University website redesigned with competition in mind

On Nov. 8,  Trinity University updated its website to be more user friendly and to attract prospective students. The updated website is meant not only to attract visitors, but also to fix any problems that current users and the institution had with the website.

“It is more than a new website. It is a totally new site meaning from the bottom up we decided to build as if we didn’t even have a website,” said Charles White, vice president of information resources, communications and marketing.

According to White, the website was cluttered and its search engine did not function well. The website is also a part of a larger effort to expand university marketing.

“It didn’t seem to present the face of the university that the constituents wanted to reach,” White said.

White stated the website was more of an informational portal than a marketing tool for the university. The website was an effort to increase prospective student interest in Trinity.

“We are seeing increased competition for Trinity type students. We were seeing a lot of competition from other colleges for those students,” White said.

Trinity is trying to broaden its marketing efforts by displaying the achievements and academic rigor of the university.

“We realized Trinity had not had any kind of marketing orientation. We didn’t do marketing we simply believed that we are good and everybody knows we’re good,” White said.

The university created a special marketing team to redesign the website.

“We created a marketing unit within the institution, and the first task of that marketing unit was to rebuild the website,” White said.

The university used an open source platform to build the website. The platform is Drupal, which is developed by a community of users that update the platform software. The platform is free for anyone to download and share with others.

According to White, 95 percent of first contact with the university comes from the website.

The website was mainly being used by those who were a part of the institution. Very little activity was coming from prospective students.

“We found that, in our analytics, are numbers on where people were coming from to the website – that 95  percent of them were coming from inside the institution,” White said.

Current students are still adjusting to the new website and have given mixed reviews of the functionality of the website.

“The search function is really inefficient when you are trying to find something,” said Erin Rand, a senior.

“I think the new website is really nice. It seems pretty simple and organized, which is an improvement over the previous website, where I felt I sometimes had to do a lot of searching to find what I needed,” said Ana Esparza, a sophomore.