Organisatie - 27 september 2012

Five questions about WageningenUR.nl

WageningenUR.nl has been launched; it will replace nearly all other Wageningen UR sites.

The website went live on Tuesday 25 September but its predecessor WUR.nl will remain online for the next few weeks. Five questions about the new website.
What does the website look like?
Completely different to the previous one. The new WageningenUR.nl consists of colourful blocks and large headings. There is far less text on the homepage and information is now subdivided by subject rather than organization. For instance, a news item about Alterra will immediately show related information for the university and vice versa. Locations have also been added to projects. Now you can use a map application to scroll through a digital map showing thousands of projects in which Wageningen UR is involved.
Why did wur.nl have to be replaced by WageningenUR.nl?
That has everything to do with the god of the Internet: Google. It uses the URL name when ranking search results. WageningenUR.nl will eventually get a higher score than WUR.nl. The subdomains are being scrapped for the same reason. For instance, LEI is moving from lei.wur.nl to wageningenur.nl/lei. The previous address was indexed separately, which meant LEI did not benefit in Google from its connection with the rest of Wageningen UR. Now it does. However that will take a while to work as the new website has to be discovered by the search engines first.
What will happen to the old website and the old e-mail addresses?
The old website will remain available for the next few weeks, after which users will automatically be transferred. That is a big difference compared with the previous switch (from WAU.nl to wag-ur.nl to WUR.nl), only six years ago. Then, thousands of visitors were suddenly unable to find the website. The old web addresses will also remain in use this time round.
What do the departments think of the new site?
Most of the informal reactions have been positive but you do hear some criticism too. Science groups say that a lot of information has not yet been transferred and personal texts about staff have disappeared. Lists of scientific publications are now sorted by date rather than relevance, making it impossible to find science groups' key publications. The website creators say most deficiencies are due to technical problems relating to the launch. We can expect big improvements over the next while, they say.
What is WageningenUR.nl costing?
The name will not have cost more than twenty euros. The big money went on the software for the new database (300,000 euros) and the design (300,000 euros). All in all, the new website is costing more than a million.

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