by Samantha Lund, News Editor and Haleigh Missildine, Guest Writer
Pacific Lutheran University’s website is the first thing most people see and it sets a tone for campus.
PLU’s website has to stand up to thousands of other colleges and the poor thing was in need of a face-lift.
Assistant Director for Social Media and Technology Hai Doan said the website needed a more adaptive design. The popularity of smart phones forced PLU to build a more user friendly and phone compatible website.
The new website is more user-friendly but has many of the same elements of the old site.
Users looking at the website with a smartphone or tablet will see a nicer looking page that fits to their screen. For smartphone users, the change will make navigating through pages easy.
The biggest change the website went through is something most students and people will not notice. The site was changed from Cascade to WordPress. Cascade works well for people who are skilled in web design but WordPress is much easier to master and most people can use it without much effort.
“WordPress is a lot more user-friendly. You can interact with the elements,” Doan said.
With the old interface, Cascade, it was a lot harder to find which element, or part of the website, you wanted to change. The old website required more technical knowledge.
Cascade makes it easier for inexperienced users to make small mistakes that could cause big consequences. For example, accidentally deleting one line while editing could mess up an entire part of the website.
However, when working in WordPress, the elements are a lot easier to see visually and giving people access to edit certain parts of the website is simpler.
Doan teaches students and faculty from each department who need to update their pages how to use the new design, and they have learned quickly.
Many people are already somewhat familiar with WordPress, but even those who aren’t can figure it out.
“It’s easier for people who don’t know much about technology to update the website,” Doan said.