users are contributing to WordPress development, making it the best open-source content management system available. From ecommerce integration to core sharing features and social media widgets, the possibilities are endless.

  7. 508 Compliant

    Most educational websites require section 508 compliance, and thanks to the flexibility of WordPress, it’s easier than ever to keep your college site up to code. WordPress can support 508 compliant themes and plugins making it possible to stay on top of regulations and ensure your site caters to all. Or you can connect with a company like our friends over at Siteimprove for a thorough accessibility audit.

  8. Mobile-Friendly – With more and more people accessing their content on-the-go, and Google’s recent algorithm update, responsive, mobile-friendly websites are a necessity. With a WordPress Responsive theme, visitors can easily access your site from any device, so your higher ed institution will never have to worry about maintaining two databases or websites.

Still not convinced? Check out our case study on Boise State University or contact us for some higher ed testimonials!

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