Innersync and Campusuite deliver new web site and content management system to foster "the free exchange of ideas"

Wilmington College

Web site: http://www.wilmington.edu/

 

BACKGROUND

Situated in the heart of Ohio, Wilmington College is a four-year liberal arts institution rooted in historic Quaker values. Service and simplicity are central to the college's mission. With an enrollment approaching 2,000 students, Wilmington College operates in an extremely competitive geographic market. Three major metropolitan areas — Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton — are within one hour of the campus, and dozens of colleges and universities present Wilmington with stout competition.

Even with a distinct character and personality based on the heritage of its Quaker foundation, Wilmington College is not unlike the hundreds of midwestern regional liberal arts colleges vying to increase and sustain enrollment. In addition to students, Wilmington must attract and retain high-quality faculty and staff. Also not unlike many colleges and universities throughout the country, the administration at Wilmington realizes the power and potential of their web site. The task of generating, updating and maintaining content for an institution's diverse constituency is an increasingly important and daunting one. Prospects, recruits, students, faculty, staff, and the community at large are evaluating colleges by how informative, engaging and useful their web sites are.

CHALLENGE

In need of a web site re-design that more accurately captured the essence of the school's image, Wilmington College administrators were seeking site improvements to not only attract prospects and drive enrollment figures, but to improve the supply and access to content within and outside the college.

It was fitting that a college whose mission itself spells out the need to "foster the free exchange of ideas" was seeking better ways to connect to its internal and external audiences. Acknowledging the heightened role well-managed web sites can play in today's competitive higher education marketplace, externally, Wilmington College was looking for an online advantage for the increasing number of prospects using the internet to research, evaluate and ultimately decide where they will attend college. Internally, with content authors scattered across departments, and without the luxury of a dedicated web master or technical support staff, Wilmington College administrators sought a comprehensive web content management solution that would improve the web site efficiencies and effectiveness, without breaking the budget or stretching limited resources.

Virtually every key department in the college was looking to better utilize web-based tools to build relationships with their respective audiences through the delivery of fresh content. Administrators serving up content for faculty and staff, admissions, student activities, and athletics, were among the heavy users at Wilmington seeking to get more out of the school's web site. Limited IT resources and a broad scope of content authors necessitated a solution that would be easy to implement, and easy to learn.

Whether driving enrollment, keeping ever-changing faculty and staff information current, posting and promoting policies, programs and events for students, or reaching out to alumni and the community at large through well-crafted news and sports content, many groups were looking to optimize the school's web site to enhance communications, with ease.

SOLUTION

Implementing a new web site design — complete with a more precise articulation of the Wilmington College brand — without addressing the needs of the school's overall web content management approach, would have been only a partial answer to the challenges facing the college. With words like "service" and "simplicity" at the heart of the school's mission, it's no surprise the administration was looking for simple answers to streamlining the process of delivering content to its audiences.

Empowering the authors - those closest to the content - to manage the content, was accomplished through the adoption of the Campusuite™ solution. Created by Innersync, Campusuite gave Wilmington College the tools it needed to take command of its content. After researching several content management providers, Wilmington arrived at Innersync and Campusuite based on three key criteria: a fast learning curve, creative design capabilities, and a sharp business sense on the part of the Innersync team.

With content authors scattered across departments, Wilmington embraced Campusuite's ready-made content modules to handle the disparate users. For creating and managing frequently updated information, authors soon realized the value in Campusuite's easy-to-use content tools. Technology- and content-based hurdles and logjams were eliminated through a network of empowered content authors using simple web-based tools. In addition to compelling design and simple tools, Innersync provided turnkey hosting services, maintaining a comfort level that user administrators at Wilmington College came to appreciate during the design and implementation of the new site.

RESULTS

It took less than three months to change over Wilmington College's web site to Campusuite. Close to 1,200 pages were redesigned and migrated to Campusuite, Along the way, key department authors — from heavy users to occasional users — were trained by the Innersync account team. All authors have in-content editing capability, and have greatly reduced the time required to publish content to the web.

There has been a staggering increase in site traffic, confirming the site's role as a central source for College information. In the 14-month period following the launch of the new web site, Wilmington College yielded a record number of web-generated information requests, a record number of new student applications, and a record number of acceptances. In that same period, the college welcomed the largest class of new students - freshmen and transfers - in college history. What's more, web site visits, page views and hits are up exponentially. Using two industry-verified analytics, the site is approximately 400 percent more effective than before implementation of Campusuite. (see chart)

Wilmington College has improved the effectiveness of communicating its brand, and has created a new process of publishing web content that is facilitating greater campus-wide efficiencies. Factor in the relief the school's IT department has realized in freeing it from maintaining the site, and you have a simple solution, serving the needs of the entire Wilmington College community, in its mission to "foster the free exchange of ideas."

 

USING CAMPUSUITE's easy-to-use content management system, Wilmington College has streamlined the process of delivering content to its audiences, building and strengthening relationships along the way.

COMPARATIVE SITE-VISIT FIGURES show Wilmington's newly designed web site equipped with Campusuite web content management tools is hauling in big results for this midwestern liberal arts college.


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