Is Voices Right for You?

Voices is recommended for…

Voices is an excellent fit for smaller websites with relatively simple content and functional needs and is built upon the industry-standard WordPress content management system. The UChicago Voices website template, built on the Divi theme, provides an official University design with useful features built in.

Blogs
  • Develop your voice.
  • Share your work.
  • Gain digital literacy using the most popular blogging platform.
Digital Identity & Expression
  • Share your photographs on the web.
  • Build a digital CV and resume.
  • Give your research a place to be discovered.
  • Develop your digital identity.
  • Provide content and multimedia to your students in a user-friendly way.
  • Protect your site with CNet login.
  • Customize your site with theme options, and widgets.
  • Get managed WordPress hosting, backups, and upgrades.
Academic Uses
      • Class blogs
      • Creative assignments (for example, keyword or timeline assignments)
      • e-Portfolio
Portfolios
  • Document and reflect on your learning experiences.
  • Upload files, such as assignments and original photos.
  • Gain digital literacy using the most popular blogging platform
Lab or Group Website
  • Use a UChicago-branded template to create your own free lab or group website.
  • All UChicago-branded templates are pre-built to include sample pages, menus, and styles.
  • Reach out to webwork@lists.uchicago.edu to discuss creating a custom Voices site.

Voices is not recommended for websites that require…

For larger, more complex websites, Voices may not be an ideal fit. Below you will find some cases in which the Voices platform is not appropriate to use.

More than 100 pages of content

Page Formats Are Not Abstracted Into True Templates

You will have to duplicate an existing page in order to use that page’s format for other pages.  Once you make a bunch of copies, if you wanted to make a change to pages with that format, you’d have to make the change to each page individually.

A Long List of Pages Can Be Difficult To Manage

In the Voices administrative dashboard, the list of pages can only be sorted by title, or filtered with a text search.

Limited Options for Deeper Navigation

Websites with a larger number of pages are more likely to have more than two levels of navigation (more than main navigation and second-level navigation). Voices does not offer a left-hand secondary navigation menu or breadcrumbs, so in a website with more content, a user may lose track of where they are in the site.

More than five items in the main navigation menu

Voices horizontal navigation menu wraps to a second line on smaller screens when there are more than approximately five short main navigation items.

Customizable site search

Because WordPress is primarily a blogging platform, Voices search results are weighted towards News/Blog content types, and news and blog content will always appear first in results. Voices offers no way to change how search results are weighted, how they are structured, or how they appear. Voices internal site search cannot be configured to search select parts of a website or any domains outside the client’s Voices website domain. Other website offerings through Web Services employ the Google Custom Search Engine, which provides much greater flexibility and control over which pages and domains to search, as well as how to structure and weight results.

Access restricted by CNet ID or Grouper Group

Voices websites, sections, and pages cannot be restricted to specific CNetIDs or by Grouper groups. Voices pages or websites can be access-controlled with password protection, limited to a group of users invited by the administrator, or limited to registered Voices users.

Intranet functions

Voices and ExpressionEngine are both website solutions and NOT suitable options for those who want the functionality of an intranet. The University offers two other solutions for this use: UChicago Wikis and Sharepoint (part of Office 365). Voices may be used as a simple intranet (by manually adding user roles and permissions, using password protection, or using blog functionality to communicate and collaborate to an internal group). Customers who use Voices as an intranet may do so at their own risk and without the intervention of Web Services.

Integration with the University Events Calendar

There is no simple way to automatically feed events from Bedework, the University’s calendar software, into Voices. This addition would require a custom integration form Web Services.

A custom (vanity) URL

Web Services can domain-map or provide a custom uchicago.edu address in some cases.  Domains must be approved by University Communications.  Web Services can provide redirects for websites that are not approved for domain-mapping.

A content workflow

If you need to work on drafts of your content, and submit a draft for approval without affecting the live website, Voices may not be the right option. Within a content workflow, a website can have pages with states of drafting, reviewed, approved, and published. Higher-profile websites are more likely to have content that may need to be reviewed and approved before being published.

Custom integrations

If you need custom integrations or bespoke functionality, you should consider working with a recommended vendor. Please reach out to webwork@uchicago.edu for more information.

Custom 404 pages

It is not possible to create custom 404 pages in Voices.

Web Services offers other website template options for those customers who have sites that are not appropriate for Voices. Please feel free to contact us at webwork@uchicago.edu if you have questions about which service is the best fit for your needs.