The Optimized Higher Ed Web Team

There is ongoing debate taking place in the market right now on whether or not a distributed model is effective for managing a school website. For those not familiar with the terminology, I’m referring to an arrangement where the various staff members represented on the web including academic area heads, department leaders etc. are responsible for generating and publishing their own web content through the use of a CMS (Content Management System). Depending on the capabilities of the CMS system, that content is then sent through an approval workflow, and ultimately published by your webmaster. The benefits to this model are obvious:

  • There is no need for a centralized web team, just a webmaster
  • It empowers departments to generate their own content

It does however come with its pitfalls that any good user interface expert, or marketing representative would point out:

  • Your marketing message lacks a clear consistent voice because it is being communicated by many different people (no copywriter/web writer)
  • The overall aesthetic treatment (look and feel) of the website degrades over time as users come up with new ways to style their respective sections outside of your specified guideline

Therefore, SimpleApply LLC advocates the following for those schools interested in maintaining a well branded, and professional web presence:

  • A centralized and dedicated 5 person web team consisting of the following roles:

    Webmaster – leads team, touches all areas of development, develops site standards
    Web Editor – reviews all information, makes decisions on publishing priorities
    Web Designer – maintains look and feel, develops imagery, art, and animation/movies
    Web Programmer – educated in the code structure of the selected CMS
    Web Marketing – solicits content from departments, edits and writes copy

  • A leadership mandate dictating specific procedures for the management of the website and decision making structure of the web team

Following these suggestions we’ll help to position your institution to get the most out of its best marketing tool – it’s own website.

    Article written by 

    Partner, Software Development

    Located in Buffalo, NY

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