What will be different?

Content from across OSU Extension will be housed in one web framework (not a network of separate sites) organized around topics. Content will be managed by programs via content teams. Internal content will be on a separate site.

See strategies at a glance for details.

When is this all happening?

See timeline and milestones for details.

How can I stay up to date and learn more about the project?

The project blog is the primary resource for project information, FAQs, and status updates.

How can I share a question, comment, or concern?

Please contact the EESC project team, and we will reply as soon as possible.

If you have a question about particular content on an existing website, please connect with the appropriate content team.


What is content strategy? And why do we need one?

Simply stated, a content strategy guides plans for the creation, delivery, and governance of content. (Source: K. Halvorson) Having a content strategy will provide a way to access and manage content locally, while sharing quality content more broadly and efficiently.

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Preparing for Launch

Who will move content into the new website and how?

Because of how our content is currently created and structured, there is very little that can be automatically and accurately moved automatically. Our new content strategy also relies on subject-matter experts (that’s you!) working in teams to assess, organize, prioritize, create, manage, and make decisions about content.

Content team members (or people designated by them) and those who manage existing county websites will be doing the actual content entry. In late February, we will open the system for content teams. Users will be able to log in, use a menu to select “Add a new X”, fill out a form, and save the content to the site. On this same form, you will be able to specify the county/program and topics that the content is associated with.
The project team will provide training to content teams and others as needed, and will move content that is currently managed by EESC (e.g., Catalog publications, news).

Can I make changes to existing site content now?

Yes. Any work you do now to improve content will help with what we are working toward.

Should I delete pages and files on existing sites that we don’t need any more?

Because sites under the domain will be removed from public view and archived when the new site launches (not moved to our new site), there is no need to delete content from those existing sites. But in general, it is always a good idea to delete content you don’t need anymore.

What is the suggested deadline for having content ready to go in the new website?

We are aiming to launch the new web presence in March. It is up to content teams to decide what content needs to be in the system at that time—and to enter it. EESC’s web team is currently working on getting the back-end ready for content teams to begin entering content. We hope to have that available for your teams in late February.

When will training be available for inputting data?

ASAP. We hope to have the site open for entering content by late February. This will be accompanied with some “basic training” materials. We will also plan to have regular “office hours” for questions and help with the new system.

How should content teams make decisions about whether or not to keep specific content?

The Getting Started document suggests criteria for reviewing and evaluating content.

Find out whether the content is duplicated somewhere else and see if there is a way to reduce duplication.

If the content is unique, identify the audience is for it – who you are trying to communicate to and why? Then, ask whether or not the content addresses the needs of the audience and your goals for communicating with them. If not, it may need to be left out of the new system or reworked.

Will people be automatically redirected to the new site when it launches?

Yes and no: the Extension home page ( as well as all county home pages (e.g. will be redirected. Other pages will not be by default. If there is a link that has been used in marketing materials or needs to be preserved for some other reason, please let us know and we will be sure to set up a redirect.

I need to order new business cards. What URL should I list?

We recommend using:

  • [Preferred option] Extension website homepage:
  • County landing page (Benton County example:

See business card examples.

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Content teams

What does a content team do?

Please see the Content Teams page for an overview of what content teams do, the list of content teams and members, and status updates.

Can you clarify the next steps for content teams who are just getting started?

The next steps are:

  1. Content team leaders should get your group together to start talking and planning.
  2. The first thing to talk about is the audience and goals for your content. The Getting Started document has more information.
  3. Then, begin to inventory, organize, and evaluate the content that your team has produced or wants to produce. The inventory spreadsheets in Box are a potential tool for this.

If your team has content spread far and wide and isn’t sure where to begin, a concept map might help. Here is an example from the Food Safety content team.

What if there is content that overlaps across teams?

Team leaders should discuss how they’d like to proceed when teams discover audiences or content that may overlap. In the future, it might make sense to have cross-program teams. Ultimately, it is up to content teams and program leaders to decide how to best organize and work together.

Box logistics for content teams?

We’ve provided Box folders as a collaborative workspace for content teams. Here’s the main Content Teams Box. You can find links to the Boxes from the Content Teams section of this site.

Box and spreadsheet details for Ag work groups?

  • Box access? Work group leaders have edit access. Everyone has view access. Work group leaders can add people to your Box subfolder as needed, depending on how you choose to use it.
  • What’s on the spreadsheet? Each ag workgroup has a copy of the same spreadsheet: A starting-point inventory of ag-related content on OSU Extension County websites. It does not include content inventories already provided to the Small Farms and Home Hort/Gardening content teams.
  • Can we change the spreadsheet without affecting other work groups? Yes. It’s your copy.
  • What should/can we do with the spreadsheet? The spreadsheet is a suggested starting point, and is primarily for your own use. You should do whatever makes the most sense to you and your work group.

Can we get inventory spreadsheets for other sites besides county content?

If you have a specific site you are interested in, let us know. If we have access to the site we will create an inventory for you.

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Existing Extension Websites

What will happen to county sites?

Counties will continue to have a presence in the CMS, but will not be responsible for managing separate websites. There will be a way to associate content (e.g., event, article, publication, etc.) with the relevant county or counties.

When the new website launches, everything housed on the domain (including county sites) will be archived and taken offline.

Existing content on these sites will not be automatically moved to the new site. Content teams are responsible for coordinating statewide to take stock of existing content, evaluate it, organize it, and begin entering it into the new website.

