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Durham University

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Noticed something different on our website?

(9 April 2021)

If you’ve been looking closely, you may have noticed some changes to our website recently. As part of our New Website Project, some new pages have started to pop up across our website in the new website design. So far, 23 Departments, 32 Institutes/Centres and 1 College have moved across to the new platform and have their freshly developed and updated priority content sitting in the new and improved website design. Like many large-scale projects, this one has not been without its challenges, but the team has worked together to find solutions and support Departments and Colleges making the transition to the new site. Read on to learn more about the new website and those who have now transitioned.

One of the first Colleges to transition across to the new website was South College.

Professor Tim Luckhurst was delighted with the new website. He said, “The design is bold, clear, and accessible. It allows a wide range of styles and it is delightfully simple to edit.”

As well as being complimentary of the system, Professor Luckhurst also commented on what a difference this would make for the way the College presents itself to current and future students. He said, “The site's flexibility allows us to showcase the best of South College and to advertise the character, spirit and ideals that make it special.

“It is a big step forward and one that allows us the freedom to innovate and express our individuality as a new and ambitious community within Durham's family of Colleges.” 

The Department of Chemistry was one of the first Departments to move across to the new system. Department Manager Lizzie Amies led the work to transfer content from the old Content Management System (CMS) to the new website and also agreed that the new site is easier to manage. She said, “The new format and style of pages is much improved, clearer and easier to access the key messages of our Departmental offering and activities.

Lizzie was delighted to be one of the first to move across and was grateful for the support she received from the website team: “The central website team have been an absolute pleasure to work alongside - responsive, friendly and helpful – and we have had plenty of queries!

“We were delighted with the support that the Project Team were able to provide for us on and around our go-live date, including 1-2-1 training for our support team when they were working through making updates.”

The global pandemic added another layer of complexity to an already complex project and meant that decisions about the migration process changed several times to ensure advances continued throughout. The Project team listened to the concerns that have been raised and have actively improved the migration process to address these issues.

Director of Advancement and Communication, Lucian Hudson said, "We know that this past year has brought about many other pressures on all of us but establishing a new website was imperative for the University. Where there have been concerns, the team has dealt with most of them as swiftly as they can. We can all learn from this complex and ambitious project and will continue to anticipate and prepare for other challenges as we move forward.”

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be continuing with our schedule to transition our priority website content across to the new platform. If you would like any information on this or want to know more about the Website Project, please visit our website: https://sites.durham.ac.uk/webproject 

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