OCCC’s new website almost ready

The date for the release of OCCC’s newly renovated website has been moved up to Feb. 29, said Online Marketing Coordinator John Richardson.

Richardson said the initial goal of having the site up and ready by Nov. 15 was not met because of internal, technical and external issues.

“We were probably overly optimistic about how some of the things would go in the project,” he said. “It’s an extremely large and complicated project.”

Marketing and Public Relations Director Paula Gower said this is more than just a redesign.

“It’s not like repainting a house,” she said. “We’ve done that in the past. This is adding a lot more functionality to the website.”

Richardson said the changes are very noticeable.

“A lot of what is on the website is new stuff,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of writing. The things that are … important to students and perspective students are a lot more visible.”

One of those is academic programs.

“Academic programs is something that … makes the new website really friendly, especially for perspective students,” Richardson said.

He said that feature allows students who are deciding whether to attend OCCC to scroll through a list on the main Web page to see if what they want to study is offered at the college. It gives information on the different majors offered — from what courses to take to which faculty are a part of that program.

Richardson said he believes the website will be well received by the students.

“ … And that’s really whom it is for,” he said. “That’s the thought that goes behind it all.”

Richardson said about 90 to 95 percent of the website is ready to go.

“If someone asks me, ‘when will this project be done?’ that is an entirely different question because it will never be done,” he said.

“Once we go live with this, someone is going to make an absolutely inspired suggestion and we’re going to try incorporating that.”

Richardson said he has given presentations to faculty on how to navigate the website and felt it was well received.

“We have a limited number of eyes in our department,” he said. “We want people in other departments to take a look at it and tell us where the issues are.

“We didn’t just move the (3,200) web pages from our existing site. We added a lot of new content to the website that wasn’t there before.”

Although it isn’t yet completed, Richardson said, anyone can visit the new site at www3.occc.edu.

“We want people to understand it’s not finished,” he said.

“Almost every day we have something new that wasn’t there the day before. There are new things all the time.”

Gower agreed.

“What we don’t want to do is cause confusion,” she said. “There are some areas of the site that have not been published yet because they’re still working on the code and cleaning things up.”

Richardson said this is just a sneak peak at what will be coming soon to OCCC’s online world.

The visual design of the website itself was done by Noel-Levitz, the consulting company OCCC is working with on the redesign, he said.

To contact Sarah Hussain, email seniorwriter@occc.edu.

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