Campus website gets facelift, first major update since 2009

The new Buffalo State website is open-sourced and designed to be more mobile-friendly

Eric Bomysoad/The Record

The new Buffalo State website is open-sourced and designed to be more mobile-friendly

SUNY Buffalo State’s homepage will soon have a new face. A design overhaul of the entire website is set to go live in the coming weeks.

The redesign is the first major update to the website since 2009.

“The web and the way students and parents visit and work with a site has changed quite a bit,” said Timothy Walsh, associate vice president of the college relations office. “Five years is a long time to not have a major update on the web.”

The new site will feature design changes to make it more accessible on mobile devices and easier to navigate. It will also integrate social media.

“It’s important that the website has a lot of reach,” said Melissa Meehan, web administration director of college relations, whose web team designed the new site.

The biggest change is that the website has changed its web content management system. A web CMS is a program that allows users to create and manage a site without experience in HTML.

The new site runs through Drupal, an open-source program.

According to Walsh, the college previously used software called Ingeniux, which it paid additional fees for.

Walsh said that they switched systems because Drupal is free and offers more customization than Ingeniux. He said they also no longer have to rely on third-party vendors.

There were no extra costs involved in the site’s creation because it was designed by college relations staff.

Each of the school’s individual department websites will also be moving to Drupal, though not all have gone live yet.

Walsh said the web team met with each of the 39 department chairs over the past two years to discuss what features they wanted for their sites, such as photos or videos.

Anthony Chase, assistant dean of the school of arts and humanities, said he was very pleased with his department’s new site.

The new arts and humanities page was redesigned and reorganized to make it easier for students to find content about minors and requirements.

“It’s very important for a school of arts to have a good-looking page,” Chase said, adding that a large number of visitors to the site could be potential students.

Walsh said that by June, all campus offices, including the financial Aid and Registrar’s Offices, will be updated to the new system. The United Student Government and WBNY websites have also been updated.

Some department sites have already gone live. The redesigned Equity and Campus Diversity Office website went live last year.

“One of the things I like is that it’s so dynamic,” said Karen Clinton Jones, chief diversity officer. “You want something that captures people’s attention.”

Some partners of the school, such as the Burchfield Penney Art Center or the Performing Arts Center, operate standalone sites and will not be changed.

Meehan said that the new homepage might go live during spring break so that it doesn’t disrupt students, but no official launch date has been set. However, she said it would happen soon.

The College Relations team is still looking for feedback on the new site. Meehan said there has been a lack of student feedback.

“We would really like to hear from everyone about the experience,” Meehan said.

A preview of the site is available at Feedback can be sent to [email protected].

Email: [email protected]