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Running without a CMS

The University of Brighton had operated without a CMS (content management system) for a number of years, leading to a range of technical and governance challenges. At the same time, the higher education market had become a much more competitive environment. The University needed to be in a position to respond to user needs quickly and make sure that their digital presence was consistently high quality – in keeping with the expectations of potential customers under the new fee regime. 

In addition, their target audiences live much of their lives online, so they have high expectations of digital content. Without a CMS to help them manage their content, they would not be in a position to realistically meet these expectations.

"We had a very specific (and long) list of requirements. It was clear from reading the tender response that Zengenti understood our needs and ticked all the boxes. It was very important for us to have a flexible system that could grow with us and that we could move forward in house."

Stuart Elliot, digital and UX manager

Finding the right system

The University of Brighton put the project out to tender and looked at a number of systems. Their criteria included simplicity for their many editors. They also needed their in-house development teams to be able to use it without hitting any limitations. And as with any real-world IT project, budget was not limitless, so it was important for them not to end up dependent on external consultants to make sure of a return on their investment. 

Transfer of skills and a powerful CMS

The team at Zengenti helped transfer skills to the University’s web team through a mix of formal training courses and tailored consultancy – delivered as and when a topic or issue presented itself. They quickly came to appreciate how easily a templated site can be created, using the front-end skills they already had. With Contensis, if you can code something up for a webpage, you will be able to make it into a template inside Contensis.

The new design is the result of a two-year user experience project, leading to a comprehensive and attractive site.

The University delivered the entire implementation in house, with a relatively small team – a huge achievement! And in their view, it is hard to imagine how this would have been possible through the other systems that they considered.

Perhaps as importantly, the overall conversion rate (against the aggregated, stated key goals) has increased by a staggering 161% since the launch of the new site built in Contensis! And, the ‘stickiness’ of the site has dramatically improved.

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