Session: Tame the WordPress MU beast with website renewal services

Date: Friday, July 26, 2019
Time: 10:30 - 11:15 am (PDT) (UTC-07:00)
Location: Room 1: Thayer
Format: General Lecture Session

Session description

We've all been there. We kickstart a website service, like a WordPress MultiUser (MU), and provide it to our end users. Glorious days are had, and the web proliferates with easy-to-update, maintained, and university-branded websites.

But then comes the dreaded tick-tock of passed time. Site owners leave the institution and lose access to their sites. Sites are left and forgotten, like the One Ring, to drift in the bog that is Google search results. And over time, our WordPress MU service becomes inundated with unclaimed, unmanaged websites.

We at Georgia Tech's Professional Web Presence piloted a renewal plugin/service for our WordPress MU in Fall 2018 to reclaim our bloated platform. After a semester-long communication, marketing, and programming strategy, we were able to strip over 200 websites from our WordPress installation into purgatory, scheduled for deletion. We want to talk about our experiences, share our code, share our strategy and communications, and talk about what we're doing next.

Attendees will gain knowledge and strategy for auditing their WordPress MU, and build an action plan for auditing, renewing, and archiving websites to ensure that websites have a valid owner. As part of this process, you'll learn the power of collaborative coding, community-focused communications and marketing, professional relationships with subject-matter-experts across your campus and the role it plays in adopting orphaned websites, and more.

This session brought to you in partnership with the HighEdWeb Association.


Eric Sembrat

Headshot of Eric Sembrat

Eric Sembrat (he/him/his) leads web development at the College of Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Eric’s work as Web Manager, spearheads campus- and college-level initiatives including a campus-wide WordPress multisite installation, a thriving web development users group community, and exploration of new web opportunities.

Eric attended the Georgia Institute of Technology for his Bachelor’s of Science in Computer Science, then received his Master’s of Science in Information System from Kennesaw State University, also completing a certificate in Leadership.

Eric is currently enrolled at Georgia State University in the Learning Technologies doctoral program. Eric’s research is in the area of activity theory embedded within a design-based research project – specifically, on how web application development is conducted and mediated throughout a research project timeline.


  • General Lecture Session: Tame the WordPress MU beast with website renewal services

Session video

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