5 Universities that Succeeded in Migrating their Website to WordPress: A Case Study

In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is essential for universities.

A well-designed, user-friendly website can help attract potential students, faculty and donors, while also providing current students, staff, and alumni with the information they need. One of the most popular content management systems (CMS) used by universities is WordPress. This platform offers a wide range of features and is user-friendly, making it a great choice for universities looking to improve their online presence.

In this article, we will take a closer look at five universities that have successfully migrated their websites to WordPress and discuss the key elements that contributed to their success. In general, migrating a website to WordPress can involve several steps, including:

  1. Content Audit/Planning: This includes identifying the goals and objectives of the migration, as well as the content and functionality that will be included on the new website.
  2. Design and Development: This includes creating a new design for the website, and developing the new site using WordPress.
  3. Content Migration: This includes transferring all content from the old website to the new website, either manually by copying and pasting the content, or by hiring a professional service, such as WordHerd, that specializes in seamlessly migrating content to WordPress while preserving SEO, design, and other assets.
  4. Testing and Quality Assurance: This includes testing the new site to ensure that it is functioning properly and that all of the content and functionality has been migrated correctly.
  5. Deployment: This includes launching the new site and redirecting traffic from the old site to the new site.
  6. Maintenance and Updates: This includes ongoing maintenance and updates to ensure that the site remains secure, up-to-date, and optimized for SEO.

These case studies will provide valuable insights for other universities that are considering migrating their website to WordPress.

Stevenson University

Stevenson University’s website was migrated to WordPress in 2022. WordHerd converted a 5,000 page website for Stevenson University to WordPress from a custom ColdFusion platform that was sunsetting called SiteExecutive.

The website features:

Sophisticated online academic programs finder.

Detailed program pages, example: Biology.

Detailed school pages, example: Brown School of Business and Leadership.

Migrating and adapting the Stevenson University website to WordPress has enabled us to have more flexibility with virtually unlimited opportunities for future growth thanks to its available plugins, robust content management dashboard, SEO optimization tools, support of multiple media types, and a helpful community of open-source developers, training, and knowledge base access.

Brandon M. Seidl | Senior Director, Web & Digital Marketing

University of California, Berkeley

The university’s website was migrated to WordPress in 2014, and features a custom theme that was developed specifically for the university’s needs.

Galen College of Nursing

WordHerd has replatformed two websites to WordPress for Galen College, which we host and maintain. The first is a microsite with landing pages to drive leads to their nursing programs, complete with Salesforce/Pardot API integration. The second is their core website, in which we migrated 100’s of pages and blog posts into custom Elementor builder layouts. In addition to migration, we developed a number of custom Elementor templates to accommodate Galen’s content requirements.

I have worked with WordHerd on many website projects and they have consistently met or exceeded my expectations. They are very easy to work with and keep me updated on the progress of our projects while delivering on time.

Digital Marketing Manager – Galen College of Nursing

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The university’s website was migrated to WordPress in 2015, and features a responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes.

Northern Arizona University

NAU came to WordHerd to migrate over 250 department websites from their enterprise Ektron CMS to subsites of a single WordPress multisite install. Requirements for the website migration include: custom shortcode mapping, page and media migration, Gravity Forms web form generation, conversion of all tables to TablePress, 301 redirect, SEO meta and SEO schema integration.

These are just a few examples of the many universities that have successfully migrated their websites to WordPress. The key to a successful migration is to choose a theme that is well-designed, easy to navigate and responsive, and to work closely with a development team that has experience with WordPress.

Migrating to WordPress can also provide benefits such as improved search engine optimization, better scalability and flexibility, and a wide range of pre-built themes and plugins to choose from. It is important to note that migrating a website can be a complex process and it’s important to work closely with a development team that has experience with WordPress to ensure a successful migration.