When a website turns nine, it’s time for a change.
The College of William and Mary launched its redesigned website today – nine years after its previous site debuted.
The re.web project officially began in February 2007 with the goal of renewing W&M’s web presence.
“It was a redesign in terms of look and feel,” Susan Evans, director of web and communication services at the college and chair of the re.web advisory committee, said. “We wanted to create a site that provided a real window into what life is like at William and Mary.”
Gone are difficult site navigation and links to non-existent pages.
“Think about how the web has changed in nine years,” Evans said.
Now features like student blogs, large photographs and updated content give the website a more modern feel.
A “soft” launch of the updated site ran last week and gave the W&M community a chance to offer feedback. Evans said people are positive about the changes.
mStoner, a Chicago-based communications consultant group, wrote the strategy report, which served as a roadmap for the new W&M site. It offered a project timeline and other recommendations about the website’s character, content and message.
“I think we’ll have a site that really represents the William and Mary experience,” Evans said. “I think our photography is the defining feature.”
Large background photos will rotate on the school’s new homepage, offering a glimpse of the campus to visitors.
Sarah Rojas, a junior at W&M and the sole student on the committee, thinks the student blogs will tell the college’s story.
“You can get a sense of the type of people who come to William and Mary,” Rojas said. “The site really gives you a direct insight into campus life.”
Today’s launch will include top level departments, including pages for arts and sciences, dean of students, registrar, financial aid and the undergraduate program.
“We’re gradually bringing in other departments and graduate schools,” Evans said. “It’ll take a little bit of time, but we’re reaching down quite a bit for the launch.”
Evans expects updated sites for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the law school to go live Sept. 30.