The Middle Common Room (MCR) of St. John’s College Oxford, is the community of graduate students that study there. We were contacted by their Vice President to design and build a new website to replace the very old website that did not work on mobile devices.
One of the first issues we faced was obtaining permission to run a WordPress website on the St. John’s/Oxford University infrastructure. The college were rightly concerned about protecting their systems from any potential vulnerabilities that the website might expose them to. St. John’s were helpful and cooperative and between us we were able to devise a way of doing this which satisfied all parties.
There was a deadline for this project of 1 October as this was the date that the new intake of students (freshers) would arrive at the college. It was important that they were able to obtain details of events, activities etc. from the new website by that date.
We chose WordPress as the best content management system (CMS) for the site based on the requirements of the client. We then constructed a custom WordPress theme based on the designs we had agreed with the MCR representatives. The college red colour features strongly. The copy and photos were all supplied by the MCR. We assembled all the content and placed it on the new website on a test server to which the client had access.
After then MCR agreed that the website was to their satisfaction, we then went through our formal test phase checking appearance, function and performance across a wide range of devices, operating systems and browsers. This test included older versions of operating systems and browsers so we could be confident that the new, mobile-friendly site for St. John’s MCR would work effectively whatever device a user chose to access the web pages.
Implementation went smoothly and happened on 18 September, well before the deadline of 1 October.
St. John’s MCR now have a modern, attractive website that works on devices of all types. It is easy to update and will serve the client for many years, enhancing the reputation of the graduate community at one of Oxford’s most prestigious colleges.