What’s happening at Carolina? Find out with a new events calendar that helps UNC offices promote events and helps the campus community learn about the variety of events each year.
Launched in late July, the calendar runs on the WordPress platform, and provides a richer experience for users and for UNC staff who add information to the calendar.
Visitors to the calendar will benefit from features such as:
- Google Map locations, images and videos.
- More responsive interactions
- Improved search functionality
- Ability to filter events by audience, locations, keyword and categories.
“Now an event can almost be a full-featured page rather than just a blurb that links to the full details,” said Billy Hylton, manager of ITS Web Services.
Calendar publishers and administrators will enjoy features such as:
- A simplified, intuitive and stable management of data
- Ease of adding users, campus locations, audiences and categories
- Increased permissions for adding tags, categories, audience info, etc.
- Efficient search functionality
- Unique URLs that can be made “friendlier” for marketing/SEO purposes
- Documentation on the dashboard, making it easy to get started
- Ability to easily add information to dashboard (site stats, user info, event info, etc.)
- Ability to easily add, edit, format and archive content
- Ability to request that an event be featured on the University’s homepage by checking on a “Featured Homepage Request.” Featured events are no more than two weeks from the current date.
- Ability to indicate room location.
“It was great to hear from offices across campus about what they need in a calendar, and WordPress delivers about 95 percent of those needs at no cost to departments,” said Scott Jared, web content director in University Relations. “ITS worked collaboratively with us and calendar publishers to deliver an efficient and elegant solution. With the ease of using WordPress, every campus office should consider using the calendar to publicize events.”
The ability to add feeds from the calendar is of particular note. Units can publish event information to their sites using RSS feeds. Websites using WordPress can add the RSS URI into a WordPress widget to display event info (all events, specific categories, units, venues, etc.) without any parsing/formatting necessary.
“For instance,” Hylton says, “college.unc.edu, could quickly add a College of Arts and Sciences feed to their website since it is also on WordPress. Due to the addition of “child” units, the College could also just display Political Science, History, etc. rather than events from all College departments and programs.”
ITS and University Relations will continue to look for ways to improve the calendar with new features, functionality and collaborative ideas.
Published August 6, 2013.