Events website replacement project
What we are doing
We are replacing the College’s current events website, events content management system (CMS), and supporting infrastructure. The project will also revise publishing workflows, editorial guidance, and training for event organisers and editors.
Why we are doing it
- To replace an unsupported system - We need to provide a replacement for the events website and content management systems, due to the planned decommission of the Oracle Portal CMS. Oracle Portal is no longer supported by the organisation, and there is a significant risk of the events website failing and not being restored.
- To adhere to best practice - The events website, event editing interface, and content management system, were designed over 10 years ago. The website no longer fits with the Imperial’s brand, design, or web best practice.
- To improve the user experience - There is an opportunity to significantly improve the user experience for the 250,000 yearly visitors to the events website, and to increase the number of visitors through improved promotional ability.
- To raise the College profile - This project will deliver a greatly improved digital communication platform for the promotion of the College's formal and informal events programmes. Through this website, the College will be able to raise the profile of our research, educational, community and public engagement events, with a broad range of staff, student, alumni and public communities.
Benefits to you
- Your events will be easier for people to find.
- You will have an easier to use system for publishing events content.
- You will have an improved ability to promote College events.
- As a College member you will receive guidance and support.
- A responsive and accessible platform that works on mobile devices.
- A better experience for people who are interested in your event.
|Deliverables/Milestones||Start date||End date|
|Project initiation||April 2018||May 2018|
|User experience design||May 2018||July 2018|
|Data migration||May 2018||August 2018|
|New CMS configuration||May 2018||July 2018|
|Templating app build||May 2018||August 2018|
|Change of approach review||August 2018||November 2018|
|Website front end build||July 2018||October 2019|
|WordPress CMS configuration||January 2019||September 2019|
|WordPress hosting procurement||January 2019||July 2019|
|Integration with existing systems||April 2019||October 2019|
|System testing||July 2019||October 2019|
|Training and user acceptance||September 2019||October 2019|
|Events website launch||February 2020||February 2020|
|Post-launch activities||March 2020||April 2020|
|Project close||May 2020||May 2020|
Designs signed off
In July 2018 the Events website replacement project reached its first significant milestone. We completed the User experience design stage when we signed off the new page designs created by our digital design agency Domain7.
You can see a selection of the events website design mock-ups on InVision. These include:
- What’s On page: including different options for presenting major College events
- Events page: including options for ticketed, closed, and major events
- Listing content type: for adding searchable/filterable event listings to main College website pages
- Event summary content type: for when you need to add just one event to a main College website page
- Channel pages: examples of styling options for major event takeovers
Change of approach
In August 2018 during our CMS configuration and website build work, we identified that the Localist CMS we intended to use to create and publish our event content would not be a good fit for our new website. Localist is a specialised CMS designed for events publishing and used successfully to create websites like MIT's events calendar, however we were not able to create the editorial workflow we are aiming for and build in the unique Imperial content our editors need to publish.
After identifying this issue the project board instructed the team to investigate our options for addressing these issues. The team spent three months analysing ways we could continue to work with Localist to achieve our objectives and researched alternative CMSs we could use instead.
We have now chosen to build the events website on the WordPress CMS.
Benefits of moving to WordPress:
- Greater ability to tailor the editing experience
- Improved ability to tailor events content requirements
- Greater familiarity with WordPress
- Better alignment with our current technology strategies
Out of scope
- Software requirements relating to management or coordination of events logistics, for example, ticketing*
- Software requirements relating to management or coordination of short courses
- Integration with the College's various CRM systems
- Integration with the College's Asset Library or other asset management systems
- The decommission of Oracle Portal and supporting infrastructure
If you would like to leave feedback, be consulted on the project or share your ideas please contact Liz Scholfield, Project Coordinator.