Recent changes in government funding approaches and the introducing of state training initiatives will open up the market and increase the demand training in South Australia. TAFE SA will need to compete with other private registered training organizations for these new training placements.
From an online perspective, this requires a website that is intuitive and easy to use, ranks well in search engines and is constantly updated with fresh and relevant content supporting the quality of the training provided. The web site provides the primary tool for prospective and current students to research and select their study pathways.
Previous to our Sitefinity implementation, the TAFE SA website remained relatively under developed, although courses provided from an alternate database, still ranked high in the major search engines. Administration was also unintuitive and complicated to maintain, resulting in a fairly unstructured site, which was not easy to use.
Sitefinity was chosen as the content management system for the TAFE SA website mostly because out of the box it provided an easy to use interface, content modules, workflow and permissions, and full integration into visual studio to allow custom development and extensibility of core functionality. The other key factors were the level of technical support, and cost competiveness of the product and service.
From a technical perspective, the TAFE team was impressed with the underlying framework and ability to extend the Sitefinity functionality to their own requirements. In particular with the integration of their own course data, which is based on xml files generated from an internal system using URL rewriting master pages and some clever code.
Finally, the Sitefinity interface provides ample options for search engine optimization techniques and we have extended that excellent core functionality with Google Sitemaps and Analytics integration. As a result of their efforts, the development team has seen improved user satisfaction, higher page ranks and increased page visits.
Sitefinity has enabled the website development team to be quick and responsive to staff requests. The building of web pages can be undertaken in less than half the time previously and course information can be easily integrated with minimal technical involvement. The ability to have direct management of page names and subsequent creation of “short” URLs has resulted in a significant reduction of red tape, and increase in staff satisfaction and costs.
Feedback from the department has been extremely positive, and the utilization of the website for business and promotional information has increased significantly. Thus, the TAFE SA web development team is extremely pleased with the ease and flexibility of the Sitefinity platform, and continues to support the platform as a good choice for the TAFE SA websites.