OpenText to WordPress Transition

WordPress is here and we want to make sure you’re prepared to transition your OpenText site over. It’s a big step and we realize that it can be rather daunting for some folks who recently redesigned, have never used WordPress, or just don’t have a lot of time or staff to help with a site move. Please know that we are here to help and want to make this process as seamless as possible for you.

Step 1: Review the UW Theme

ResponsiveSiteDesignBy now, you’ve probably heard that UW-Madison has moved to a new website look-and-feel. Many campus sites have already transitioned – most notably, the main campus homepage: WiscWeb sites are now based on this new look and utilize what we call the “UW Theme.” Please take some time to review the UW Theme and determine if you think it will work for you. It can be found here: Specifically, pay attention to the Kitchen Sink of Elements page, which shows how the various widgets will look and function in the theme.

There are significant advantages to choosing the UW Theme. Here are just a few:

  1. It’s Accessible – It is easily be navigated by all users, regardless of their auditory, cognitive, neurological, physical/motor, speech, or visual abilities.
  2. It’s Responsive – The theme delivers a consistent look and user experience across different devices, including: desktop computers, laptop computers, tablets and mobile devices.
  3. It’s Browser Compatible – It has been tested on all major browser versions and renders consistently on each.
  4. It’s the New UW Identity – This is the direction that all of campus is going and it is supported and approved by University Marketing.
  5. It Conforms to Web Best Practices – This theme is user-centered and utilizes current web best practices for design and coding.
  6. It’s Faster – If you choose this theme, you won’t have to schedule time to sit down with our developers to plan the move of your styling into WordPress. You could start building immediately.
  7. Less Risk – Since this theme has been thoroughly tested, there is less risk of elements breaking/rendering incorrectly when upgrades and patches are installed.

Step 2: Decide on Whether or Not You Will Use the UW Theme

Now that you’ve had some time to review the theme, it’s time to decide on whether or not you will use it. (Please note that we can help you out with this decision if you need some more time or information – just contact us at

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Yes - I Love It!

We’re happy to hear that you’d like to use the UW Theme! We realize this choice might mean a big change for your site and that’s okay because we are here to help. If you’re unsure of how to adapt your OpenText site content to this theme, we are available for consultation. Our team can help you decide how to structure your homepage and interior pages using the new theme and can even provide you a mockup to share with others. We’ll work together to design something that you are comfortable with.

To schedule a consultation from your current design to the UW Theme design, please send an email to

No - I'd Like to Keep My Current Design

Hey, we understand that the UW Theme isn’t right for everyone. Since you’re not using the theme but are an existing customer, we will work with you to style your new WordPress site to match your old site as closely as possible. This styling will be free of charge to you but does require a consultation meeting with our developers.

To schedule a consultation to plan the transition of your site from OpenText to WordPress, please send an email to

No - I'd Like to Completely Redesign My Site

If you decide you want to redesign your site from what currently exists, that styling will not be covered and will now come at an hourly fee. The cost of this type of redesign will depend on the amount of work involved and requires a consultation with one of our developers.

To schedule a consultation to plan a redesign of your site, please send an email to

Step 3: Assess Your Site Content

Your team should take some time to review and assess your site content before your transition to WordPress. Are there pages that can be removed? Navigation to be changed? Text that needs to be updated? Photos to be replaced? Now is the time to start planning out those changes.

Step 4: Clean Up Your Asset Manager Folders

Please, please, please: Go into your asset manager folders and clean up content. Do not remove anything that is currently in use but you can go ahead and remove anything you aren’t using.

  • Unnecessary duplicates
  • Documents that have been replaced
  • Old versions of images

*To check if an asset is already in use, click it to select it and choose “Show Usage.”

We will work with you to move this content over to WordPress but we really do need you to review it first. Please note that the WordPress Media folder does not break out files into folders like OpenText did. Instead, users can search for files by title and category.

Step 5: Audit Your User List

Who needs to have access to your new WordPress site? Undoubtedly, there are some folks who have access to your OpenText projects who no longer need it. Put a spreadsheet together of the folks who absolutely need WordPress access. This document should include users’:

  • Full Name
  • Email Address
  • User Role (description of user roles can be found here)
    • Administrator
    • Editor
    • Contributor
    • Subscriber

*Include this document with your Transition Request Form in Step 7 below.

Step 6: Timeframe

Work with your team to develop a timeframe for transitioning your website from OpenText to WordPress. Consider the following:

  • Upcoming projects + busy periods
  • Amount of content on your existing site
  • Schedules of editors

Step 7: Decide on a New Domain Name

This step only applies to users whose sites currently exist in a sub-directory. You will know if your site exists as a sub-directory if the URL ends in your site name instead of “” For example, would be a sub-directory of the domain.

Please decide on either a 3rd or 4th level domain for your WordPress site (we can no longer accommodate sub-directories). Here’s some more info about 3rd and 4th level domains. We will redirect your old sub-directory to this new domain when your site launches.

Step 8: Fill Out the Website Transition Request Form

Once you have prepped your site for the transition, cleaned up your asset folders, created a user list, developed a timeline, and decided on a design (UW Theme or otherwise), it is time to set up a meeting with our team to plan your transition.

To set up this appointment, first fill out and send us a Website Transition Request

*If you have questions before sending this form, please contact us at:

Step 9: Sign Up for WordPress Training

It’s time to get into training! We have a robust schedule of in-person training sessions. We are also offering ‘how to’ documentation in the KnowledgeBase.