See also: The recording of our January 18 webinar for office managers/county leaders, which focused on helping them:

  • Feel prepared to answer common questions, and know where to direct questions
  • Know where to find project updates, resources, information
  • Provide feedback about county presence in new website
  • Feel ready and able to take next steps to help identify and plan for non-program, county-specific content

What will happen to program sites?

When the new website launches, everything housed on the domain (including some program sites) will be archived and taken offline.

Existing content on these sites will not be automatically moved to the new site. Content teams are responsible for coordinating statewide to take stock of existing content, evaluate it, organize it, and begin entering it into the new website.

Program sites that are currently housed elsewhere will remain live until relevant content has been integrated to the new website. Content teams, program leaders, and the project team will develop transition plans on a case-by-case basis.

Will there still be a place for WordPress blogs and other standalone sites?

Short answer, yes. We are asking content teams to collect this content and evaluate whether or not it is in the best place now or if it should eventually be moved to the new website.

At first, priority should be on content on county websites and others that will “go away” (taken offline and archived) at launch rather than these other sites.

How do numbered Extension publications fit into the new website?

EESC will transfer content that we currently manage, including OSU Extension Catalog publications. No work is required by content teams for these.

What will happen to Master Gardener Association content that is currently housed on county sites?

We are working with the Home Horticulture content team to decide what to do with this content. It will most likely not live in our new system, but we will be able to link to it.

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New System Features

Will there be [x] in the new system?

Please let EESC know about any technical feature requests and/or workflow improvements that you think will be useful. We will deal with these features on a case-by-case basis – some of them may not be implemented until after the site initially launches.

Some feature requests we’ve had so far:

  • The ability to “clone” events that repeat yearly
  • Newsletter “Subscribe” buttons on county landing pages
  • Pinned announcements and events on county landing pages
  • Notification when a piece of content is tagged with your county

Will the new web presence be suitable for mobile devices?

Yes. OSU Extension’s new web presence will have a mobile-friendly theme and design.

How will counties be able to customize their respective landing pages?

Each county landing page will follow a standard format. We are working with content teams as well as county leaders and office managers to determine what this format will look like. Counties will be able to choose the photo(s) on their landing pages as well as add a few “sub pages” if needed depending on what content they have.  Content such as events, articles, and publications that are tagged with a county will dynamically show up.

We also expect that county level programs (e.g. Benton County 4-H, Marion County Master Gardeners) will have their own landing pages which will be customizable. The program-based content teams are working with the EESC project team to set up these landing pages.

How will employee directories and profiles work in the new system?

Employee directories will be managed centrally as they are for the main Extension site now. Employees that are tagged with a county will dynamically be added to that county’s directory. In the new system, individuals will have the opportunity to edit certain parts of their profile themselves, including uploading their photo.

How will events work in the new system? Will they integrate with OSU’s calendar?

Events will be entered directly in our new website.

OSU is coming out with a new calendar system this spring. When the new Extension website is live, the new OSU calendar will automatically import events that have been entered into our new website.

If you currently manage a calendar in the OSU systems, you will continue to do so until the new Extension website launches. You do not need to “request a landing page” in the new OSU calendar system.

In the new Extension website, you will be able to upload flyers and other materials and links to register/pay for an event as well as associate an event with multiple counties. This will cause the event to dynamically show up on each of those county’s pages.

If we post something, will it automatically show in multiple places?

Yes, that’s the plan! When someone adds a piece of content (e.g., an article or event), they will be able to associate it with relevant counties, topics, and programs. This allows content to be shared more broadly and efficiently—without having to manually add the same thing to multiple websites.

Will we be able to connect Ideal Logic, Digital Measures, and other systems with the new website?

Eventually, yes. But not for Phase 1 launch. The web upgrade is part of our comprehensive digital strategy. Over time, we will work to integrate or link to other OSU systems and databases.

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Sounds great, but…

Penn State’s site does [x]. I don’t think that will work for us, our audiences, or our content.

Penn State Extension is one of our aspirational peers because of their user-focused digital strategy, not the exact details of their website design.

We are using their site as an example because it shows the strategy and some concepts and features we want to adapt. University of Missouri Extension has a similar strategy. We have also used the examples of Amazon and Costco.

Our new site has a place for content, counties, and programs, as we showed during the Extension Annual Conference demo. This is a difference and advantage of our system, compared to Penn State’s.

How can we maintain connections to our respective college websites?

Based on initial conversations with content teams and program leaders, we anticipate that colleges will likely maintain webpages that explain their outreach, engagement, and Extension missions and link to relevant content. Some of these links can point to the new OSU Extension web presence, and some may point elsewhere.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so it’s important for content teams, our project team, program leaders, and college communicators and web teams to work together on a sustainable plan for content from the variety of sites in the OSU Extension web family.

It’s a great time to be having these conversations, as several colleges are also in the midst of website redesigns.

Will content be managed centrally and, will there be delays in making updates or time-sensitive changes?

No. Uploading and managing content in one central database does not mean that all content will need to be edited or reviewed centrally.

In most cases, content will be live as soon as the person responsible for it adds it to the system. Some content that comes into the system from a feed (e.g., Extension Catalog publications) will be updated daily.

Over time, content teams may develop their own workflows and review/approval processes.

How will decisions about what content is retained, created, and put online and how be “enforced” and by who? 

Conversations about this project started with Extension leadership and then went to Program Leaders, who are ultimately responsible for decisions about content within their program area.

EESC is also in the process of recruiting a Content Strategist. (You can help by sharing the job posting with your networks and potential candidates. Thanks!) This person will be able to help content teams come up with workflows, policies, and strategies that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of content creation and maintenance.

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