Welcome to Georgetown WordPress Sites!

Want to see GU WordPress in action? Watch this quick introduction to GU WordPress Sites to get a preview of what’s to come.

What is WordPress?

Just like Drupal, WordPress is a web content management system (CMS). Web Services has used content management systems at Georgetown for the past decade to make it easier for website editors to manage content.

WordPress has its roots in blogging, but is widely used for managing sites in general. Several groups at Georgetown have been using WordPress for various purposes over the past few years, and it is becoming widely used in higher education.

Web Services is currently working on building out the new Georgetown WordPress platform. Initially, the WordPress theme will look very similar to the existing Whitehaven Drupal theme now in use at mccourt.georgetown.edu and studyabroad.georgetown.edu among other sites. You can see examples of some of our first sites that have launched in our WordPress theme:

While you may be familiar with WordPress already, please keep in mind that the platform we’re building is customized to serve many Georgetown sites and will function differently from “off-the-shelf” WordPress.

Who is moving to WordPress?

All websites using the UIS Drupal template will be making the transition to WordPress. Faculty websites, student organizations, and Google Sites will not be migrated to WordPress.

Why are we moving to WordPress?

We’re moving to WordPress for several reasons, but these are the top three:

  1. Drupal 7—the version our current platform uses—won’t be supported after December 2019, so we needed to move on to a new product.
  2. Website editors will have more control over their content than in Drupal, and it’ll be much easier to create and build content.
  3. WordPress has some really cool functionality that the Web Services team is excited to explore! It’ll help us better focus on what content editors and website admins truly need for their websites.

How much effort will the migration take?

Very little! The Web Services team will take care of setting up the WordPress site, copying over your existing content, and cleaning up and reviewing the new site. All you’ll have to do is do a quick review of the new site to make sure it looks how you want it to. In order to minimize migration time, we would ask that any major content re-working be done either before or after the migration is complete. 

What’s the migration timeline?

Migrations started in fall 2018 and will conclude by December 10, 2019. All web editors should have received an email from the Web Services team regarding the migration of their website, so if you haven’t please email webservices@georgetown.edu!

What’s the migration process?

After the pilot sites, the first sites to migrate will be sites currently in the Legacy template. After that, we’ll start migrating Whitehaven sites. A detailed schedule will be published soon. When the time comes, Web Services team members will reach out to you to initiate your migration. Here’s what the overall process will look like:

  1. Web Services reaches out to site editors a few weeks before their migration group will start migrations. This email will include links to our WordPress documentation, sign-ups for WordPress training, and specific WordPress office hours for hands-on assistance. 
  2. Site editors are notified the day we start their migration and are asked to hold on edits to the Drupal site.
  3. Web Services creates a new WordPress site and copies the current content into the new site. We then clean up the content and review the site. This process can take between 2-12 work hours (usually 1-5 business days).
  4. Site editors have one week to review their WordPress site. More time is allotted for large sites or those working on content.
  5. We launch the new WordPress site and retire the Drupal site. 

Will it be possible to start from scratch when my site moves to WordPress?

Sure! If you’d like a fresh start, just let us know when we reach out to you to start your site’s migration, and we’ll provide you with a blank WordPress canvas.

Are there multiple WordPress template options?

There will be only one Georgetown WordPress template available when we begin site launches. However, just like with the Drupal Whitehaven theme, there will be options available within each page (such as card decks) to add pizzaz and make it look a bit different from other Georgetown sites. You’ll have the assistance of a project manager as you build your WordPress site, and he or she will be able to give you a rundown of the possibilities as you transition.

I want to get a head start. Where can I find WordPress training?

To sign up, log into Canvas (if you’ve taken a Web Services online course previously) or fill out the registration form (if you’ve never taken one of our online courses).

We recommend against taking any other training courses you may find; the platform we’ve built is customized to serve many Georgetown sites and will function differently from “off-the-shelf” WordPress.

Will my site’s URLs change when we migrate from Drupal to WordPress?

Some URLs may change: For example, WordPress does not allow spaces or capitalization in URLs (Drupal does). However, content editors will have the ability to add redirects in WordPress, so the old URLs will redirect to the new ones and nothing will break. No worries!

What Will GU WordPress Look Like? 

Check out our WordPress Preview Page for example images of the WordPress Editor, Dashboard, Home Page, and Landing Page. For front-end examples you can view a few of the sites that have already launched in WordPress: 

I’m not a fan of this plan. Can I stay on Drupal?

All 321 Georgetown websites using the UIS Drupal templates will need to migrate to our new WordPress platform before 2020. But don’t worry – Web Services team members will be helping you through every step of the migration.

Have a question not answered here or would like to move up in the migration queue? Email your account manager or webservices@georgetown.edu.