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Naropa University

by Kurt Eherenman
2010, 04/20/10

Naropa UniversityEhrenWerks Media was referred to Naropa University after a previous developer failed to deliver.  We were tasked with picking up the ball and completely revamping the design, architecture, content and subsequent maintenance of the site.

The existing Naropa University website was comprised of a series of static html pages edited and maintained by various departments using a variety of tools and methods.  As a result, the site was rife with broken links, orphaned, duplicated and out-of-date content, confusing navigation and a plebian, outdated design.

In order to guarantee successful delivery of the project, several planning sessions were first conducted with the expressed purpose of defining website organization and architecture. Consistency and ease of navigation with minimal clicks to content were themes throughout the discussions.  Developing a website presenting a variety of academic departments and degree programs, administrative offices and functions, information for prospective and current students required considerable four thought and planning to see the project to fruition in the shortest time possible.

EhrenWerks worked closely with the marketing department’s art director to develop designs for a variety of templates required to display the site content.  Site maps created during the initial planning sessions were delivered to each academic and administrative department outlining content requirements and assisting with subsequent delivery, organization and editing of site content.

The new Naropa University website was released under budget and ahead of schedule.  The site was a vast improvement over the previous version, making an immediate impact on branding, visibility, delivery of content and ease of use.

Maintenance of the site required the consideration of an easy to use content management system.  Naropa’s IT department had in place several installations of Adobe’s Contribute web editor and server administration for a variety of departments to edit the Eropa intranet.  The decision was made to continue using this application for the maintenance of the site content.  EhrenWerks managed the implementation and deployment and initial training of Contribute, and continues to offer training in the use of Contribute to new employees and existing employees needing a refresher.

To compliment the website development project, a variety of search engine optimization efforts and Google Adword campaigns were implemented to improve site visibility and pique the interest of prospective students.  The challenge of marketing online Naropa’s eclectic degree programs required considerable research to gain a thorough understanding of the programs offered and the atmosphere of the school in order to hone the efforts to for best success of reaching out to prospective students and increasing the probability of them responding to the calls to action.  All academic departs experienced significant increases in interest as a result of EhrenWerks efforts.

In addition to Contribute CMS, EhrenWerks continues to be retained as the Naropa University webmaster providing support from minor updates to large scale application development.  As their “virtual webmaster,” EhrenWerks provides a team of internet specialists to support the Naropa University mission.

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