Wittenborg and AnyforSoft Join Forces for Webinar on Website Enhancement

Wittenborg and AnyforSoft Join Forces for Webinar on Website Enhancement

Peter Birdsall and Stan Tymoshenko Discuss Wittenborg's Recent Website Revamp in Detail 

On 14 February, Wittenborg and the software development company AnyforSoft teamed up to host a webinar focusing on crafting exceptional websites.

Wittenborg President, Peter Birdsall, and AnyforSoft's Head of Sales, Stan Tymoshenko, discussed their recent collaboration aimed at enhancing Wittenborg's website under the theme 'Revolutionising Business School Websites'. The project, initiated in July and concluded in early November 2023, included not only visual changes but also a focused effort towards technical upgrades to meet modern web development standards.

After their introductions, Birdsall noted the importance of reaching a global audience due to Wittenborg's diverse student body, emphasising the need for an academic and research-focused profile, and explained that Wittenborg's first website version was created around 2002:

"It is not that long ago when schools and companies did not have websites. If they did, it would have been just a few pages. A lot of those were hard-coded and written in HTML."

Birdsall went on to underscore the importance of differentiating international education from traditional business websites, stating, "You want to make it attractive so that it recruits new students, but it should not be a hard-sell website."

He emphasised the necessity of trust-building, stating that students should feel they are engaging with an institution that deeply comprehends their ambitions and ideals. Additionally, he highlighted the website's role in communicating with various stakeholders, noting, "We are state-accredited; this means that there are people who visited your website from an administrative or auditing perspective as well."

Birdsall further expressed the responsibility of higher education institutions in informing the public and promoting debate, stating, "That's why we saw a good news channel integrated into our website as essential."

Creating Wittenborg's new website

AnyforSoft aimed to enhance Wittenborg's website for user convenience.

Tymoshenko said: "This project was unique; Wittenborg's website was already in good shape, attractive, and performing well. Our objectives were crafted with the user and students in mind," Tymoshenko continued.

"We were committed to making information easily visible and accessible. Accessibility is one of the measures that should be compliant according to local laws. There are specific requirements from the government in every country in terms of this. From a business perspective, it's essential to ensure consistent quality regardless of the student's location or the device they're using. One of the initial challenges we faced was ensuring access for users with slow internet connections using outdated browsers."

It was also important to understand the educational journey.

"We focused on making enrolment intuitive and simple," Tymoshenko continued. "That's why there was a big button on the home page where students could get more information and easily apply."

Content also needed to stay fresh and engaging.

"Our solutions facilitated easy updates of marketing and learning materials. We empowered Wittenborg with direct access to website functionality for introducing improvements without the development team."

Drupal 10 was installed - which makes it much easier and more secure, according to Tymoshenko.

Video content & global accessibility

Another task was to make video content accessible all over the world.

Birdsall said that video is now the best way to communicate things.

"Videos can get a message across much faster than pages of text... We relied on YouTube and Vimeo in the past, but as you all know, financial models like YouTube mean that if you wanted to embed your video onto your website, it might not get shown the way you wanted it to be shown. For this reason, and because YouTube is censored in some countries, we wanted to have a website where we could stream video directly from the website, without any interference."

Additional website improvements included a consistent paragraph structure, optimised banners for mobile devices, improved search engines as well as transformed custom HTML code components by adopting existing CMS functionality, enhancing the site's functionality and appeal.

Arvin Gharib, an MBA (Master of Business Administration) student and Chairman of the student representatives attended the webinar and found it very useful. "I have always been fascinated with web design, and I know of the massive impact it has on branding and marketing purposes. I witnessed the amazing improvement on our website, and I was curious about the procedure that led to this improvement. I believe it is crucial to be able to efficiently implement whatever your organisation stands for, on your website, and Peter and Stan have done an outstanding job."

WUP 01/03/2024

by Erene Roux

©WUAS Press