Session: Faculty visions meet WordPress’ information architecture

Date: Saturday, July 14, 2018
Time: 2:30 - 3:15 pm (CDT) (UTC-05:00)
Location: Simon Hall 122
Format: General Lecture Session

Session description

“Should this be a post or a page?”
“How many tags should we have?”

These may sound like old-hat questions to people who work with WordPress every day, but they are often fresh questions without clear answers for faculty working on collaborative, course-based WordPress sites. Academic projects bring varieties of information architectures, and each faculty member or project stakeholder brings their own notions of 'where stuff should go' and how different types of related information can best be created, organized, found and displayed. As consultants or developers, we likely bring our own assumptions and prior experience in content management. It often takes some purposeful work to make sure these two understandings synthesize into a project everyone can use and understand. This talk demonstrates the theory, process and materials we use at Smith to help faculty map their ideas and vision to WordPress' built-in mechanisms for content management, collaboration, and information architecture.

Participants will come away with an understanding of how overarching concepts in content management can be matched to common academic use cases. We'll provide example process documents and diagrams, as well as site configuration 'recipes'. Each can be adapted or used in consultation with faculty in the discovery, planning, and development of collaborative, course-based WordPress projects.


Joe Bacal

Headshot of Joe Bacal
Applications Administrator, Smith College

Joe Bacal manages the WordPress multisite and Moodle installations at Smith College, in Northampton, MA.  He trains faculty and students to use WordPress in all kinds of ways, and develops plugins and themes for projects that need it.  Before becoming a Web Developer Joe was a fourth-grade teacher, high school history teacher, and school counselor.


  • General Lecture Session: Faculty visions meet WordPress' information architecture

Session video