Case Study: Revamping Universidad de Los Andes Website

The Challenge

Universidad de Los Andes in Santiago, Chile, commissioned Cron to completely revamp their outdated website. Their previous site, based on a proprietary CMS, needed modernizing both in terms of design and content management. A crucial aspect of this project was the migration of a substantial news repository into WordPress.

The Approach

As the lead web developer for Cron, I adopted an agile approach to this project, rapidly adapting to changes and problems as they arose. Recognizing the need for a modern and modular site, we decided to use the new block-based workflow in WordPress, allowing for the flexible creation of various pages to cover existing content. This approach also made it easier for university staff to input and manage custom data post-migration.

To successfully migrate the large repository of news articles, I developed a script based process to export the data from the old CMS in a format that could be imported into WordPress. This process ensured correct mapping of custom fields, images, and taxonomies. Later I used a combination of plugins and manual checking to import the large quantity of content into the new site.

Recognizing the uniqueness of each faculty and major at the university, I developed custom templates for easy creation of individual pages. In addition, I developed a staff directory that provided comprehensive information about all the teachers and authorities.

The Outcome

The project resulted in a visually appealing and easy-to-navigate site that significantly streamlined the university’s content management process. After the website went live on the university’s servers, I conducted a class for the university staff who would be maintaining and adding content to the site onwards, ensuring its ease of use and sustainability.

Lessons Learned

Reflecting on this project, I learned the importance of trust in the agile process, particularly when compared to the year-long initial planning phase that didn’t sufficiently anticipate the realities of development. I also test drove¬†the new block bases workflow in WordPress and integrated custom functionalities aimed at user-friendliness. These elements were crucial for the success of this project.