Murdoch University Drives 32% Increase in Mobile Visits with Sitefinity

Web Experience


Murdoch needed a CMS that would empower its digital team with the flexibility to deliver a great user experience while minimizing management complexity.


With Sitefinity, Murdoch could simplify the design of its site and reduce the total number of content pages, leading to a cleaner user experience. Content creators were able to work with a more intuitive interface.


Prospective students and other users love the new site, with Murdoch observing a significant lift in several key metrics, including mobile visits, homepage traffic and Net Promoter Score.

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As an international university reaching students from 90 countries across the globe, Murdoch University needed a strong digital presence to convey the personality and spirit of the institution.

Murdoch’s existing website was built in 2007 and had become outdated over the years. It was custom built to fit the university’s requirements at the time, but that made it inflexible and difficult to maintain from a backend perspective. In terms of the user experience, it also lacked critical features (like responsive design) that have become necessary in today’s multichannel world.

In 2016, the Murdoch University executive team decided the existing site was so far behind the curve that it was best to scrap it and start anew. This would enable them to reduce the University’s digital footprint and create a cleaner, more engaging user journey that was also easier to maintain.


Progress® Sitefinity™ was on the institution’s shortlist because of everything it comes with out of the box, including:

• Responsive design capabilities for a better experience on mobile
• An intuitive interface that enables content creators to be self sufficient
• A scalable, flexible platform that could support the University’s digital presence for years

“After some consultation, we saw that Sitefinity was moving in the right direction and Progress was on top of developing new features that we wanted to implement,” said Justin Cawthorne, Digital Operations Manager, Murdoch University. “That made us confident that Sitefinity was the right choice.”

A big challenge for many university websites is that they become a catch-all for everything—student resources, course information, staff portals, promotional materials, etc. This complicates site management due to the sheer amount of content, while also making the user experience complex and confusing. Sitefinity enabled Murdoch University to simplify its approach and design the site to be a modern, user-friendly digital destination, especially for prospective students.

Taking an agile approach, the Murdoch digital team worked to quickly come up with a fresh design, stand up new pages and rework old content. Much of the initial project was completed within nine months, including a new homepage, refreshed content designed for prospective students and a new Course Finder Tool with over 250 individual course pages.


As a part of the Digital First Project sponsored by Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Eeva Leinonen, the launch of the institution’s new website was critical. With custom sliders and signposts, bespoke page templates, responsive design capabilities and other enhancements, the University was able to breathe new life into its website and deliver a compelling digital experience that was also easy to manage and scale.

The Sitefinity-powered website drove improvements in many key areas, including:

• 32% increase in mobile visits
• 65.4% lift in Net Promoter Score
• 87.2% reduction of content on product pages due to simplification initiatives
• 13% decrease in pages viewed before starting an online student application
• $130,000 in cost savings due to reduced dependency on external agencies creating bespoke microsites

Beyond the raw numbers, user feedback was also overwhelmingly positive—people generally found the website much easier to navigate and “loved” the new design overall.

“Our University is so diverse with such a variety of courses, research and partnership opportunities, every visitor is looking for something different and the website has to be able to cater to all of these audiences,” said Julie Whitlock, Associate Director of Digital Innovations, Murdoch University. “With Sitefinity, we’ve been able to create a more usable website that directly contributes to the improved performance of our University.”

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