New SEPnet website

Author: Tim O'Riordan 

Yesterday myself and fellow Digichamp, Sylvian Patrick, moved our new design for the SEPnet website to the clients’ live server.

SEPnet website after.
The new SEPnet website.

This project came about as the result of a request from James West, Executive Director of the South East Physics network (SEPnet), who was looking for help developing his organisations’ website and social media channels. SEPnet plays an important part of the UK’s response to the shortage of STEM graduates. It works to cultivate links between education and business, and pioneer new approaches to collaboration, teaching and research in physics. As it receives significant support from HEFCE and nine UK universities, it was essential that we delivered a site that could help them achieve their objectives.

After carrying out a review of the SEPnet site, I produced a report that suggested the foregrounding of SEPnets’ social channels, using more images, and moving the site to a responsive WordPress theme. At the initial meeting with James, Sylvian and I pitched the idea of adopting the i-transform WordPress theme. This theme has many features of a typical blog site, but also facilitated the creation of a style that would appeal to SEPnet’s many corporate and academic users.

With a deadline set for the start of the new academic year, Sylvian and I started work in what turned out to be the relatively glitch-free process of migrating content from the old site – editing it, and adapting it to the new design. Initially we used my web server for the development stage, but as we got closer to finishing we moved this to SEPnet’s host at the University of Portsmouth.

SEPnet website before.
SEPnet website as it was.

We kept James up to date with progress through all stages of our work, and he is very happy with the finished site – not least because WordPress’ intuitive admin interface means that, with a small amount of training, he can involve more of the SEPnet team in publishing content – and in the day to day running of the site. Needless to say, Digichamps are providing the training.

You can see the new site for yourself, and compare it with the old version (at the Internet Archive). Please let us know what you think.

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