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Last week, the college launched a major redesign of the CALS homepage, CALS News and eCALS websites. The update features “responsive web design,” meaning content on the websites can be easily accessed from a wide variety of devices, including computers, tablets and smart phones.

The redesign effort was led by CALS web developer Al Nemec, who spent the better part of the past four months focused on the project. In making decisions about the new site design, Nemec says he considered evolving trends in web design.

“The site design wasn’t directly modeled off any other one site,” he explains. “It was more of a conceptual evolution of where I felt the design of the main UW site, CALS and the web in general is moving towards.”

The new site highlights more images than ever, yields better results in the search bar, and includes a new database structure on the back-end. The site runs on WordPress, a content management system that separates the technical aspects of the site from the ability to create, edit and publish content, making it easy for more people to add and update pages. It follows UW-Madison minimum web standards and was built upon HTML5/CSS3 web standards.

“The goal was to improve the function and performance of the site, as well as the user experience and visual appeal,” says Nemec.

The new site goes a long way to help Nemec reach his goal of creating a more cohesive CALS web presence. To that end, he has also developed WordPress-based website templates for CALS departments and centers that have the same look.

For questions or comments on the new site, please contact Al Nemec at anemec@cals.wisc.edu or 262-1365.

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