As we have previously shared, Bucknell is in the midst of redesigning the bucknell.edu website — a big, exciting project that will enhance our ability to share Bucknell's stories with the world. To help answer any questions you might have and explain more about the redesign, the Division of Communications has prepared the FAQs below.

Don't see the answer to your question here? Contact communications@bucknell.edu.


[+] View: Why is the University redesigning the website?

As with most college and university websites, bucknell.edu is a gateway to the University for many of our various audiences. We strive to ensure the website remains relevant, attractive, easy to use and, above all, authentic. The website should convey Bucknell’s spirit and strengths to prospective students and employees, current students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends. Regular assessment of the site’s appeal and utility is essential to ensure we are clearly communicating the Bucknell story to all of our audiences. | Read more

[+] View: With whom has the University partnered to help build the new website?

Following an extensive national search, the University chose to partner with Bluecadet, an award-winning digital agency that creates world-class websites, mobile apps, interactive installations and immersive environments. The agency, which has offices in New York and Philadelphia, collaborates with leading museums, cultural institutions, universities and nonprofit organizations. Its higher education clients include Harvard, Princeton, Swarthmore, Temple, Tufts and Penn. | Read more

[+] View: What is the purpose of the new bucknell.edu?

Websites have evolved since the days of dial-up modems and Prodigy (look it up!), and that includes college and university websites. Like the vast majority of higher education institutions, the website is a resource to tell the University's story in compelling, informative and authentic ways. It should not be used as an archival tool, nor should it be viewed as an exhaustive list or comprehensive inventory of everything Bucknell does or has to offer. In today’s digital landscape, there are myriad other resources to serve those needs.

The primary objectives of the new site’s structure and content will be to:

  1. Inform and inspire prospective students to apply and enroll. Prospective students are our primary audience.
  2. Inform and inspire alumni, parents and friends to support the University.
  3. Help facilitate daily operations for faculty, staff and current students.
  4. Inform and inspire prospective employees.
  5. Inform the local community about University operations and events.

[+] View: How is Communications working with campus partners to rebuild the website?

The content strategy team has posted progress updates in the Message Center and on the website redesign blog, and shared regular updates with the Operations Management Group. We’ve also asked academic department chairs for feedback on text for their new web pages, and contacted some administrative offices to consult about content. We’ll also be presenting updates at regularly scheduled University Staff Forums. While we won’t be able to work directly with every campus partner prior to the Phase 1 launch this summer, everyone will have the opportunity to shared feedback and suggestions once the new site is up and running.

[+] View: So some of the pages and/or content that currently appears on the site will go away?

In short, yes — some current content will not appear on the new website. The pages on the current site are going through a comprehensive review, and we are using analytics data and best practices to inform our decisions on what gets migrated to the new website, and what doesn’t.

For additional context, the current website has more than 14,000 web pages, many of which have received little to no traffic during the past several years. Keeping such pages has adverse effects on the user experience and the performance of the site. (Plus, nobody is looking at them!) Following an extensive audit, many pages will be either retired or combined and reorganized based on a new set of content criteria.

[+] View: What are the new criteria for website content?

  • High-quality, impactful photography and video
  • Informative, succinct, accurate, relevant and current information
  • Directly supports one or more of the stated purpose(s) of the website (as listed above)
  • Demonstrated capacity to keep content current (i.e., no dated materials)
  • Fits into the structure of the new website
  • Is required by law or contractually obligated to be on the website

[+] View: When will the new website launch?

The current website is being thoroughly evaluated, rewritten and rebuilt. Every page that is migrated to the new site has to be manually manipulated in some way. Given the vast scope of this work, the website redesign will be implemented in several phases, with Phase 1 scheduled to launch this summer. Phase 1 content will focus on information the content strategy team deems most essential for the immediate purposes of admissions and other key University operations. The Phase Plan and Schedule will be available soon.

We’ll keep the campus updated throughout the semester as progress continues. Please watch this page, the Message Center and the redesign blog.

[+] View: Will I be able to update my website after the launch?

