If you happened to miss last week’s informative (and delicious) Coffee Break with Web Services and you’re curious as to what was discussed during the event, this post has been made just for you!

During Coffee Break, our valuable team leader, Dan Brown, went over what Web Services does as a department, web trends at Carleton, our new CMS website framework, and lastly, website goals, content auditing and site navigation.

Web Services

Some of the services that we provide include

  • Operating Carleton CMS (a service hosting 325+ websites with SiteImprove access)
  • Support via the CCS Service Desk
  • Training and documentation
  • Upgrading current templates
  • and Carleton E-commerce

The Carleton E-commerce service, which was explained by another valuable member of our team, Andrew Riddles, provides the service of secure (PCI compliant) transactions through custom forms, and has processed over 2 million dollars in the last year and a half.

Web Trends at Carleton

Following Andrew’s wonderful explanation of Carleton E-commerce, Dan stepped in to present the remainder of the Coffee Break presentation.

Dan explained that some of our recent web trends at Carleton consist of:

  • Mobile traffic (account for 15-55%, growing between 45-200%)
  • Mobile sites – improved SEO
  • Responsive design with simplified content
  • Moving from http:// to https://
  • Less traffic across carleton.ca
  • Removing www in URLs (it is best to promote URLs as carleton.ca/ccs)
  • Google Analytics and tag manager

New CMS Framework

The new CMS framework seeks to improve ease of use for clients and site users, as well as an improved mobile experience. Based on client feedback this upgrade will allow for new functionality, and a new look and feel.

In addition, this new framework is equipped with new features such as:

  • Drag and drop page content blocks used for events, news, quick links, and video, which will allow for improved management of content
  • Easier, more accessible slideshow and banner management
  • Improved listings (i.e.: people, photos, etc.) so they can be arranged chronologically and/or according to what you want
  • Embedding social media tools (i.e.: tweets) anywhere on your page as a feedback mechanism
  • Google Analytics in the WordPress Admin dashboard so that people can have a general review of how their website is doing
  • Single sign-on between multiple sites via CAS
  • Front-end editing

As a department, our goal is to finish the development process in the next month and a half, which will allow us to begin migrating sites by the end of July to early August, and hopefully have all sites in the new theme by the fall. We will happily work with web maintainers for the few items that may need adjusting, and in the meantime we expect web editors to run content audits and review navigations.

Website Goals, Content Auditing and Site Navigation

Website Goals

As a website editor/maintainer it is important to set goals and have objectives. Some organizational objectives may involve asking yourself, “why does my website exist? What do I want to get out of this website? What are my top three priorities for my site?” and taking action by recruiting prospective undergraduate students, marketing undergraduate study opportunities available at Carleton University, raising the reputation and awareness of Carleton’s amazing undergraduate program offerings, and translating these organizational objectives into website goals.

Knowing your website goals is the only way to know if your website is being successful, and these goals should be measurable (this means you can chart your progress; quantitative rather than qualitative) and specific (i.e.: “I want to get 100 unique visitors per day to my website). Some other website goal examples may include subscriber goals and increasing newsletter sign-ups, or reducing homepage bounce rate.

Content Audit and Navigation Review:

Reviewing your website can take on many forms, such as:

  • Reviewing your pages and their content (we have a plugin to help!)
  • Asking yourself if the content is accurate and up-to-date
  • Asking yourself if your site supports both the user and your business objectives
  • Using Google Analytics to see if people are finding and using the content
  • Using navigation review to determine whether or not your site is logically organized
  • Look for spelling mistakes, accessibility issues and broken links via SiteImprove

To submit a content audit and navigation review form, please click here

We hope that you found this post helpful and informative, and that we hope to see you at our next Coffee Break. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the Web Services department at webservices@carleton.ca