How Morehead State University Redesigned Its Website In One Year

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Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024 11:00 AM

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Last year, Morehead State University faced a daunting challenge: 

To completely overhaul our expansive website, which comprised over 5,000 pages. 

The goal: 

  1. Find a functional content management system that fit our needs
  2. Migrate 5,000 pages
  3. Improve analytical tracking
  4. Improve accessibility and engagement 
  5. Emphasize academic programs and other important pages
  6. Improve search with Google Programmable Search Engine

Guided by a tight deadline of just one year, our journey was not just about updating a website but transforming how we engage with our students, faculty, and prospective visitors online.

Rising to the Challenge

The task required an all-hands-on-deck approach from our dedicated team of six, which included a Director of Strategic Communications, Director of Creative & Brand Strategy, Publications Writer, Digital Communication and Media Manager, Content Specialist, and Digital Communication Specialist. 

With strategic leadership and a clear vision, we managed to redefine the scope and purpose of our university's digital presence.

Our team's collaboration, creativity, and hard work were central to navigating the complexities of such a large-scale redesign.

Given the scale of our content and the need for a flexible, robust content management system, we chose Cascade CMS for its compatibility with our goals. 

However, the true heroes of this story were the members of the MSU team, whose relentless dedication turned our vision into reality.

Empowering Our Team

The ease of use of Cascade CMS allowed us to leverage its features to enhance our productivity and creative expression.

The CMS's straightforwardness was crucial, as it helped the team focus on strategic content development and innovative design rather than the mechanics of a content management system. 

Our approach was to simplify, streamline, and enhance the user experience, ensuring that every page reflected MSU's commitment to quality and accessibility.

Training and empowerment were key themes throughout the project.

We held workshops to refine our skills in web writing and content layout, making sure every team member could contribute effectively using the tools provided by Cascade.

This investment in our team's growth paid substantial dividends in both the short-term success of the launch and our ongoing content strategies.

A User-Centric Design

Feedback from our community was integral. Through focus groups and surveys, we gathered insights that shaped the architecture and design of the site. 

We emphasized intuitive navigation and accessibility, ensuring that users of all abilities could find information effortlessly. 

Our new website now stands as a testament to our user-centric approach, with improved functionality, faster load times, and a cleaner, more attractive design.

Strengthened by Partnerships

While our team led the charge, Hannon Hill's support was invaluable.

Their custom implementation provided us with a centrally managed yet flexible solution using blocks and other best practices that ensures an efficient user and editor experience.

They provided the tools and guidance needed to realize our vision, and Stamats helped with the design roadmap. 

This partnership was built on understanding, respect, and a shared goal of creating an exceptional digital presence for Morehead State University.

The Path Forward

Today, our website is a portal to our university and a vibrant reflection of our community and values. 

The positive responses from our students and faculty have been incredibly affirming. 

With ongoing tweaks and updates, our site continues to evolve, supported by Cascade's robust capabilities and the creativity of our MSU team.

Looking ahead, we are excited about the possibilities. 

Our website is more than a communication tool—it is a dynamic part of our university that grows and adapits with us. 

The success of this project has reinforced our belief in our team's abilities and our strategic approach to digital engagement.

Celebrating Our Success

As we reflect on this monumental task, we celebrate not just the successful outcome but the journey that brought us here.

It was a year of challenges, learning, and teamwork that proved nothing is out of reach when you have a committed team driven by a shared goal.

To those of you in the throes of your own digital transformations, remember: 

The strength of your team is your greatest asset. 

Equip them, support them, and let their creativity shine. The results can be extraordinary.

Thank you for allowing us to share our story. We hope it inspires and guides you as you navigate your own digital landscapes.

Remember, at Morehead State University, we did it in one year—you can, too!


If you're aiming to replicate the success of institutions like Morehead State University with your digital initiatives, we're here to help. Click the button below to schedule a conversation about your goals and discover the possibilities with Cascade CMS.

 

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April Hobbs Nutter
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Toni Hobbs
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