Founded in 1785, the University of New Brunswick is the oldest English-language university in Canada. The university has two main campuses and offers over 70 undergraduate and graduate programs between the two.
The first university in Canada to offer e-mail and launch a comprehensive public website, the University of New Brunswick had always been a trail-blazer in online communications. Unfortunately, this pioneer status was not sustained. From the late 1990s to 2008, the school’s website ballooned in size, making it increasingly difficult for users to navigate. The site had inconsistent design along with repeated, conflicting or contradictory content.
As a result, it was frustrating for those at the university who were charged with maintaining it. UNB’s web group knew they needed a more streamlined web content management process and sought to find a solution.
In December 2008, the University of New Brunswick launched the first part of a comprehensive effort to redesign and redevelop their website using Hannon Hill's Cascade CMS. Since that December launch, UNB has created and is now managing more than 105 individual sites in the system.
In September 2009, the members of the school attended their first Cascade CMS User Conference in Atlanta where they viewed the demonstration of the Cascade CMS 6.4 beta. Cascade CMS 6.4 included a number of new features, but one that stood out to the team in particular was the ability to create content in Cascade CMS and publish out to WordPress. Use of the WordPress Connector would enable the university to leverage their investment in Cascade CMS while also tapping into the impressive blogging potential of WordPress.
In February 2010, the University of New Brunswick launched the latest update to the UNB website and upgraded to the final release version of Cascade CMS 6.4. UNB then began implementing their first digital publication - Perspectives Magazine - using Cascade CMS and the WordPress connector.
In just a few days, UNB was able to modify an open source magazine template for WordPress to match the brand of the Perspectives magazine. It took under a week of staff time to design, implement and populate Perspectives Magazine with content.
“UNB is pleased to be among the first schools to deploy the Cascade CMS WordPress Connector, which in turn has helped make us an online pioneer once more. We're thrilled with the progress we've made revitalizing our entire website, which is due not only to hard work and commitment by our core web folks and staff across the university, but also because Cascade CMS has made it far easier to create content and manage sites,” says David Shipley, Senior Web Content Developer at the University of New Brunswick.
Following the initial small investment of setting up Perspectives, the school has been able to easily set up and deploy subsequent publications in just a few hours. UNB is using the Cascade WordPress Connector to power five other blogs for the school’s individual departments. The school is also looking to have up to six blogs being published to WordPress from Cascade by the end of the summer 2010.