Western Nevada College
Senior Web Developer / Webmaster
For nearly 50 years, Western Nevada College has offered affordable and quality education in Nevada.
The dreams of local educators, civic leaders and young minds became a reality when we opened our doors in September 1971. We began our charge for access to higher education without dedicated buildings, using classes throughout the community from Reno to Hawthorne, including the Tahoe Basin. The Carson City campus opened in 1974 with the construction of the Bristlecone building; we expanded our footprint to Fallon in 1981, and our Douglas Campus opened in 1997. We have consistently grown and evolved to meet the needs of a growing and thriving Nevada, and while our history is rich with accomplishments and student success…the best is yet to come. We look forward to many years of opportunity, innovation and academic excellence!
The first order of business once hired was to redesign the outdated, unorganized, and not easily navigable website
I was given a 5-month timeline to do a complete overhaul of the site which included new navigation, design, content organization, and gearing it to be more student-centric
Since I had a short time to turn things around, I quickly started researching what was working and what wasn’t working on the old website and ended up purchasing a theme that I could work within and customize. I scheduled meetings with all the department directors to make sure that we were on the same page, but also to get to know them as I knew I would have a close working relationship with all of them. I worked with the Director of Marketing to analyze keywords and trends within Google Analytics. And then I got to work designing, developing, innovating and coding. We, unfortunately, did not have enough time to run a proper A/B test and relied on our Student Workers to provide feedback throughout the build process.
Once the site launched, I requested feedback from students, faculty, staff and the overall feedback was pretty positive. After I made the changes from some of the feedback, I began the enhancement process that included:
- Creating user roles and permissions for departments to edit their own webpages through revision and approval process
- Moving the policies from the intranet to the backend of WordPress via a custom plugin using custom post types
- Updating the academic structure to be more interest-based rather than degree focused
- Updating the headers to include the department contact information to allow more space on the body of the page and create a sort of micro-site for each department.
Google Analytics –
Even though I knew the numbers would be skewed due to staff on campus using the website as their go-to resource for anything, I was able to:
- Split on campus and off-campus results by IP address
- Increase site traffic by 30%
- Provide Tag analytics for marketing efforts geared towards specific URLs to monitor the performance of mailers and digital ads
- Decrease bounce rate by 5%