In June 2012, we reached the point in our CommonSpot implementation where it was either full speed ahead or change direction immediately. We had over 30 websites in the new template, ready to load into the CMS and begin official rollout.

However, something was greatly bothering us. Almost three years after the initial decision, was CommonSpot still the right CMS for UW-Green Bay? There were a number of reasons it was selected originally (many documented here in this blog), but are there different items to consider today?

I won’t go into detail here, but the bottom line is that CommonSpot is now used by around .01% of websites that use a CMS. WordPress is now used by 54% of websites that use a CMS. (July 2012)

Can it work for higher ed? WordPress is gaining a lot of ground in our sector. A public Google doc of some of the institutions using it can be found at http://bit.ly/fIDFH9.

WordPress has an extremely large developer community, contributing plug-ins, widgets, and themes every day. WordPress is very well documented with the WordPress Codex http://codex.wordpress.org/ and has good inline documentation in its source code.

WordPress and PHP are easier to hire for and we would have more interested applicants, even with our current salary limits. Campus web developers and Web Services student employees can be active participants in CMS development, requiring less specialized skills.

What about mobile? Responsive web pages can be built using WordPress. WordPress does not inhibit use of Responsive Web Design, which is our current mobile strategy. The administrative area is mobile-friendly and there is a free WordPress app available to those who are interested.

WordPress will help us reduce costs and increase efficiency every step of the way… from template/theme development and site creation to site maintenance, server maintenance, end-user training, and web developer training.

WordPress is great, but don’t take our word for it. Learn more about its features here: http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Features