Students First: A New Site for Waukesha County Technical College
Decentralized content creation facilitates communication between departments, fosters innovation, and reduces turnaround time.
Improved site architecture helps new and returning students locate essential program information quickly.
Mobile-ready site enhances user engagement, SEO performance, and the WCTC brand experience.
Waukesha County Technical College’s (WCTC) website was long overdue for a redesign. This case study highlights how a website redesign and implementation of a new content management system (CMS) addressed the school’s most pressing issues with a new digital presence that is:
- Representative of the school’s brand.
- Reflective of the community served.
- Engaging to prospective students and other valuable constituents.
Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) is part of the Wisconsin Technical College System. Serving nearly 20,000 students each year, WCTC offers a wide variety of learning opportunities, including continuing education and personal enrichment courses, associate degree programs, high school and technical diplomas, apprenticeships, and certificates.
From a Homegrown CMS to a Solution Tailored for Higher Ed
In 2018, the college initiated a major site redesign, coordinating it with the purchase and implementation of a new web CMS. “For years, we’d been using a homegrown solution to manage content,” said Sue Stern, WCTC’s Marketing Manager, “but it had outlived its usefulness. To make even the most minor change, we relied on a single point of contact that was responsive, but had many other competing duties. We needed to democratize content creation and site updates.”
A request for proposal led Waukesha’s administration to OmniUpdate and OU Campus®, a CMS designed specifically for higher education. The team also chose an OmniUpdate partner, Stamats, to manage the college’s website redesign. They liked the idea that the CMS and the redesign companies were both known throughout academia for their exemplary customer service.
Result: A new CMS equipped the WCTC team with powerful tools to manage their website, democratize content creation, and keep their site updated.
An Ambitious Redesign Transforms WCTC’s Digital Presence
Work began immediately. The Stamats team developed a new site architecture with intuitive navigation. They simplified the site’s layout to highlight priority content and added video functionality to the home page and program pages so prospective students could visualize themselves as part of the classroom experience. The team also created a new program listing tool to help new and returning students locate essential program information quickly. Upon completion, the Stamats’ design gave the WCTC web team the ability to enhance website content with bold photography, dynamic videos, and concise copy to capture the imagination and interest of WCTC’s visitors.
The new site took more than a year to design, develop, and launch—an ambitious time frame that was ultimately met because of the partnership between Stamats and OmniUpdate. The familiarity with OU Campus also made it easier for the design team to get all functionality in place earlier than expected since they didn’t have to learn a new CMS.
One of the biggest selling points for us was OmniUpdate’s higher education focus. OU Campus immediately stood out as the right solution because it was tailor-made for institutions just like ours.Sue Stern, Waukesha County Technical College
“We knew we not only needed a revitalized site, but a revitalized way of managing the site and the daily content demands,” Sue said. “One of the biggest selling points for us was OmniUpdate’s higher education focus. We wanted a CMS provider who understood our needs and challenges and perhaps more importantly, understood the priorities of our diverse audiences. OU Campus immediately stood out as the right solution because it was tailor-made for institutions just like ours.”
Result: The WCTC team now has a dynamic, attractive website to recruit prospective students.
Powerful Tools and Peace of Mind
Launched in September 2018, OU Campus has profoundly changed how WCTC creates and updates content. “It’s easier to keep the site current, relevant, and dynamic,” Sue said. “Now that we can see the changes we make in real-time, our team feels more in control and freer to experiment,” she said. “Departments are communicating better and more efficiently because the previous lag time has been eliminated. Now, from start to finish, content change requests can be processed in mere hours instead of days or weeks.”
Now that we can see the changes we make in real-time, our team feels more in control and freer to experiment. Departments are communicating better and more efficiently because the previous lag time has been eliminated.Sue Stern, Waukesha County Technical College
Knowing that OmniUpdate’s customer support is at the ready if they encounter an issue gives the WCTC web team peace of mind. “The support team has been very helpful, even with detailed back-end questions,” said Chelsey Porth, Writer and Marketing Specialist for WCTC. “After ironing out a few minor post-launch kinks, things are running extremely smoothly.”
WCTC is particularly happy with the Assets feature in OU Campus. “Being able to change contact information in one spot and have it publish across the site is so convenient,” Sue emphasized.
Result: OU Campus is easy to use, and if problems do arise, the OmniUpdate customer support team is at the ready.
Moving Up in Search Rankings
However, perhaps the greatest advantage of redesigning the site and switching to OU Campus is the school’s increased exposure in search rankings. “The site is the cleanest it’s been in years. “A new CMS and redesign gives our website a fresh look—and the responsiveness required for mobile applications. We are also happy with the increase in page views and higher rankings across all major search engines. We know it’s helping with SEO.”
Result: A modern, streamlined website has increased WCTC’s exposure in search rankings.
A new CMS and redesign gives our website a fresh look. We are also happy with the increase in page views and higher rankings across all major search engines.Sue Stern, Waukesha County Technical College
Contact an OmniUpdate expert to see what OU Campus can do for you.
Regardless of the positive feedback from staff and administration, the WCTC web team knows that the ultimate measure of success comes from the students themselves. “Students tell us they’re engaging with the site in new ways and are able to locate the information they need without additional assistance,” Sue said. “Our new site is easy to navigate and easy to update. Working in higher education, the main goal for our website is to make sure potential students can find the information they’re looking for. OU Campus helps us maintain a site that does just that.”
Ready to see what OU Campus can do for you?
Learn more about how implementing a new CMS complements the website redesign process by downloading our FREE comprehensive College and University Website Redesign: The Ultimate Guide.
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