Berea College

2015 - 2016
Berea College Web Design

Beautiful Design

The new director of the Berea College website, Charlie Campbell, was given the enormous responsibility of redesigning the school's web presence, moving it to a new system so that departmental staff could manage their own content, while keeping the brand consistent throughout. He was an expert designer but needed help reaching the rest of those goals with the limited staff and resources he had at the time. We were very happy to collaborate with him, to take his vision and implement it with technologies that fit his organization, and to help him deliver for his institution and its well-respected brand.

Berea College Web Design

Beautiful Workflow

We always encourage our customers to use the right tools for their job, and for Berea College that meant a WordPress Multi Site - an implementation of WordPress that fits large organizations with distributed authors. We implemented their new design with custom WordPress themes and customizable child-themes, so the site was consistent while allowing individual departments control over their content. We migrated them to a git-based workflow so they could carefully control WordPress updates, plugins, and code resources while still building and experimenting on their own local computers. We also built a Sass-based CSS workflow so they could define and build mobile-friendly layouts while controlling things like colors and styling programmatically throughout the entire site.

Berea College Web Design

Institutional Scale

Not everyone can build to scale, but it's an area we're quite well versed at. In particular, Berea College has a large audience, and the traffic to the sites are very "peaky" because a large part of their audience comes out of classes at the same time. It has to be considered in order to deliver the kind of user experience crucial for their use case. But, if you don't build with that in mind, you won't be able to just add it on at the end. These sort of technical decisions are user experience decisions, too.

Progressive Migration

Moving a site with more than 50 departments and thousands of pages is no small task. And Berea only had a small content team to move the content to the new site design. So, we built a custom server that we called their "front door" that stood in front of both their new server and their legacy server and allowed them to transition each department individually on their own timeline while still presenting all the servers as a single entity for both users and search engines.