Our Top 5 Favorite Things about Building an OpenScholar Site

#1. The many different widget options

Widgets are drag and drop tools that make it easy to include useful content on the site without having to create it yourself. There are many options to choose from and can be personalized to your desire. In our sites we used calendars, slideshows, and social media feeds to make our sites more interactive. It was nice not having to add content constantly, as it was simple to add widgets and let OpenScholar do the work of generating our site. For example, adding one event on the News & Events page would appear on all ‘Upcoming Events’ widgets throughout the site automatically.

widgets options

#2. Our sites look professional 

An OpenScholar site is a useful tool to show off your department, course, or yourself in a professional and organized way. It has the perfect format to display professional work in an attractive and personal way while maintaining that it is academically oriented. It’s clear how departments could use this to show their research, events, activities, and staff, while instructors and individuals could use this platform to highlight courses, honors, and experience. With its well-structured design and emphasis on content over ‘fluff’, OpenScholar sites are perfect for showing your intended audience your best features.

Professional looking site

#3. It's Easy to Use

The versatility of OpenScholar’s platform is something we were most impressed by. It’s easy to modify the site to function as a personal site, ePortfolio, academic department site, or instructor site. OpenScholar sites can be personal with the inclusion of different themes and layouts, however because they’re managed by a parent source, all sites are personal, yet consistent. Even though we each made different sites, we displayed our information in a clear and organized way.

#4. The Different Theme Choices

As we populated our sites with more content and widgets, we changed our themes many times. We didn’t have to pick a theme at the beginning and stick with it, we had the freedom to change our theme throughout the process without fear that our existing content would shift dramatically or disappear.

This flexibility gave us a lot of creative liberty to personalize and customize as we discovered more about the capacity of what we could show on our sites.

theme options

#5. Easy Menu Structure

When we created our sites, it was easy to add our content into the preconfigured template option we had chosen at creation.  We were able to add subpages and create a dropdown effect from the main menu too. There was a simple drag and drop interface that allowed us to easily control the relationship between the pages. This makes controlling how accessible the content on the site very simple.

easy navigation

See also: OpenScholar