Radford.edu Website Redesign Project

Background and Goals

The Radford University website, www.radford.edu, is the digital doorway to the university. It is often the first interaction prospective students and families have with Radford University. The website is a fundamental element of the university's marketing and communication strategy and is the digital home for all recognized university entities.

Radford University’s first website launched in 1994 but in 2011 the university's digital presence was reimagined. Through the use of Adobe Experience Manager, a comprehensive content management system, Radford University launched its first cohesively design and structured website. The site was refreshed in 2015. A lot has changed since that time and it is clear that as one of the university’s leading assets, it needs improvement. The functionality and future of radford.edu will be reimagined once more through this latest website redesign project.

Coinciding with the redesign of the website, the university will also be selecting a new content management system (CMS) for editing and maintaining websites, and undergoing a refreshed brand initiative, which will include a new visual identity for the university.

The university has carefully selected and is working with vendor-partners New City Media for the website redesign and VisionPoint for the brand refresh initiative. Together, with these agencies who specialize in higher education projects of this nature, radford.edu will once again showcase a cohesive, modern, accessible experience for our website visitors.

The website and website redesign project are jointly managed by University Relations and Information Technology Services. Updates about the redesign project will be made on this page.

Phases and Timeline

Mid-January 2023 - Kick-off

The website redesign kicked off with an introductory call with Radford University and New City Media

January to March 2023 - Discovery and Planning

Stakeholder engagement, enrollment/admissions discovery, marketing strategy discovery, review existing website, analytics review and discovery workshops.

March to July 2023 - Audience Research and Strategy

Create a research plan, conduct audience research, analyze research results, identify conversions and indicators in the admissions journey and develop a strategy blueprint.

July to October 2023 - Site Architecture, Content Strategy and Design

Define the site architecture and navigation strategy, develop a content strategy, develop search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, wireframes and page designs. 

November 2023 to February 2024 - Content Development and Buildout

Content writing, template and information architecture development.

January to March 11, 2024 - Content Audit and Clean-Up

Website owners and authors should carefully review their websites, page-by-page, line-by-line to clean up website content and assets. To help you stay organized as you review your website, you are welcome to use the attached web content audit spreadsheet (Excel).

  • Audit and clean sites by unpublishing and deleting:
    • outdated or irrelevant photos and videos 
    • pages no longer active on the site
    • graphics that use old RU branding
    • outdated PDFs, Word, Excel or other documents that do not need to be kept for record retention
    • past dates or deadlines
  • Update and repair content:
    • replace old content with up-to-date content
    • recheck and fix any broken links
    • reduce the amount of content on a page
    • make pages more scannable with bulleted lists
    • add alt-text on graphics with text so content is accessible
    • check and avoid the use of "click here" or "learn more" as link text. Instead spell out what you want a user to click on. Example: View the schedule of events online.


March 11 to June 2024 - Content Migration and Launch Preparation

The Marketing and Communication web team will begin migrating content from the current CMS into our new CMS. During this phase, website owners and authors will not be able to make updates to their sites. 

If essential web updates are needed, site owners and authors should submit requests using the IT OneStop ticketing system. Please include the URL of the page to be updated along with clearly marked edits. Requests will be completed in the order they are received.

June 2024 and Onward

Phase I Launch on June 11
Phase 1 will include about 2,200 webpages (Level 1 websites) representing the university as a whole (e.g., homepage, About, Locations, Rankings and Accolades, Our History, and Mission, Vision and Core Values). They will also include enrollment-focused pages (e.g., Student Life, Visit, Admissions) and 80 academic program pages that have been optimized for search engines. 

Phase II Launch after June 11
Following June 11, we will launch Phase 2 of the project, which will continue throughout the summer. This will include all remaining webpages (Level 2 websites), beginning with colleges and academic departments and followed by centers, institutes and administrative units.

New Website Governance Policy and Coordinated Governance Model
Redesigning the website and launching a new content management system provides an opportunity to rethink how the website should be governed and the approach we use for updating content. The website redesign project team has created a new Website Governance Policy and a Website Standards and Procedures document (both approved by the President’s Cabinet) that will help us facilitate the efficient, effective, secure and accessible operation of the website. We will share links to these documents later this summer. 

Radford University will use a coordinated governancemodel for its website that features centralized control and shared responsibility. The model is:  

  • Led by the AVP for Information Technology Services and the AVP for Strategic Communication, with oversight by the Website Governance Committee.  

  • Managed daily by the Digital Communication and Marketing team and the Web and Enterprise Systems team.  

  • Informed by the strategic vision of Content Owners (to be determined), including deans or their designees and VPs/division heads or their designees.  

  • Supported by Content Editors (to be determined) in colleges, departments, academic programs, centers, institutes and administrative units across campus who submit content edits to Content Publishers in Marketing and Communication for approval. 

The website redesign project team is meeting with deans and vice presidents in May 2024 to determine who will serve in the roles of Content Owner and Content Editor for each of the Level 2 websites residing within colleges and administrative units. We expect to make these decisions by the end of June and will communicate with the people who are selected. At that time, we will also share a timeline for CMS training for all Content Editors. 

Plan for Submitting Edits Immediately Following June 11  
As with any launch of a new website design and a new CMS, we will undoubtedly experience issues that need to be addressed in the days following the launch. As we identify these, we will work as efficiently as possible to fix them. Thank you in advance for your patience in the days following Phase 1 launch. 

Following the June 11 launch of Phase 1 but before we can train all the new Content Editors on the new CMS, current editors should submit requests for web edits in the following manner. There will be two kinds of edit requests — urgent and normal — managed through different processes.  

  • Urgent edits include any inaccurate program content that could mislead current students or prospective students in their decision-making process. It also includes content that does not accurately reflect the legal standing of the university or the accreditation standing of our colleges or academic programs. Urgent changes should be submitted via email to webcomm@radford.edu after June 11.   

  • Normal edits include any other content edits that do not meet the urgent standard stated above. Normal changes should be submitted via a Get Help ticket on ITOneStop after June 11. 

Please contact webcomm@radford.edu if you have any questions.