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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Website Upgrade Frequently Asked Questions

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How much effort will this take?

  • This semester, we will need to plan to spend more time on website migration tasks than normal for faculty and staff to move all content manually to the new intermediate site, and we are taking this opportunity to clean house as well.
  • We must ensure faculty and staff are properly trained and empowered to edit websites more efficiently in the future.
  • Going forward, the new system will make website editing time much more efficient, requiring less time on website tasks than they are spending now.

What are the benefits for colleges and departments?

  • Improved college, division, and department websites improves user engagement and leads to increases in retention and enrollment and improved communication materials.
  • The new system will lead to efficiencies that will save maintenance time in the future.

How will you begin to migrate website content before the new design and website templates are ready?

  • We are using an intermediate staging system that will flow content into the website so that web authors can transition their department content and at the same time designers and developers create the new website.
  • This allows web authors to focus on the quality of the content they are writing without worrying about the layout or how it looks, in turn creating higher quality content.
  • The focus of our training in the preliminary stages will be on strategy and helping website authors gain a deeper understanding of our vision for the website. Workshops will help us in understanding audiences and writing better content. Then we will train on the tool.

What training resources are currently available for website authors?

Will there be a comprehensive Intranet?

  • We are working towards solutions to achieve this.

How does personalized content work?

  • Certain content will be tagged for certain audiences using metadata (code).
  • As a website visitor browses a website over time, the system will be smart enough to learn things about what audiences that website visitor belongs to, and what their interests are.
  • As the website learns a site visitor’s preferences, it will serve content that is relevant and personalized to that site visitor.

How does reusable content work?

  • Certain content will be tagged using metadata (code) to make it available for reuse.
  • Tagged content blocks can be placed in different places across the website.
  • When the content is updated, it is done so centrally, so that it is applied to every place on the website where it is used.
  • Reusable content can also be used in print publications, can appear in search results, and can be made available on devices that don’t recognize web browsers (such as smart watches and headsets).

When will the new website launch?

  • Each college and division will launch on its own subdomain. All sub-sites for each individual college and division must be populated prior to launching, and the entire college or division will launch at the same time.
  • ITS will be ready to begin assisting in launching college and division websites in mid-June 2017. 

How will the website transition affect faculty and staff workloads?

  • Because our current system is using outdated technology, we will need to migrate all content manually to the new website.
  • This gives us an opportunity to “clean house”, eliminating outdated or unnecessary content.
  • Each University unit is responsible for populating their own new web page with content.
  • Templates will be provided to help ease the transition and improve the consistency of how information is presented.
  • Training will be provided in person, through the website, through drop-in sessions, and through online documentation.