1-day Online Event

  • Want solutions to the most common problems and challenges websites faced in higher education?
  • Looking for innovative approaches and best practices to improve the quality of higher ed websites?

2019 Higher Ed Websites Conference

Entirely focused on higher ed websites, the 2019 Higher Ed WEBSITES Conference will take place on June 5, 2019.

This online conference will feature a dozen of 10-minute sessions presented by higher ed professionals working in institutions just like yours — with real websites solutions to real higher ed problems.

The call for proposals of the 2019 Higher Ed WEBSITES Conference is open until April 3, 2019 and the program will be announced on this page on April 17, 2019.

Register Now
  •  Jun 05, 2019
  •   11AM - 2:30PM ET
  •  Register by Apr 26, 2019
  •  Registration fee: $500 $400

2019 Higher Ed WEBSITES Conference – Call for Proposal

The call for proposals is open until April 3, 2019.
The program of the conference will be announced on April 17, 2019.

Should I attend the Higher Ed WEBSITES Conference?

This conference is recommended for teams including:

What is included in my Conference registration fee?

The fee is for a single computer/audio connection with an unlimited number of attendees watching the live online event.

It includes the following:

  1. 1 connection to the live event scheduled over 3 hours on June 5, 2019- the audio is done via voice over IP or teleconference
  2. A 1-year unlimited access to the recordings of the sessions on-demand through a link that we will provide to you.
  3. All session materials (slides handouts in PDF)

If the conference cannot be held (due to unforeseen events) on its scheduled date, it will be rescheduled on its rain date: June 12, 2019.

2018 Higher Ed WEBSITES Conference Program

If you previously registered and paid your registration fee, LOG IN! to access the 2018 recordings

This online conference, now available on-demand, offers 12+3 focused sessions of about 10 minutes each and a general session Q&A.

From service to strategy: planning your way to a more productive web team
Cade Whitbourn, Web Manager – Charles Sturt University (Australia)

If you want your web team to play a more strategic role at your institution, you won’t succeed by operating like the website help desk. In this session, Cade Whitbourn will explain how his team switched from the service-model to a more strategic approach via the creation of an annual schedule of strategic web initiatives. You’ll find out more about the planning, process and delivery of this annual program as well as some lessons learned by the team.

Web Accessibility: Assess, Divide, and Conquer
Jessie Groll, Web Developer – Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Higher ed websites have to be accessible.With the increasing threat of legal action and the federal push for Web Accessibility in higher education, the compliance process can look challenging – and even frustrating at times. In this session, Jessie Groll will show us how making your website accessible can be achieved as you keep working on everything else on your list. You’ll learn about the tools (some free!) you can use to assess your site, how to break down the errors in manageable chunks and some useful lessons learned to achieve Web accessibility compliance.

How to beat the bots & get some sleep: making the case for DDoS Protection Services
Cody Benson, Sr. Director of Digital Strategy – Georgia State University

Are you afraid of the damages the bots can cause to your website or your web hosting bill in case of a DDoS attack? Do the risks for your web server keep you up at night? Somewhere between IT and communications lies technology to both secure web environments and availability. In this session, Cody Benson will explain how to make the case for DDoS Protection Services from the technical, organizational and budget standpoints. You’ll also find out more about what this kind of web hosting protection can do for your school.

Progressive Image Lazy Loading Techniques
Dan Herrero, Web Development Specialist – Lehigh University

Images make your website beautiful and engaging. They also tend to make it fat -and slow to load, too. This is why it’s so important to optimize these biggest assets and how they load on your web pages. In this session, Dan Herrero will explore the techniques for progressive lazy loading of images he relied on for Lehigh’s digital storytelling efforts. You’ll also hear about the reasons to use progressive image loading, how it was done (with code examples) and how to evaluate success when using this technique.

Making changes to your website without losing anything
Rebecca Larson, Director of Web Communications – Wheaton College

Whether you redesign your website, change some of its information architecture, implement a new CMS or switch to HTTPS, any change can have deep impact on your web traffic, analytics and sanity. So, how do you make sure nothing gets lost in the process? In this session, Rebecca Larson will share tips and lessons learned to help you prepare and plan for this kind of transitions. You’ll learn more about the process her team used to make sure the website relaunch of Wheaton College went smoothly.

Top 5 findings on websites from the 2018 E-Expectations Study
Stephanie Geyer, Vice President, Digital Marketing and Creative Services – Ruffalo Noel Levitz

The E-Expectations Study has provided reliable research data on the digital expectations of prospective students every year for more than a decade. Every year, the results of this national survey, conducted in March and April, are released in July.
In this session, Stephanie Geyer will share an exclusive preview of the top 5 key findings on higher ed websites from April 2018. You’ll be among the first to get access to these findings that will help you inform your web strategy for your incoming class of college freshmen as well as the 2019 high school seniors.

