• What This Guide Is

    This guide provides documentation of the Digital Team’s best practices for department websites. That is, this is a guide to making your department website more effective.

    Most of what you will find in this guide are things that the Digital Team has been recommending for some time. Our aim is to collect all of these best practices in one place so that we can better communicate them.

    What This Guide Is Not

    This is not a technical guide. You will still find our technical “how tos,” explaining exactly how to work with our CMS (Ektron), in the How To section of our website.

    We are separating the why from the how because the how changes from time to time as we upgrade our software. Our overall strategies, on the other hand, change less frequently. So we’ve tried to keep Ektron-specific information out of this guide whenever possible. Instead, we provide links from this guide over to our most up-to-date technical advice.

    Whom This Guide Is For

    Anyone who maintains a website for an academic department or program. If you maintain a website for an office, you’ll find helpful advice in here, too. Just keep in mind that this guide is oriented toward our degree-granting programs, so not everything in here may apply to you.

    Organization of This Guide

    We’ve organized our best practices into four sections:

    As those sections suggest, there is a great deal of information in this guide. If you find all of this overwhelming and just want to know what to do next, you might start with the Checklist, or What to Do If You Don’t Have Time to Do Much. Start at the top and work your way through, and you’ll implement most of our best practices along the way. We’ve also provided a list of ideas for website content that you might want to develop.

    IUP Website Goals

    When we talk about making your website more effective, we mean helping you to carry out the overall goals of the IUP website. A non-exclusive list of those goals might include:

    • Encouraging more potential students to apply
    • Helping current students to complete their degrees successfully
    • Letting more people know about IUP and what we do
    • Encouraging more alumni and others to support IUP, financially and otherwise

    In more practical terms:

    1. We want to get found
    2. We want people to read our content
    3. We want people to take action: applying, registering, donating, etc.

    These best practices are designed to help you achieve these goals.