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Lightning Talk: Transitioning Our Campus Portal from Drupal to WordPress

Date: Thursday, July 13, 2023
Time: 2:00 - 2:45 pm (CDT) (UTC-05:00)
Location: Room 1
Format: Lightning Talk

Who is this session for?

Developers, instructional technologists, and website content managers

Session description

The Lafayette Campus portal, which caters to students, faculty, staff, and alumni, is a web application containing a vast number of important audience-specific resources with a lightly customizable interface. The portal contains calendars, identity and access information, newsfeeds, user-specific course information, career-building resources, important links, and many other resources frequently utilized throughout the College. Previously built in Drupal and maintained by Lafayette’s ITS department, we were tasked with transitioning the site to WordPress to match Lafayette’s other web presences while using Gutenberg blocks for administering and outputting content and resources.

The presentation focuses on the transition between Drupal and WordPress, the College’s first attempt at utilizing Gutenberg blocks within their pre-existing themes, and some of the challenges contained within. Key takeaways and topics include: 

  • Utilizing Gutenberg block templates and block functionality while navigating the never-ending evolution of the usage standards and implementation methods
  • Incorporating Advance Custom Fields Pro into the blocks and custom post types
  • Reworking back-end functionality that was previously reliant on Drupal-specific methods and transitioning to WordPress equivalents
  • User management and CAS authentication
  • Integrating various API endpoints and outside resources while focusing on site speed
  • Integrating accessibility features


James Nicnick

Headshot of James Nicnick
Web Developer, Lafayette College

James Nicnick is a web developer at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania. Having spent the majority of his 16 year career in marketing developing and managing client websites and applications, he made the transition to higher education in February of 2022. He currently focuses on the College’s WordPress properties developing custom functionality within their themes and plugins, assisting faculty, students, and staff with their web content needs, and ensuring that the various WordPress deployments are functional and up-to-date.


  • Lightning Talk: Transitioning Our Campus Portal from Drupal to WordPress

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