By Holly Sitzmann,
Executive Director of Strategic Communications

This past year has proven to be one of significant transition for the central web team. I recognize that the rate of change has been challenging to navigate at times, so thank you for your continued patience throughout this process.

Over the past few months, we have focused on rebuilding our WordPress architecture to ensure it is scalable and sustainable.  With your help, we have already made great strides. Another step toward reaching this goal is identifying a permanent lead for the central web team. Today I am thrilled to announce that Danial Bleile has accepted the position of web development director. Under Danial’s thoughtful leadership, the central web team will remain focused on the rebuild, as well as continue to work toward developing a sustainable, user-focused web environment – regardless of platform — for which WSU can operate and communicate effectively and efficiently.

As the central web team looks ahead, we also want to equip web designers, developers and content owners with the tools they need to feel empowered to manage their own sites. We must ensure that:

  • WSU’s web structure and hierarchy are healthy and strong
  • Our web standards are clearly defined and articulated
  • The web community has the features and functionality needed to make dynamic, robust websites
  • We implement web accessibility tools and standards and adopt best practices that support ADA compliance
  • All have access to self-serve training materials and in-person training opportunities

This is a new way of doing business for our central web team. With the recent launch of additional templates as well as the design system effort now underway, we have transitioned away from offering custom website builds. That model was not sustainable. Instead, we will provide you with the tools you need to manage your own sites. Please know that we will still be available to consult on new sites, share best practices and collaborate on system-wide efforts that will make all of us more effective and creative.

I am confident that with assistance and support from the web community, we have the right people in place to achieve the priorities we’ve outlined:

  • Jeff Hanson will continue to be our lead .net developer as well as serve as back-up for WordPress applications
  • Our web coordinator, Erik Solveson, will create and deliver training, comply with web accessibility standards and provide support for university websites
  • We are in the process of hiring for a new WordPress Developer. The position was posted earlier this week and can be found at WordPress Developer job posting

As always, weekly open lab sessions will continue every Friday morning at 9:30am. Please contact our Jira Service Desk if you have any questions or issues or feel free to reach out to me directly if you have any questions regarding this new model.