Highlighting a University’s academic story through web design and development & an improved user experience

Graceland University

Website Development

Elevating Their Students & Elevating Themselves

Graceland University, an Iowa-based University focused on community and student belonging, approached AOR for support to re-envision their website — renovations were needed to boost their presence online and compete with the ever-changing way users consume information in a post-pandemic world.

Our goal? To create a user-friendly online experience that more accurately reflects Graceland’s academic story and the programs they offer, while increasing traffic, increasing the number of applications and positioning the University at a more elevated level.

graceland university building

photo collage of a student, an athlete, a woman in a hat, and a man reading a book

The Before

People were a part of every step of our process, from our robust virtual discovery session to student surveys, and from deep target audience studies to direct client collaboration — no people, no University. No University, no website.

The During

Our team focused on clean design and easy-to-digest content in order to create a robust website ready to handle Graceland’s large breadth of programming, provide Alumni, faculty, current & prospective students, and the community with the information they need, and most importantly, make all of it easy to find.


What did it take?

  • Extensive SEO Research to ensure use of highly trafficked keywords
  • Mobile-first design
  • A focus on diversity and accessibility through all aspects of the site
  • A custom solution to migrate all post content from CampusSuite CMS to WordPress CMS
  • And a revamped information architecture.

The After

The traffic is now of overall better quality, with users spending much more time on each page and engaging more with the content.

…AND Quantity.
Hundreds of pages later, Graceland’s new website is healthier and more functional than ever, the results speak for themselves:


Decreased YoY bounce rate


Increased average session duration (Now lasts over 2 mins)

2 Min

Increase in average time spent on the application page one year after launch


Page load time decrease