WiscWeb - WordPress UW Theme - Options for Faculty Profiles
This document will walk you through WiscWeb's recommendations for building faculty profile pages (either academic or personal). It will also touch on the benefits of each and other important considerations.
- Before you get started
- Options available
WiscWeb is currently not funded to support personal websites for faculty. If a departmental website exists in WiscWeb, faculty may integrate their bio content within that larger site. However, we will not be able to host whole sites that are dedicated to personal profile/biographical content for faculty members.
Before you get started, it is important for you to ask yourself (or the faculty member) the following questions:
- Why do you want a web presence?
- Who is your target audience?
- Who benefits from this content?
- What are your goals for the content?
- Do you need to be able to retain your site if you leave the University?
- Do you have a specific domain/URL you’d like to us?
- How comfortable are you with editing/managing your own content?
Tenured faculty, those that plan on staying at UW-Madison, those with limited technical knowledge or limited time to manage their own content
Most groups have a primary website where they advertise information relating to their department. Some of these websites exist in WiscWeb and others are hosted separately. Most, however, are probably using some variation of the UW Theme. In the UW Theme, users have an option to add faculty/staff bio pages (WiscWeb - WordPress UW Theme - Using Faculty/Staff Members). This is where a professional photo, contact information, and a text-based biography can be displayed (UW Theme website example). For those in WiscWeb, you can also integrate publication content on this page (WiscWeb - WordPress UW Theme - Using the Publications Plugin).
- Faculty don’t have to edit their own content. This can be handled by the departmental site editors
- These pages inherit campus branding
- The UW Theme is tested for accessibility, usability, browser compatibility, and mobile-friendliness
- Allows for more departmental consistency in design and messaging
- Everything is hosted in one place - only one domain required
- Data on things like page views can be tied into departmental Google Analytics account
- Support included (if using WiscWeb)
- If you change Universities, you’d lose your web presence
- Faculty have less control over the display/design of content
- Limited to one page
- Limited in terms of URL (will publish to a sub-directory of the larger department site)
WiscWeb identifies a personal website as one that is tied to personal accomplishments, data, and content. The site is named after the individual and the domain/URL will often refer specifically to that individual, as well. The content of these sites may relate to work performed at the University (research, courses taught), but could include other professional (publications, accomplishments) and personal (blog, hobbies, interests) information.
Faculty that want to retain their web presence regardless of their current University affiliation, more technical users who want to maintain their own content or have more control, those that want to include several pages of biographical content.
Personal websites aren’t supported by WiscWeb and therefore, interested parties should seek out an account in a 3rd party platform. There are many options available, but we recommend Google Sites as it is already in use on campus and you can create a new site with your NetID credentials. Campus support for Google Sites is limited, but there are some getting started (UW-Madison Google Workspace - Getting Started With Google Sites) and FAQ (UW-Madison Google Workspace - FAQ) docs available. There is also documentation on how to map a custom wisc.edu domain to the account (UW-Madison Google Workspace - Sites Web Address Mappings).
- Can be styled however you like
- Can login with NetID
- Can be mapped to either a wisc.edu or non-wisc.edu (a .com or a .org) domain/URL
- Faculty have more control over content
- Faculty can retain the site/content even if they move to a different University (non-wisc.edu domain recommended if you think this is a possibility)
- Does not include functionality or styles of the UW Theme
- Requires content to be maintained by the faculty member
- Usually free to create an account but you may need to pay to secure a specific domain/URL
- There is limited campus support for Google Sites