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Web Services

Success! Campus Web 3.0 Migration Project Complete

August 5, 2019

What Was the 3.0 Migration?

The Campus Web 3.0 site migration project moved nearly 400 central CSU, Chico campus websites (those in the www.csuchico.edu domain) into a framework designed to provide an optimized experience for users with varied device types: computers, tablets, and phones. 

How Long Did It Take?

Web Services started imagining the new framework in 2015. The project was completed in July 2019.

What Is the 3.0 Framework?

The Two Parts of the 3.0 Framework

1. Responsive Website Template (forward-facing)

Pages within the campus web now use the a responsive website template. The template is what users see as they visit pages within the www.csuchico.edu domain.

2. Cascade 8 Content Management System (back-end)

Prior to the migration, campus sites were managed & edited using the Cascade web content management system (WCMS) version 7. The new framework uses the updated Cascade 8.

Why Is the New Framework Important?

It facilitates compliance with legal accessibility standards and enhances the University's effort to market itself online through a strong, consistently branded web presence.

The Veteran Affairs site comparison using old vs new template
Responsive websites adapt to a screen size of the viewing device.

Can you guess which mobile phone is using the 3.0 framework?

By the Numbers


Migration Stats


Benefits of the Responsive Template

  1. Mobile-friendly campus web - no more lost website visitors resulting from a poor mobile experience.  Increased visibility to prospective students as a result of the SEO boost of mobile-friendly sites.

  2. Improved accessibility - the built-in accessibility features strengthen our ability to comply with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). Each site’s PDFs were vetted for accessibility as part of the migration.
    1. WCAG Overview(opens in new window)
    2. CSU, Chico Campus Web Accessibility Plan
    3. Web Services Dynamic Dashboard

  3. Consistency and branding - sites within the framework share a consistent visual style and are much easier to manage as a group.

  4. Increased security - Siteimprove scans identify content security issues such as SSNs or malicious links.

  5. Alert banners - timely callout banners for emergency scenarios and other important notifications can be added across all sites quickly.

Benefits of the Updated CMS, Cascade 8

  1. Quickly create a new site - A barebones version of new site can be created in less than ten minutes.  This is more than twice as fast as the previous version of Cascade! Build time went from 1 hour down to 7 minutes, almost a 90% reduction in creation time.

  2. Standardized content blocks - campus site maintainers can easily create commonly used content blocks in Cascade using widgets, people pages, event widgets, and stories.

    1. Image Cards at /apss (widget)
    2. Anthropology Faculty & Staff (people page)
    3. Inclusive Events at /diversity (events widget)
    4. Janet Turner Exhibitions (stories)

  3. Integration with Siteimprove - site maintainers can jump directly from a Siteimprove report to edit pages within the Cascade CMS.

  4. Accessibility and security rules - only PDF & image uploads (security measure), naming convention, folder placement, and accessibility rules: alt text, title, & captions.

Other Positives

  1. Site review and refinement - each page was manually migrated into the new framework. As a result, individual page designs were improved and a percentage of unnecessary pages were removed.

  2. Relationship building. Connecting content with design - working on a multi-year project involving so many campus groups connected Web Services with many different individuals on campus. Interacting directly with the content our framework supports improved the way we think about framework design.

By the Numbers

  • 380 campus sites migrated, consisting of 12,590 pages.
  • 500+ site maintainers trained in Cascade 8.
  • 2.27 million unique visitors to csuchico.edu websites in 2018.