California State University, Long Beach
Inside CSULB Logo

Redesigned University Website Launched

Published: February 17, 2015

Bigger. Bolder. Better. Beautiful.

That’s what you’ll experience when you visit CSULB’s re-designed website which went live today (Feb. 18).

“I’m excited about the launch of our new website and proud of the teams and individuals across campus whose dedication and vision brought it to life,” said CSULB President Jane Close Conoley. “Dynamic, mobile-friendly and intuitive, it will immediately engage users—prospective and current students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners—and raise awareness of our innovative programs, academic resources and services. As the first experience many people have of The Beach, it reflects our excellence. Oh, and did I say beautiful? It is beautiful.”

With CSULB’s homepage last redesigned in 2007, a web task force was created in 2013 with various university representatives. The group delivered a report with recommendations that have directed the university’s planning and building of the website.

The initial launch includes a complete redesign of the homepage, a new content management system, responsive (mobile) design, accessibility compliance, a digital style guide, a multiple language feature and new homepages for the Shark Lab, University Art Museum and the 49er Bookstore.

“This is a game changer and elevates our university into a mindset of the future and helps unite its various entities into a clean, non-cluttered, user-friendly interface,” said Danny Martinez Menjivar, a CSULB senior biology/philosophy major who recently got a look at the new website in progress. “I am passionate for seeing the university enhance and evolve its image and this website will significantly do that on a national scale.”

Support for the redesign has been a campus-wide effort, including the web task force, Academic and Technology Services, Information Technology Services and Marketing and Communications. In addition, the support of the various deans, vice presidents and the president’s office has been instrumental.

“The support, dedication and collaboration of many teams and individuals has been the driving force for this successful project,” said associate vice president Andy Hoang, who has overseen the project.

The new homepage is a digital experience that elevates the university’s mission and vision to current and prospective students, faculty, staff, alumni and the world.

“For many individuals, their first experience with our university is not when they physically step onto campus,” added Hoang. “It’s when they log onto our website. Like our university, the homepage is a unique destination. A website is more than attention-grabbing images. It must also be a destination for information and resources.” The entire CSULB website contains approximately 30,000 pages and is one of the most visited websites in the City of Long Beach, as evidenced by the fact it is accessed more than 500,000 times a month.

Since Internet usage on mobile devices has exceeded web access via personal computers, it is critical a website offers an optimized mobile experience for users. To provide that, the website will feature responsive design and will automatically scale to fit a variety of devices—desktop, tablet or smart phone.

Built by web developer KWALL, the website will be hosted on a cloud server called Acquia—a software-as-a-service company which hosts more than 300 universities worldwide. Acquia will provide an optimal, scalable and highly secure website backed by a high- evel of expertise. The content management system (CMS) will be Drupal, the leading CMS in higher education. CSULB will be the sixth CSU campus using Drupal.

The website redesign also incorporates the Accessible Technology Initiative, which is at the core of its execution. Redesigned pages will be filtered and scanned to ensure the website is accessible for those who are impaired. Another key goal was to put content users first so individuals responsible for updating university web pages on a regular basis can do it easily with a lot of creative flexibility.

And, in keeping with the campus’ much-embraced diversity, the website will reflect such by offering the ability to browse it in 91 languages.

“We pride ourselves on being one of the most diverse universities in the nation, and our website will reflect that,” said Hoang.

–Shayne Schroeder