Best Practices

The Web is a crucial communications tool. Prospective students (and their parents), alumni, staff, current students, faculty, donors, job seekers, employers, peer institutions, and the general public interact with it on a daily basis. What your website says, and how it’s organized, could not be more important.

College and university websites are always the product of a decentralized and diverse community of authors and editors. Pages have been created, changed, and/or maintained by different people at different intervals over many years. The current Saint Mary’s site is, as expected, a bit tangled, with outdated information and writing that was not originally intended for the Web.

A redesign is the perfect time for everyone across campus to sit down, roll up their sleeves, and examine their sections of the site. Making a website that is clear, concise, and easy to navigate takes time, and the willingness to review your site with the perspective of someone outside your office, department, school, and even institution.

In addition to spending time on refining content and navigation during the redesign process, it is important to implement systems for ongoing evaluation. Much of the work and energy put into updating and launching the new site can be wasted without a plan for regular site-wide updates and reviews—even if you are actively engaged site content.