AIM7: The Dawson Way of Doing Things: A Study of Our Path Using WordPress

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Presented by Jonathan Perlman

Dawson College in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with 10,000+ students and 1,000+ faculty and staff has adopted WordPress as our primary web publishing platform. We’ve mostly had success, but we’ve also had our share of failures and growing pains. In this case study, I’m going to talk about how we started out with WordPress in 2010, migrated our main website a few years later to a multi-site install and how it all evolved to what we have today. Since then, we’ve adopted the “lean and mean” mantra to building sites, while making them easy to update. This case study will showcase the front and back-ends of our higher profile sites to show how we achieved our goals. We’ll also explain how we manage expectations, do our development, choose plugins and tools, and which themes we’ve come to rely on.


  • 2000 static pages managed in DreamWeaver
  • 2008 shooting incident made the college realize that web needed to handled by communications not academics.
  • Faculty/IT complained about “no” menu. Didn’t know how to use the hamburger menu. What about the students.
  • VPN access for access to the admin!
  • Veem and MySQL Auto backups
  • PHPStorm
    • let’s you lookup in the core
  • WP Awesome Config
  • Git
  • WP-CLI
  • WP Migrate DB Pro
  • Custom bash scripts

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