By Sandy Deneau Dunham
PLU Marketing & Communications
TACOMA, Wash. (Sept. 22, 2015)—Pacific Lutheran University’s website has won a 2015 Outstanding WebAward from the Web Marketing Association, and the spring 2015 edition of the university’s flagship magazine, ResoLUTE, won its Magazine Standard of Excellence Award.
Judges wrote of www.plu.edu: “Beautiful site, great layout, very easy to navigate,” and “Best university site I have seen thus far.”
Now in its 17th year, the WebAward program is the longest-running annual website-award competition dedicated to naming the best sites in 96 industries. Staffed by volunteers, the organization is made up of Internet marketing, online advertising, PR and website design professionals who share an interest in improving the quality of online advertising, Internet marketing and website promotion.
Part of PLU’s Division of Marketing & Communications, the award-wining website team—Assistant Director of Web Development Chris Albert, Senior Web Designer Logan Seelye, Senior Web Developer Todd Briske, Web Designer Sam O’Hara, Web Developer Asuka Goya and Web Support Coordinator Julie Winters—was cited on the Web Marketing Association’s website and social media, through thousands of emails, in a press release and via a media-relations campaign.
PLU’s redesigned website launched in November 2014; overall, more than 180 department sites and 6,800 webpages were updated, Albert said.
After months of research and vetting, the web team decided to create a Content Management System using an open source product: WordPress.
“We could design it in a responsive environment—so it would function and look good on phones, tablets, laptops and desktops— and we would be able to provide various user access to manage the whole thing,” Albert said.
“In less than a year, we created a new CMS, redesigned the website, migrated and adjusted content and launched to a very excited and supportive campus community.”
The WebAwards were not the first big win for the team—or for PLU’s magazine: The online edition of ResoLUTE also won the 2014 EduStyle award for best magazine website.