Colorado Mountain College

University website redevelopment

Colorado Mountain College engaged Crowd Favorite to migrate their site to WordPress, rebuilding it with intuitive navigation and responsive design for a seamless user experience on any size device.

Challenge

Built on a complicated and constraining content management system, Colorado Mountain College’s site had become outdated. It was difficult for their audiences to use, and a challenge for their team to manage.

Solution

In addition to successfully migrating over 900 pages of content to WordPress, Crowd Favorite also overhauled the site’s organization and layout, making it easy for multiple audiences (prospects, parents, students, faculty, and staff) to use, whether on desktop, tablet, or mobile.

“Crowd Favorite responded with a comprehensive plan to extract content from our 900+ pages and build out a new WordPress site. Communication throughout the project was clear and thorough, and the launch went well, with no drop in visits or user engagement during our critical recruitment season.”
—Doug Stewart, Marketing & Communications Director, Colorado Mountain College

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Built on a complicated, constraining platform, the Colorado Mountain College (CMC) website had become outdated over time. CMC engaged Crowd Favorite to migrate their site to WordPress, making it easier for their team to manage it. They then had us rebuild it with an intuitive navigation structure and responsive design, creating a seamless experience for users on any size device.

Crowd Favorite’s first challenge was to find a way to export content from CMC’s existing system, Liferay. To do this, a custom tool was created just for this purpose, called WP Extractor. The tool first crawls the site, generating a list of URLs to extract (with configurable whitelists and blacklists). We then map the content back to WordPress's data structure using a set of CSS3 selectors, which target specific content on each page. Once the scraping is complete, WP Scraper generates a report and WordPress WXR files for import.

After successfully scraping content from the live site, our next task was to import it, a process that presented a number of challenges. First, the WordPress importer had to be modified to recognize dynamically generated content (images and files identified by URL, rather than file name). We then built a new site theme to automatically populate certain content in multiple places on the new site, avoiding the need to upload each of these assets multiple times.

In the end, we successfully migrated over 900 pages of content to the WordPress platform, which simplified content management significantly for CMC’s team. This allowed them to make updates and revisions more efficiently than ever before.

We overhauled the site’s layout, implementing a template hierarchy in which lower-level page templates inherited higher-level page templates, that could be overridden. This approach allowed us to develop a base template, then flow layout customizations downward to create unique layouts for individual pages and sections on the site.

Additionally, we restructured the site’s navigation and homepage with multiple key audiences in mind, making it easy for prospective students, parents, current students, faculty, and staff to quickly find what they’re looking for. We added new sections to allow users to explore based on academic area of interest, a prominent link for students to search and register for classes, a custom news feed, and an events calendar. And finally, we implemented responsive design, ensuring a user-friendly experience, whether on a desktop or mobile device.

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