Posted August 23, 2021
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls website, uwrf.edu, is in the midst of a makeover to improve recruitment of students and upgrade the content management system (CMS) operating the site.
Because of the persistence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the research an aspiring college student partakes in has been disrupted, thus creating a need for a more digitally focused recruiting strategy from the university.
“Websites, especially during this last year or so, have really taken center stage for students that are doing research about colleges,” said UWRF Marketing Specialist Catherine Leaf.
Changes that have been made so far include a noticeable effort to include more videos on the website, with the home page now containing a series of images and videos showcasing aspects of campus and academic life at UWRF. Introductory videos for each academic college, along with testimony from current and former students about their respective majors, have been added. Additionally, the search tools available for prospective students to find a suitable major have been refined and relocated.
UWRF’s desire to optimize its website’s recruiting capabilities coincided with a need to upgrade the site’s CMS, which is the software used to build and manage the website. According to Leaf, it had been several years since changes have been made to the CMS. Of the approximately 12,000 pages on the site, about 150 have been moved onto Drupal, which is the site’s new CMS. As it currently stands, the home page of the site is designed for prospective students, while much of the content pertinent to current members of the UWRF community is found in subdomains of the site.
Ultimately, Leaf said that the goal is to make “uwrf.edu the primary recruitment site” for the university. She reiterated that the website remains a work in progress, and that the university plans to engage with faculty, current students and Google Analytics throughout the upcoming semester in order to finish the overhaul of the website.