In partnership with the Online Platforms team in Syracuse University’s Division of Marketing and Communications, VPA’s Office of Communications has launched a new, accessible VPA website targeted toward prospective students. Below are commonly asked questions about the new website.
- Accessibility. VPA’s current site does not meet accessibility requirements per the University’s Information and Communication Technology Accessibility Policy, which was created after a complaint was filed with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights about the inaccessibility of the University’s websites. Given the severity of the current VPA site’s accessibility issues, it was determined by the University and VPA that launching a new site would be the most cost-effective option.
- Security. The platform on which the current VPA website is built (ExpressionEngine) poses security risks. Upgrading to a newer version of ExpressionEngine would take time and likely cause functionality issues that would interfere with user experience.
- Search engine optimization (SEO). More than half of the visitors to VPA’s website find us through an organic search (i.e., Google), so our site’s structure and content needs to be SEO-friendly.
- User experience. Improvements were needed to the site’s navigational structure, content, and design to help prospective students find the information they need whether using a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile device.
- It features an accessible design per the University’s policy and web content accessibility guidelines.
- The site structure, navigation, and content were improved for better user experience and SEO.
- It offers better brand consistency with Syracuse University (a look and feel similar to Syracuse.edu) coupled with a subtle use of VPA brand tools.
- It takes advantage of existing University resources in that it is built on the University’s WordPress platform and hosted by the University in a secure environment.
The University’s Online Platforms team provided VPA with a free, accessible WordPress theme that features current University branding, including Sherman typography. The VPA Office of Communications then added more features to the theme that were necessary for VPA (for example, student work galleries and a robust faculty/staff directory) and added some of the college’s visual brand tools. The Online Platforms team also analyzed the structure and navigation of VPA’s current site and proposed changes that would allow for better SEO and user experience.
Yes. The main home page image will change regularly to feature the various disciplines of the college and reflect timely activities at VPA. Note that below the feature image, each VPA school and department is represented by an image and a logo. These images will also change.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the page’s URL and clearly state the issue with the content. Depending on the issue, we may consult with the office or academic area under which the content falls. Note: While our image bank is updated regularly, in some cases our images may feature students who recently graduated. It is unlikely that prospective students will know this. If an image is excellent and an accurate representation of the subject, the inclusion of a recent graduate should not disqualify it.
Email email@example.com with your bio updates. If you have a replacement head shot, attach it to the email. If you need a new head shot, we will make you aware of upcoming opportunities to have one taken.