Website Committee

Committee Overview:

As a college standing committee, acts as a recommending body for the development of College of Alameda website, including its structure, design, policies and procedures.  Identify, prioritize and advocate for Web needs and services.

Meets on an as needed basis.  Requests to call a meeting should be sent to the Committee Chair.

History/Chronology of New College Website (based on WordPress):

Under the leadership of the College Website Committee, in Fall 2012, the College of Alameda implemented a new website that emphasizes ease of access and participation.

The new college website is built on an open source CMS, WordPress. WordPress was chosen based on the Website Committee’s findings below:

  • be easier to use for novices
  • require less customization – Ex. permissions issues easily resolved by setting up a network site with mini administrators
  • chances of receiving help/assistance from sister colleges and District would be greater since the District, Laney and BCC are currently using WordPress.
  •  large global community using WordPress
  •  ease of training – many faculty/staff already familiar with WordPress as a blogging tool.

In Spring 2012, the Website Committee began working with a developer to design a content management system and templates, based in WordPress, for the new College Website. Recognizing that the wish list would exceed the budget, the Website Committee developed a vision (see below) that reflects how the committee would prioritize its needs for the new college website. The vision came out of discussions with various stakeholders, results from a college-wide survey and discussions at the Website Committee meetings.

Vision for the New College Website:

  • Clean look
  • Information architecture structure and search box that makes it easy to find content.
  • Easy to use and maintain. As little administration necessary as possible.
  • Compartmentalized permissions for different groups and page based permissions
  •  Easy management and utilization of images, files, documents, media
  • A variety of layout choices for editors
  •  Inexpensive and low maintenance
  •  ADA compliant

Throughout the process, Website Committee Chair Reports, minutes, and agendas were regularly sent out campus-wide via e-mail (to the coa-fas list) and also posted on the website for feedback. The information architecture for the site was finalized by categorizing all of the pages on the current site, reviewing other exemplary college sites for organizational ideas, taking into consider best practices for information architecture, consultation with various groups on campus such as student services council and department chairs, and working with the developer. The Committee also took the lead in making recommendations to the developer for slide text and images for the slide show on the main college webpage. Campus-wide suggestions were also solicited for content ideas for these slides. In April 2012, the Website Committee Chair, with the assistance of staff, migrated all of the content from the old website to the new website. Starting at the end of April 2012, the Website Committee Chair began providing one-on-one training on how to access and update content on the new college webpages. As of Fall 2012, over 40 faculty and staff have been trained and given mini-admin access to the new website.

Ongoing Website Needs:

  •  The College will need to identify a designated staff position that is responsible for developing, updating and maintaining the web site, as well as, supporting the development of administrator, faculty and staff web pages. This position may only need to be a few hours a week.
  • Identify yearly funding for the costs associated with hosting, servers, security updates and trouble-shooting issues for the site. Approximately $6,000/year. At the Nov. 2012 meeting of the District Tech Committee, it was agreed that the District would pay for college web hosting (approx. $3,000/year).
  • Identify funding for updating to the latest version of WordPress. Potentially, this migration will have to be done every three years since the WordPress community only provides security updates for the latest two versions. New versions come out approximately every 2 years. This is an on-going expense.
  •  Provide periodic training and workshops on creating, editing and updating pages using the new website.
  •  Through the direction of the Department Chairs and administrators, identify people to guide the development of department and service-area web sites.
  •  Provide reassign time for web site development whenever possible.

Additional Considerations:

The College will encourage diversity among individual and department web pages within the unifying framework of the website theme. Original content will include (but is not limited to) photos, video, departmental mission and objective statements, faculty and staff biographies, events, new course descriptions, outside links, and other matters unique to each discipline, department, and individual.

The College website and all College-associated web pages will be ADA compliant.