I led a small team in redesigning the website for Stockton’s Argo, Stockton University’s independent school newspaper. By taking on this project, we had to understand the needs of the Argo and the shortcomings of the existing website, specifically:
- The Argo is a primarily distributed via paper editions. While expansion with online-only articles were of interest, it was unlikely that The Argo would be primarily distributed over the web for the time being.
- The Argo’s former website was built off WordPress. Because the majority of the staff was already comfortable with it and had little-to-no technical training, it was important that we kept the site as ‘vanilla’ WordPress as possible, while still having the full fledged functionality expected.
- Because most of the traffic to The Argo is practically split between Mobile & Desktop, a solid responsive website was a must.
- The Argo’s former website was built without using WordPress’ editor, but rather, injecting code directly into the .php backbone of the site. Because of this, editors were unable to make modifications to the website without requesting for paid support, which directly flies in the face of wImagine’s philosophy of training people so that they can create self-sustaining projects.
- Both the site and domain were hosted by the original developer of the site, which means The Argo had to channel payments through a third party without having any control over both.
With these facts in mind, I set forth in creating a Responsive WordPress Site, following web & WP standards, which The Argo can fully own & modify. With assistance from The Argo and an intern (Michael Packi, TCNJ, Freshman in Comp Sciences), we set forth in creating this website. This website is currently The Argo’s home online. The new website, among other things, were built around these points:
- Vanilla WordPress: Whenever possible, we used standard WP fields and features. This makes it easy to search the web for support when needed.
- High Security: The website was built with advanced security features to make it harder for robots to intrude onto the site and to improve administrator awareness of unwanted guests.
- Clear workflow for uploading Issues & Web-Only Articles: Post types were created for both items, each with their own custom fields as needed, and each with their own presentation modules. Both require text descriptions which support searchability for archive purposes.
- Responsive: Nuff’ said.