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Web Communication Join the WSU Web Slack Team

Join the WSU Web Slack Team

The Web Communication team has embraced Slack as one of its daily tools. We use Slack to enable communication around the many projects that we work on day to day, as well as to increase incidental communication—sharing tips, suggestions, and interesting things that we find throughout the day.

Not too long ago, we started another Slack team for general use by the WSU web community. Anyone with a email address can join this team and participate in discussion. We hope to use this as another way to foster an open and collaborative culture around the web at WSU.

Signing up is quick. Head to to create an account. Once you’re up and running, post questions and discussion topics in the default #general channel.

We’d like to encourage a default to open mindset. Rather than relying on private messages, ask questions in the open so that everyone can benefit from the answer. Over time, we can gather more frequently asked questions and turn them into more proper documentation on

Intro to WordPress at WSU

When: Feb. 8th @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Where: ITB 2025

This will be a general introduction training. Anyone who is new to WordPress here at WSU is welcome to attend.

Releases: WSUWP Platform 1.4.0, WordPress 4.4.2

WordPress 4.4.2 was released yesterday and the WSUWP Platform was immediately updated to match. There are no large changes, though several bug fixes and two security fixes were included. WordPress 4.5 is scheduled for April.

What follows here is the full release information for WSUWP Platform 1.4.0, from our open source project on GitHub.

This is the thirty-third production release of our open source WSUWP Platform project. The official tag of this release is 1.4.0.

A full comparison of changes is available is available. Here are the notes from the release:


  • Upgrade WordPress 4.4.2
  • Allow network admins to promote users of their network to network admins.
  • Search site URL as well as site name in each network’s quick search under My Networks.
  • Enable zip file uploads for all sites. “Extended” networks are no longer used.


  • Clear the wsuwp:site cache key for a domain/path when a site is deleted.
  • Ensure the “View” link is consistently places in the admin header when editing a post/page.
  • Fix logic to determine if My Networks menu should be shown. Users of multiple networks will now see My Networks.
  • Fix mistyped branch used for provisioning in Vagrantfile.

Intro to WordPress at WSU

When: Jan. 26th @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Where: ITB 2025

This will be a general introduction training. Anyone who is new to WordPress here at WSU is welcome to attend.

A global analytics dashboard for WSU

We’ve been pounding the University pavement over the last several months in an attempt to consolidate the ways that groups track web analytics. As more and more groups apply a unified analytics configuration to their Google Analytics accounts, we’re able to see a better picture of how the web is used at WSU.

Today we launched, our global analytics dashboard, so that everyone can see some of the basic usage data being captured.

Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 2.37.48 PM

Counts for “people on WSU websites now“, “Visits Today“, and Top Pages” are updated every minute. Counts for “Top Domains” and the data under “Visits in the Past 90 Days” are updated every morning.

Having this data available is good for a few reasons:

  • Designers and developers working on University websites now have a way to quickly view recent browser and operating system statistics. This helps to make more informed decisions around what technology to use and support.
  • We’re able to see the depth of the web within the University at a glance and compare the popularity of different domains over time. We also see what’s popular in the moment. Even today after we first fired the site up, we were intrigued by some of the current hot spots.
  • Because it’s cool. 🙂

Leaving your browser window open for several minutes can be a lot of fun as you see the various pages that become popular and then drop off.

A lot of work went into the data. Herding analytics settings across a University is not an easy task.

What made the dashboard itself easy is the work of 18F, a digital services delivery team within the United States General Services Administration. In March of 2015, they announced the launch of and open sourced both the code powering the website and the code pulling data from the Google Analytics API.

It took a total of around 4 hours to take this public domain work from 18F and launch it as a WSU web property at And it looks great!

Of course, in the spirit of the original project—and in our general spirit, we’ve also open sourced the code behind It joins another 168 repositories the WSU Web Communication team has made public. Check it out and please don’t hesitate to open an issue with any desired changes, comments, or questions.

And if you have a website at Washington State University that does not already have global analytics applied, please reach out so that your site can be a part of this dashboard as well.

Intro to WordPress at WSU

When: Jan. 6th @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Where: ITB 2025

This will be a general introduction training. Anyone who is new to WordPress here at WSU is welcome to attend.

Open Lab Schedule – December 2016

With the pending slowdown of the holiday season, we’re going to pause open labs for a few weeks. Here’s the plan:

  • December 11, 2016 – Open Labs in ITB 2025 as scheduled from 9:30am-11:30am
  • December 18, 2016 – A more informal Open Labs in ITB 2006 from 9:30am-11:30am
  • December 25, 2016 – No Open Labs
  • January 1, 2016 – No Open Labs
  • January 8, 2016 – Back to normal with Open Labs in ITB 2025 from 9:30am-11:30am

If we don’t see you before the end of the year, have a happy holiday!

University Taxonomy List and Application Tracking Codes

(Summary: WebCommunications posts universitywide taxonomy list and enhanced instructions on updating the Google Analytics code/settings for websites)

A universitywide list of “taxonomy terms” was developed and vetted last spring, so that everyone could utilize a uniform set of terms to identify campuses, colleges, offices, departments, units, etc.,

Why? Using a uniform taxonomy improves online searches, analytics, and the categorization and sharing of files, stories, photos, and other content, which benefits everyone.

To that end, Web coordinators and IT professionals were asked this past week to make sure the analytics settings on their websites identified their campus, college, parent unit, unit, and subunit correctly. (Many are set at “none,” which makes analytics data less accurate.)

In response, several web coordinators and IT reps have wisely asked for access to the university’s taxonomy list, to ensure they are using the correct terms in their Google Analytics settings. » More …

Website Analytics Code – WSU Sites Need Updating; Instructions Attached


First, thanks to all of you who have been working with us to update and structure Google Analytics on websites universitywide. It appears we’re about 80+% of the way done. Ultimately, it will provide you with better “wsu-name-based global tracking,” and ensure best practices.

Here’s the reason for the email. We’re finding that a sizable percentage of participating sites have not set up the Google Analytics code on their sites that defines their location, campus, college, department, unit, etc.

Could you please take a few minutes to help correct this situation. It’s a fairly brief, straightforward process, and below are instructions and the code needed to accomplish this.

Everyone’s participation paves the way to much better web analytics for all. See following PDF for instructions. Global Analytics Update Request 11-24-15

Thanks in advance for your prompt help!