The College of Engineering is now offering no-cost WordPress website hosting to research groups, institutes, faculty labs, student groups and other units affiliated with Berkeley Engineering. Hosting is managed by WP Engine, a premier commercial vendor delivering WordPress hosting with speed, security, innovative technology and top-notch customer service.
If you’d like to request a do-it-yourself site on this hosting plan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This service is best suited to standalone sites seeking the flexibility and ease of use that WordPress provides, but that don’t require the deep customization (nor the resulting development bandwidth) of a made-to-order HTML or Drupal website. Although the WP Engine-hosted sites will be within the berkeley.edu domain, the service is not intended to replace individual faculty pages within each department’s existing website.
While the college is providing the hosting service, this is otherwise a do-it-yourself web solution. Individual site owners are wholly responsible for their site’s content, design, themes, plugins and routine maintenance (like keeping plugins up to date). WordPress and WP Engine provide tools that make this maintenance one-click simple, but it will be up to you to use them. CoE will not be providing design or development services, or building or maintaining sites.
At the moment, this hosting service is best suited to migrating existing WordPress that are currently hosted elsewhere, or to creating simple new sites based on existing WordPress themes and designs (free or commercial). We have already launched 50 such sites, and WP Engine’s migration tools make the process fairly simple.
We’re also working on creating a custom Berkeley Engineering theme for WordPress, which will allow sites to follow the visual lead of the engineering.berkeley.edu site while gaining access to custom content types for people, courses, facilities, research and publications. Work on this custom theme is ongoing, and probably won’t be completed until the end of this semester. (Although you could create a new site now with a generic theme, and then convert it to the Berkeley Engineering theme at a later date, that will entail significantly more work than waiting to create the site directly into the the custom theme.)
If you are interested in taking advantage of this WordPress hosting opportunity, either now or after the Berkeley Engineering theme is completed, please email email@example.com to start the conversation.