NCI's use of WordPress


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A presentation for the steering committee of the NCI Public Affairs Network about the NCI's use of WordPress to develop

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NCI's use of WordPress

  1. 1. National Cancer Institute Benchmarks: Powered by WordPress Brooke Hardison Wang NCI-PAN Steering Committee U. S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES January 11, 2010 National Institutes of Health
  2. 2. National Cancer Institute An online ‘webzine’ Since 2001, the NCI media relations team has been publishing articles for reporters about the research at the NCI  Volumes and issues  Paired articles  Text-only article pages  Internally hosted videos  Separate pages for multimedia files  Keyword-based and date range search options Average hits/month: 800
  3. 3. National Cancer Institute Time for Change • The webzine concept was antiquated and we felt the site needed a fresh new look • Being locked into a two-article per issue format was limiting • Any time we wanted to make a significant change, it required a lot of time on the part of the web team and their programmers • There is an increasing need for more blog- friendly content
  4. 4. National Cancer Institute We needed to utilize web 2.0 • 70% of journalist use social networks to assist in reporting – 69% go to company/org websites – 66% use blogs – 51% use Wikipedia – 48% use online videos – 47% use Twitter & other microblog sites • 92%believe that social media is enhancing journalism Source: Middleberg Communications and the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR), "Survey of Media in the Wired World."
  5. 5. National Cancer Institute Top Information Sources 64% of Journalists use Google or Yahoo! to get news information Search types journalists Social Media Tools used most often: used – Standard Search 91% – Social Networks (64%) – News Search 27% – Blogs (55%) – Social Search 27% – Wikis (50%) – Image Search 18% – Micro-blogging (36%) – Blog Search 14% Source: TopRank Online Marketing Survey on Journalists Use of Search,
  6. 6. National Cancer Institute A new format In 2009, in an effort to modernize the site and serve a broader audience, the Office of Media Relations redesigned the site, inspired by news blogs and social media  Multiple images per article  Embedded videos (now discoverable on  Twitter and YouTube and Flickr integration  Easier search (text- based), utilizing categories, a tag cloud, and archive Hits in December: 2,452
  7. 7. National Cancer Institute Website Development • We needed a format that would allow us to make changes and add content easily, without a lot of web coding • We wanted more flexibility in terms of format and content • We wanted a solution that would be cost effective. • We wanted a format that would allow us to incorporate web 2.0 components
  8. 8. National Cancer Institute Our Solution:
  9. 9. National Cancer Institute What is WordPress? • WordPress is an open-source, blog publishing platform • Available in two formats: – Free, downloadable software package used for self-hosting ( – Free, blog hosting service with the software installed and maintained by the company ( • More info:
  10. 10. National Cancer Institute WordPress details • Content management system (CMS) – PHP and MySQL (code and database) • Secure log-in (SSL) • Customizable using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) • Can create regular pages, in addition to blog-style ones
  11. 11. National Cancer Institute The Dashboard
  12. 12. National Cancer Institute Instant Web Statistics View visitors by day, week and month See the most popular posts and pages for each day See what pages are referring people to your site Change views to see summaries:  7 days  30 days  Quarter  Year  History of the site
  13. 13. National Cancer Institute Instant Web Statistics (cont.) See the search engine terms that are driving people to your site See to which other sites your site is driving traffic Get info on other blogs that link to your site See counts of overall visits to your site, and summary tables.
  14. 14. National Cancer Institute If you have your own host Pros of self-hosting WP: • Can upload themes (many free) from hundreds of sources • Plug-ins allowed (third party software that adds features to your site) • Completely customizable • Complete control over your site, including the ability to put your own ads on the page
  15. 15. National Cancer Institute If you have your own host Cons of self-hosting WP: • You need your own web host ($540 per year) • Requires more technical know-how • You are on your own for back-ups (many hosts will do this) • When there are updates to the software, you must do them manually • To start, all you get is this:
  16. 16. National Cancer Institute WordPress Start page When you first install WordPress, this is what you get.
  17. 17. National Cancer Institute Examples of Self-hosted Sites
  18. 18. National Cancer Institute More examples
  19. 19. National Cancer Institute More examples
  20. 20. National Cancer Institute If you don’t want to self-host Pros of • Set-up, updates, spam, back-ups and security are handled by • Free (except for upgrades) • will occasionally promote your blog for you • Requires NO knowledge of CSS, (x)HTML, PHP, etc.
  21. 21. National Cancer Institute If you don’t want to self-host Cons of • Limited to the 70+ themes available on their site (can alter for a fee) • Cannot edit the PHP code • Can not add plug-ins • May end up with ads on your site (unless you pay the extra fee) • Some limitations on the type of items you can add (certain types of code)
  22. 22. National Cancer Institute Upgrades for • Custom CSS: $14.97 per year • Domain mapping (so address isn’t $9.97 per year • No ads: $29.97 • Space upgrades (3GB included): – 5 GB $19.97 / 15 GB $49.97 / 25 GB $89.97 • VIP hosting available: $500/month + $1500 set up
  23. 23. National Cancer Institute Examples of WP-hosted Sites
  24. 24. National Cancer Institute Examples of free hosted sites
  25. 25. National Cancer Institute Cost for the new site Contractor-created WP Theme: $7,900 Labor hours to transfer old articles: $750 Web-hosting for one year: $540 HTML Class: $800 WordPress Class: $800 CSS Class: $800 Total Cost: $11,590