Radford.edu Website Redesign Project

Background and goals

The Radford University website, www.radford.edu, is the digital doorway to the university. It is often the first interaction prospective students and families have with Radford University. The website is a fundamental element of the university's marketing and communication strategy and is the digital home for all recognized university entities. Radford University’s website originally launched in 2011 with a refresh in 2015. A lot has changed since that time and it has become clear that as one of the university’s leading assets it needs improvement. The functionality and future of radford.edu will be completely reimagined through this redesign project.

Coinciding with the redesign of the website, the university will also be selecting a new content management system (CMS) for editing and maintaining websites, and undergoing a refreshed brand initiative, which will include a new visual identity for the university.

The university has carefully selected and is working with vendor-partners New City Media for the website redesign and VisionPoint for the brand refresh initiative. Together, with these agencies who specialize in higher education projects of this nature, radford.edu will once again showcase a cohesive, modern, accessible experience for our website visitors.

The website and website redesign project are jointly managed by University Relations and Information Technology Services. Updates about the redesign project will be made on this page.

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Content is Key

The content gathering phase has begun! We have started working on academic program content first. A huge thank you to those who have already submitted this information. Please complete and submit the academic content planning document [Word] if you haven’t yet. Deadlines for specific types of content are listed below. Also, don’t forget to submit the accreditation information [Excel] for your area. Please send all forms to bbrackin@radford.edu.

Website Input Milestones: April 15 - Program Pages and Program Accolades. May 1 - Program Pages,  Program Accolades, Student Testimonials. May 15 - Faculty Bios, & Pictures and Alumni Testimonials. July 1 - Admissions, Financial Aid, Support Services (HSC), and Student Life.

Photos, everyone! 

Justin Ward, director of media services, is coordinating photo studio sessions for new faculty portraits. To schedule your program, department or college for a photo session, please email jward53@radford.edu.

Clean Up

A huge part of a web redesign is cleaning up pages and links that are outdated. Please comb through your sites and make sure you have the most up-to-date information available. You can assist tremendously by sending a list of links on your site that are no longer necessary to webcomm@radford.edu. Also, it is important at this point that we do not add new users to Adobe Experience Manager unless they are replacing previous users. 

March 28, 2023

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Phases and Timeline

This is subject to change. Updates will be made to this page as necessary.

Mid-January 2023
The website redesign kicked off with an introductory call with Radford University and New City Media

January and February 2023
Discovery and Planning
Stakeholder engagement, enrollment/admissions discovery, marketing strategy discovery, review existing website, analytics review and discovery workshops.

February to April 2023
Audience Research and Strategy
Create a research plan, conduct audience research, analyze research results, identify conversions and indicators in the admissions journey and develop a strategy blueprint.

Mid-March to July 2023
Site Architecture, Content Strategy, Design and Development
Define the site architecture and navigation strategy, develop a content strategy, develop search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, wireframes and page designs, discuss content governance model and usability and perception testing.

June and July 2023
Content Buildout
CMS training and content coaching. May potentially include copywriting and editing and content migration.  

August 2023
Prep and Launch
Develop a customized launch plan, configure analytics, browser and accessibility testing, search engine set up and launch.

September 2023 and onward
Evaluate and Grow
Post launch report and performance optimization. Continual dedicated maintenance and oversight to ensure quality content and user experiences.

We need your help now!

January to April 2023

Website owners and authors are asked to review their websites, page-by-page, line-by-line to clean up website content and assets. This includes removing or deleting:

  • past dates or deadlines
  • faculty or staff that no longer work at Radford University
  • old room or office numbers
  • old phone numbers
  • outdated or irrelevant photos
  • outdated or irrelevant video content
  • outdated or irrelevant graphics that may use RU branding
  • outdated assets such as PDFs, Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents that do not need to be kept for record retention

As you clean up website content also:

  • check and fix any broken links
  • unpublish and delete pages that are not active on the site; these do not need to stay within the CMS
  • when possible, reduce the amount of content on a page
    • use bulleted lists to make content more scannable
  • use alt-text for graphics that include text on them so that content is accessible
  • check and avoid the use of “click here” or “learn more” as link text. Instead spell out what you want a user to click on
  • examples below of how links should be written out with detail 
    • View the full schedule of events online
    • Learn more about our clubs and orgs

To help you stay organized as you review your website, you are welcome to use the attached web content audit spreadsheet (Excel).

Website tutorials

Learn how to unpublish and delete an asset from your digital asset manager

Learn how to use the reference tool to find the location of assets on webpages

Learn how to add and publish an asset in your digital asset manager

Learn how to resize an image for the website using Photoshop

Updated: Jan. 26, 2023