A website just for you: creating a personalized web experience.
Nicole Montgomery, Director of Digital Communications – York College of Pennsylvania

Personalization is a popular “buzzword” in higher education – and elsewhere. Nothing like a web experience designed “just for you” to make you feel special and keep you engaged. In this session, Nicole Montgomery will tell you how her team created “My York Experience” to provide prospective students with personalized content each time they visit York website. You’ll also learn more about the types of content as well as the analytics driving this web personalization tool.

Small team, short timeline: Lessons learned from a 4-month website redesign
Emily Mayock, Assistant Vice President, Online and Internal Communications – Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University needed a new admissions website to attract the best and brightest prospective students. Fast. In this session, Emily Mayock will tell you how her small team redesigned a student-centered website in only 4 months. You’ll learn through this case study what you can borrow from their process if you plan to redesign your admissions website to better serve prospective students and their fleeting attention span.

Context-driven usability techniques to build better higher ed websites
Dave Poortvliet, Web Manager – Grand Valley State University

While some of your campus stakeholders might disagree, the only reason why higher ed websites should be redesigned is to better serve the needs of their users. In this session, Dave Poortvliet will show how much you can learn by simply talking to and listening to them. You’ll find out more about 5 research-based techniques to help you see and hear what your visitors really need from your website.

Co-Designing your higher ed website with… high school students
Robert Blizzard, Coordinator of Web Design and Analysis – University of Saskatchewan

Website redesigns in higher education are perilous quests of consensus and collaboration among multiple campus stakeholders. The best strategy to reign in insiders is often found outside of our institutions. In this session, Robert Blizzard will share how he used participatory design techniques – with high school students – to co-create his school new admissions website. You’ll also find out more about the techniques that generated amazing insights and the ones resulting in fantastic flops.

Top UI/UX tools for higher ed websites
Elaine Shannon, Web Developer and User Interface Specialist – St. Mary’s University

After trying a variety of tools and processes, St. Mary’s University has identified a few tools which have proven the most valuable in keeping its websites usable, accessible, and up-to-date. In this session, Elaine Shannon will present each tool, its value and its (most of the time low) cost. You’ll learn more about tools to organize your information hierarchy, conduct A/B or usability testing, create wireframes in the cloud and more with the ultimate goal of helping you improve your higher ed website.

Improve your web design workflow with Sketch and Invision
Kris Hardy, Director of Web and Digital Marketing – Messiah College

Programs like Sketch and Invision are totally changing the web design process. Since it was first introduced in 2010, Sketch is now considered the industry standard by many. In this session, Kris Hardy we will show you how to use Sketch to wireframe, design and prototype web pages. You’ll find out how this tool – along with some Invision plugins – can dramatically improve the web design process of your entire team.

3 extra on-demand conference sessions (BONUS)

Accessible websites: It starts with a plan
Joel Vertin, Director of Digital Services – Michigan Technological University

There are many reasons to make sure your University’s website is accessible. It is the right thing to do. Many people can benefit. The threat of litigation. Whatever your motivation may be, you need someone to lead the way, you need help and resources, and you need a plan. In this session, Joel Vertin will share Michigan Technological University’s plan for achieving accessibility compliance. You’ll hear about timelines, strategies, actions, and people involved in the process to start your own plan.

5 suprising website relaunch lessons
Elizabeth Bandy, Marketing Manager – David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah

Considering redesigning or relaunching your university website? It’s never a small endeavour whether it’s the institutional website or a department site. In this session, Elizabeth Bandy will share 5 lessons learned while relaunching 35 sites for the University of Utah, David Eccles School of Business. You’ll learn some good and practical tips to help you check departmental website redesigns off your list by managing technical, design and human factors.

Going visual: Building the library website with the Divi theme
Conny Liegl, Senior Web Designer – California Polytechnic State University

Designing and developing websites from scratch takes time – even in WordPress. Solutions like Divi theme offer an alternate way to build websites with a front-end WYSIWYG editor. In this session, Conny will give us a tour of Divi highlighting the pros and the cons of such a solution. You’ll find out what she learned testing this visual solution on the Kennedy Library website.

Q&A with all the speakers

Want to attend the Higher Ed WEBSITES Conference?

  •  Jun 05, 2019
  •   11AM - 2:30PM ET
  •  Register by Apr 26, 2019
  •  Registration fee: $500 $400
  •   Only 30 seats left
  •  Rain date: June 12, 2019
Register Now

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