multi-campus organizations

How do you serve communities spread out over multiple locations?

Multi-campus organizations face a common problem: how should they structure their website to best represent their various locations?

Sometimes, a multi-campus organization will choose to split their online presence so that each campus has its own individual website. This allows each site to develop messaging best suited to their local community. And for some, that autonomy justifies the added cost of maintaining multiple websites.

However, multi-site organizations looking to combine all their campuses in one website usually hope to communicate unity. They want to be viewed as the umbrella organization first, and the specific campus second. Moreover, they may find that much of the information they have to communicate is the same. In this case, having one website represent multiple campuses reduces duplication.

Common website approaches for multi-campus organizations

The best solution for your organization will depend on what information you need to communicate to your members about your various campuses. If you offer the same programs and services at all locations, then you may need to only provide a page with location information.

On the other hand, if each location offers separate services, events, and resources, you will want to structure your website to guide users to the most relevant campus. You can do this through your top-level navigation, or by offering portals for your users to choose where they want to go. The important point is that your solution should be user-centric. If your approach leaves your users feeling confused or unable to find the information they need, it’s time to explore other options.

Plan for the future expansion

You may not have multiple campuses now, or perhaps your current set-up is working well. Either way, if you think you might add locations in the future, think about how your solution will scale. Is your current set-up flexible enough to accommodate? Or is it so rigid that a new location would require a complete site overhaul?

Also, if your site has extra functionality built in, make sure that it will supports multiple campuses. For instance, our event planner allows you to easily create new venues for booking and ticket sales. This means that your users can easily see which campus is hosting what events, and it scales well to accommodate new venues.

Want us to take a look at your situation? We have a lot of experience working with multi-campus organizations. If you’d like to discuss a solution to your needs, we’d be happy to talk!

Published 08/04/16 by Laura Lynch