Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the most prestigious business schools in the world, launched Knowledge@Wharton, an online business analysis publication in 1999. The site covers everything from business trends to industry news.
In collaboration with web development agency WebDevStudios, Knowledge@Wharton received an overhaul in December 2015. As part of the redesign, the WDS team migrated Knowledge@Wharton’s several subsites to one multisite network, which includes a global edition of the publication in English and regional editions in Spanish, Portuguese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.
“They were already using WordPress,” CTO and Co-Founder of WDS Brian Messenlehner told Torque. “We built them a brand new theme and imported content from various individual WordPress sites into a new WordPress multisite network.”
WDS built a custom theme to accommodate the unique magazine style the online publication wanted to achieve. The site is also running some of the most popular WordPress plugins, including Gravity Forms, WPML, and others such as Posts 2 Posts and Blubrry PowerPress Podcasting Plugin.
“Since the overhaul, the Knowledge@Wharton website is easy to navigate and is blazing fast,” Messenlehner told Torque.
More often than not, schools tend to rely on proprietary software with expensive licensing fees and limited extendability. “Because WordPress is open source and there are no licensing fees, it saves schools money,” Messenlehner said.
The savings can often be significant over time. For example, Newark NJ City Public Schools saved the district $150,000 in just five years by switching to WordPress from a proprietary solution.
“Because WordPress is so popular there are lots of freelance developers and development agencies that can build really custom functionality on top of the platform,” Messenlehner said. “Over time this will save time and money, especially when it comes to ongoing support and maintenance.”
Not only that but with more than 40,000 plugins available for free in the repository alone, it’s easier and more affordable than ever for schools to extend the functionality of their sites. According to Messenlehner, more and more schools are using WordPress and third-party plugins to create private social networks, community forums, learning management systems and interactive mobile applications.
WordPress is the obvious choice for education as it is not only a more affordable and flexible option, but it also makes it easier than ever for both students and teachers to manage content on the site.
“Whoever is the expert on whatever content can log in and contribute in real time. WordPress is the most intuitive and easy to use CMS on the web,” Messenlehner said.