Find out how we're improving our online experience to meet the needs of our users.



What it is: A project to significantly develop our existing web estate and the ways of working and governance that sit behind it (including delivering a new website and intranet).

Why it’s better for you: As a user it will significantly improve your experience, providing a high-quality, consistent, and seamless experience across website and intranet content.

Why it’s better for the University:  The project will provide regulatory, trust, security and efficiency improvements but most significantly, help us be more competitive and attract new students and staff.

When it’s happening: The project started in October 2023. We are aiming to deliver it by Autumn 2026.

What is the web estate?

Our website, and the different systems that interact with it, such as the online prospectus, are known collectively as our ‘web estate’. The web platforms we use not only shape how people outside the University see us, but also help with critical tasks like recruiting and retaining students, publishing research, supporting colleagues and students with work, studies, and wellbeing, and much more.

About the project

The New Web Estate project sits within our Delivering Better Ways of Working portfolio and is part of the University’s transformational Capital Programme

Best practice for website design and the production, curation and governance of content is constantly evolving. We need to make sure that Sussex keeps up with these developments by optimising our web estate and providing the best experience possible for our users. The New Web Estate project will help us do this by reviewing our existing estate and the operating models that sit behind it. 

The project will look at where we are now, and where we want to go next. It will design, roll out, and continuously develop a modern and comprehensive new University-wide approach. To do this, our existing ways of working plus our existing website and associated systems will be reviewed, and we will also add a parallel staff intranet. Efforts will be concentrated in four key areas:

  • user experience
  • systems
  • content
  • governance.

Working with our web users

Together with our expert consultants, Pickle Jar, we have been working with web users in the early stages of the project to discover what the Sussex community needs from our web platforms.

So far, we have:

  • Published two surveys, completed by around half of all users of our web content management system (WCM) – one available to everyone with access to the WCM, and another for specific content owners
  • Run a series of well attended interactive content workshops 
  • Conducted individual stakeholder interviews with representatives from the University’s senior leadership and important stakeholders across several areas. 

The feedback received from these sessions has already proven extremely valuable in helping to shape our proposals.  

What are the benefits?

This project offers us the opportunity to take significant steps forward from where we are now, improving user experience as well as providing several other important benefits to the University.

Benefits for web users include:

  • An easily navigable, high-quality external website
  • A new staff intranet
  • A seamless experience for users across our online estate.
  • Greater clarity and support for how we manage our digital content
  • Greater security across our online estate

A standout website is a must in today’s highly competitive HE marketplace, and the project will also offer significant benefits to the University. 

Critically, our web presence has a significant impact on our ability to attract and nurture new students and talented staff. Efficiently managed and consistent content, alongside an improved, responsive web estate also has the potential to significantly improve our reputation, as well as having a positive impact on costs, efficiency and audience trust, as well as ensuring we are fully compliant from a legal and regulatory perspective.

Next steps

The project started in October 2023 and our aim is to deliver phase one of a new website and intranet, supported by a new operating model and governance by Autumn 2026.  This page will be updated with developments as they happen, including how any changes may impact you as the project progresses.


The stages the project will go through are:

  1. Project begins

    October 2023.

  2. Technical spec. and content strategy creation


  3. Business case created/submitted to Capital Strategic Investment Board (CSIB)


  4. Procurement exercise


  5. Website / Intranet / Content Management System (CMS) design and creation


  6. New content strategy rollout


  7. Expected Phase 1 delivery (new website/intranet/new operating model and governance)

    Autumn 2026.


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