With the launch of the new website, we’re also implementing a new content management system (CMS). We are taking this opportunity to evaluate the feasibility of letting additional users into the CMS to update certain website content on their own. After the initial launch, Communications will consult with academic and divisional leadership to determine the best approach to this work.

[+] View: What updates can I request for my web pages now?

As you might imagine, migrating thousands of pages to a redesigned website (and a new content management system) takes time — a lot of time. And since we can’t just turn the current site off, we’ll have to continue to maintain the current site as we build the new one. Given that, we’re asking that you limit requests for update to your current pages to only the most imperative updates. Doing so will avoid having to make multiple updates to both sites and reduces the possibility of launching the site with outdated information. Please continue to use the web update request form for these changes. Requests for the creation of new pages or extensive updates will be reviewed by Communications on no less than a biweekly basis.

Pages related to the following events or offices, which conduct key University business after the end of spring semester, will be maintained in our current CMS throughout the redesign process:

  • Commencement
  • Reunion
  • Enrolled Students
  • Pre-Orientation
  • Orientation
  • Outdoor Education Leadership
  • Institutional Research

Please note: We will enter a critical phase of migrating content in mid-May. To ensure the success of this work, following Commencement, we will need to restrict web updates on the current site to the exceptions listed above. Other updates and the creation of new pages will be considered following the launch of the site.

You may submit requests for review, but please keep these requirements in mind. Please direct questions to communications@bucknell.edu.

[+] View: Will all photos and videos that are on the current site appear on the new website?

There are thousands of photos and videos across the website, and we’re reviewing all of them. While many will be migrated over to the new site, we can only guarantee that photos and videos produced by or in partnership with Communications will appear on the new site. There are a few reasons why, including copyright issues. Too often, people submit photos for the website without explicit permission to publish those photos. It turns out, the general counsel’s office isn’t a fan of potential copyright infringement. We also receive a lot of photos that fall short of the quality needed for a vibrant and engaging website. So please feel free to submit photos with your requests, but make sure you have explicit permission to use them on the web and that they’re high-quality images.

[+] View: What about photos of our department’s past events?

Unfortunately, the website isn’t an archival tool, and it can’t be used to save photos and videos forever. If you would like to share photo galleries of past events with your audiences, we suggest tools such as Facebook, Flickr, Google Photos or OneDrive.

[+] View: Will all currently posted academic department information appear on the new website?

Academic department information that is essential for prospective students will be posted in Phase 1 of the redesign. This includes introductory language for the landing page, descriptions of degree options, and links to the course catalog and faculty/staff listings. Limited additional information may be included on a case-by-case basis. The editorial team will work with individual departments to refine their websites during subsequent phases of the redesign.

Please bear in mind that course content and links to external resources should be featured in Moodle. For more information about ways to share academic resources with students, please contact digitalcommunications@bucknell.edu.

[+] View: Will our Wordpress site appear on the new website?

Yes, faculty and staff Wordpress sites that currently exist as part of bucknell.edu will continue to exist as part of bucknell.edu. The web redesign team will assess longer-term plans for Wordpress sites after launch.

[+] View: What about PDFs?

While PDFs can be a great way to share information, they can also pose accessibility issues and be difficult to read on mobile devices. Instructions for how to create accessible PDFs will be provided at a future date.

In accordance with best practices in website design, PDFs on the new site must be created in an accessible format and meet at least one of these criteria:

  1. Printable information, such as applications, schedules, calendars, menus, programs and maps
  2. Content that doesn’t translate easily to a web-friendly format (example: complex tables)
  3. Content that isn’t repeated (in its entirety) on the website

[+] View: What happens after the launch?

The summer launch is the first of several phases in the rollout of our new website. Our work with campus partners will not end with Phase 1 — this is an ongoing process that will continue as content is refined and added in future phases. Following the launch of Phase 1, Communications writers and the Digital Communications team will work with individual offices according to a schedule that will be announced this summer. The Phase Plan and Schedule will be available soon.

[+] View: What if we want to change the language on our new website, or add new pages?

Please submit a web update request for review.

Please direct questions or feedback to communications@bucknell.edu.