Tagged: 'website redesigns'

Migrating from College Publisher to WordPress

Another two great milestones over the weekend for student newspapers moving from College Publisher to WordPress. William P. Davis of The Maine Campus published an epic tome on how he migrated their CP 4 archives to WordPress MU:

The database they gave us contained almost 12,000 entries and was much to big to be handled by a program like Excel or even Access. I’m telling you right now: don’t even try. What you should do is dump the entire CSV into a MySQL database. I found the easiest way to do it was with Navicat MySQL. They offer a free trial. If you have problems, make sure you have enabled database access for your IP address. The easiest way to drop data in is to convert the CSV to an Excel file and then it will go right in using Navicat. Otherwise you might have serious problems with special characters and such. Also, I had a problem with a few spam entries (from where, I wonder?) that broke the database, but I took those out in Excel.

If manual steps aren’t your thing, then the CP Import plugin released by John Luetke could be the ticket. If you convert your College Publisher export files from CSV to XLS, it will import each entry into WordPress through the WordPress API. He reported that it took about 30 minutes to import about 50 MB of pure text for The Marquette Tribune‘s coming website. It will also reportedly add your related media as galleries attached to a post. CoPress is currently converting databases with a Python script but, if it turns out to work well, this might compel us to switch.

We Clicked On: BarCamp Philly a Great Success

The big news this week was BarCamp Philly on April 25, which a majority of CoPress attended. The day was a great success – filled with insightful conversations and great networking. Where else will find new media thinkers all in the same room trying to solve the problems in the industry? If you missed out on all the fun, check out the media from the day’s events.

Around the Network

This past week Greg Linch started an interesting conversation on the Forum by asking, “Do you plan to redesign or in any other way redo your college news site this summer? If so, please explain.”
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Designing a New dailytarheel.com

Andrew Dunn and Sara Gregory have posted a draft design for the new Daily Tar Heel Drupal website being designed by Stunt3 and welcome feedback from the community. If I were redesigning a website right now for a student news organization, I’d use the opportunity to try something even more radical. What if the Daily Tar Heel were to take design cues from Facebook and use the homepage to show me a stream of the website activity based on who was in my social graph? That’s the type of experimentation I’d personally like to see.

Later: Sara informs me that Switchback is also helping with the website design.

A New Design for the Whitman Pioneer

Although the Whitman Pioneer has had a web presence since 2007 when it launched a self-hosted version of WordPress by Daniel Bachhuber and Andrew Witherspoon, we wanted to launch this semester with a redesign from the ground up. The result of this process launched last week with our first print issue of the semester.

The Design Process

Whitman Pioneer homepage, Feb 2009 (500px)

When thinking about how to redesign the site, we wanted to create something that could be used as the homepage for Whitman students. Essentially, we wanted a site that would incorporate information about a lot more of what happens on campus. By getting a fresh WordPress design we were able to do this by creating a place for photo galleries, a campus calendar, student forums, featured videos, and the potential for student and/or athlete blogs. Some of these features went live with the launch of the site, and others will be rolled out in the coming months.

Whitman Pioneer campus calendar

One of the other main goals with this redesign was creating a site that encouraged student, community, and general participation. To this end we changed how the website displays comments as well as creating the potential for the occasional online forum. In the past comments were just listed one after the other in the sidebar of the article and there was no real way to promote a discussion. Now comments appear at the bottom of the article and people are able to reply to each other. With this, as well as maybe adding forums in the future, we’re hoping that the site serves as a place for students to read about and discuss events and issues on campus. Whitman is a campus that is full of too much email and occasionally there are some pretty heated debates that occur on list servs. With this new site part of what we’re hoping to do is give the campus a more central place to come together to calmly discuss these issues as they come up. Read more →