WordPress is one of the most well-known content management systems out there. It now powers over 43% percent of the web, according to data from web technology survey firm W3Techs. That includes some of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the United States.
There’s a good reason for that – it’s user-friendly, affordable, easy to manage, and backed by a large community of companies and developers that support it. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of using WordPress as A CMS platform for higher education websites.
WordPress is free and open-source, meaning anyone can access the code and modify it. This instantly cuts down the cost, and if you want to implement custom themes or templates, you can do that too. Premium (purchased) plugins are probably what you would be spending most of your money on to maintain your site’s design and functionality. With WordPress, you pay just a fraction of the cost of most other CMS platforms. It’s also easy to keep up to date.
In higher education, most institutions have the main marketing website as well as microsites that are specific to certain programs or departments. WordPress has the functionality to host all your subsites, allowing different departments and offices to manage their respective site.
In addition to multi-site functionality, the backend of WordPress is multilingual and available in over 70 languages. For content to be posted in different languages, you have the ability to write language conversions or translate them automatically with a plugin.
Speaking of plugins, they are what makes WordPress so flexible. Over 50,000 free and premium plugins are available, and more are being developed every day. In cases where very specific custom functionality is needed, the wide availability of existing plugins in every category conceivable can offer a starting point in the development process, often cutting hundreds of hours from a project which would otherwise need to be developed from scratch. Through themes and plugins, you can modify WordPress to become basically anything from a student portal to an employee directory.
While cost and functionality are key factors to consider, what it really comes down to is the ease of management. Luckily, WordPress is one of the simplest CMS’ out there. Anyone, even those with little to no experience with a CMS, can figure out WordPress in a matter of minutes.
This is especially helpful for higher education, as oftentimes, there are several content contributors across different departments. Any staff member can learn and navigate WordPress. Ease of management is key, especially with the Google Search feature made specifically for colleges and universities.
Alongside easy management, WordPress has convenient publishing tools and allows managers to set user roles. You can save drafts, schedule posts, and revert to a previous edition with a few clicks. As for user roles, you can set up custom roles to give users permission to manage and/or edit specific components of the website.
Colleges and Universities using WordPress
Many higher education institutions use WordPress as their content management system of choice, including some big players. Harvard, Stanford, Boston University, USC, and Syracuse are just a few schools that use WordPress. More locally, Clark University and Worcester State University run on WordPress too.
We recommend checking out our blog post that includes 70+ colleges and universities using WordPress so you can see the variety and scalability WordPress offers.
Cost, management, and flexibility are just a few reasons why WordPress is a great platform for higher education sites. The dashboard is also mobile-friendly, supports different media types, and is built for SEO, which is critical for any website, not just websites in higher education. If you’re still not sold, check out our blog post that debunks the most common myths associated with WordPress.