Reimagining digital presence, UC Santa Cruz debuts new homepage

Built on modern web technology, the new site marks a new era for highlighting the campus

Person holding iPhone with UCSC homepage
The new site aims to easily and seamlessly guide visitors to the top questions that people have about the university including academics, research, admissions, financial aid, campus life, and more.

Creating a digital presence that reflects excellence and impact, UC Santa Cruz debuted today a new homepage with a modern and responsive design, crisp language, stunning photos, and compelling videos.

The new site, enabled by the launch of a campuswide WordPress service, marks a new era for showcasing UC Santa Cruz to the world.

Leaders with Information Technology Services and University Relations worked closely on the WordPress service, the campuswide theme to reflect the campus's design standards, and the new homepage.

"UC Santa Cruz is an incredible campus, and I am so thrilled that we have a new website and content platform that will enable us to demonstrate that to the world," said Chancellor Cynthia Larive. “This website sends a powerful and clear message about who we are and what drives us to do our best work. This new site is a step toward making our digital presence as impressive as our physical one.”

A powerful first impression

See it in action

Sign up to be invited to an information session in October to see the new theme, hear more about why we chose WordPress, and how folks are approaching their web planning.

Many people—including prospective students and their families, faculty, and staff—turn to the web to learn more about UC Santa Cruz.

The reimagined website is designed to deliver a clear message about the campus's excellence in research, teaching, and learning, and supporting students in becoming leaders who will create real, lasting change in the world.

The new site aims to easily and seamlessly guide visitors to the top questions that people have about the university including academics, research, admissions, financial aid, campus life, and more.

The new homepage features a 35-second video montage of the campus, students, events, and the iconic Banana Slug, points of pride, edge-to-edge images, and a fluid design that adapts to all screen sizes.

Over the past several months, several other UC Santa Cruz websites have shifted to WordPress, including The Teaching and Learning Center, and Global and Community Health.

Over the coming year, University Relations and ITS will be working to help site managers reimagine and refresh high-visibility websites as they migrate to WordPress. The team will also begin building a modern news site to create more dynamic and engaging news articles that can better feature photos, videos and other dynamic elements. The goal is to launch a refreshed news site by summer 2024.

Built on modern technologies

UC Santa Cruz in mid-August launched the new campuswide Wordpress service, beginning a multi-year transition to a new content management system after more than a decade with Cascade WCMS.

WordPress enables more flexibility and creativity, while also ensuring a consistent look and feel for users. It also prioritizes accessibility so that UC Santa Cruz can continue to provide equal access for everybody.

WordPress is the most popular content management system and powers nearly 43 percent of all websites, according to Web Technology Surveys. Building and maintaining websites should be much easier, and the popularity means new staff members can more quickly help maintain the campus’s digital presence.

The new service also provides an easy way for staff and faculty to get started building an improved web presence with resources and support. The includes guides, trainings, and information about attending regular open labs so that the campus community make the most out of WordPress and the new web theme.

To get started, site owners should confirm that WordPress will suit their needs and begin developing a strategy for creating and maintaining an effective website, including understanding the needs of site visitors. The move to WordPress also provides an opportunity to improve the digital experience across campus websites.

Continuing to iterate

Adopting WordPress as the primary content management system for UC Santa Cruz will enable Information Technology Services and University Relations to keep pace with changes in the digital environment, both in evolving the look and feel and in implementing new features.

The theme and underlying service will continue to be expanded and developed over the years ahead.