Website migration options

IT and Communications are actively working on our full web redesign and moving towards a single main site for all of Harvard Chan School. Our current website is a WordPress multisite. Our new single website will have a more modern design and enhanced features that will help us to highlight the work of our students, faculty, researchers, and staff across the School.

The vast majority of subsites on our WordPress platform will be merged with the main site. Some very large and complex sites will migrate to an alternative service (as described below). IT and Communications will work to ensure that all links are redirected properly, creating minimal to no disruption for site visitors.

IT and Communications are currently in the process of making merge or migration recommendations for all of our 280+ existing websites.

Website migration timeline

Merge with the main site

Most existing sites (offices, departments, degree programs, faculty/lab sites, and most research-related sites) will merge with the main site. Groups will still be able to make their own sub-pages and manage their own content.

Sites that merge can take advantage of Harvard Chan School’s authoritative domain (i.e., our new WordPress custom theme, along with the block editor.

The WordPress block editor, also known as Gutenberg, makes content creation more intuitive and flexible. With built-in layout choices, seamless integration of widgets and embeds, and reusable blocks for consistent branding, the block editor ensures a versatile and up-to-date content creation experience.

Reusable content blocks are pieces of content that are maintained centrally (or by a specific office/faculty member), but can be added to multiple websites. For example, a faculty profile might be updated by the faculty member, and that content can then appear on the web pages for the centers, academic programs, labs, and departments where that faculty member is affiliated. This will reduce the amount of redundant content on the site.

We plan to employ tagging and taxonomies to help people find related research projects, faculty members, and educational programs across the site. Being a part of this new site will help you cross-pollinate your content.

The new website is due to launch in fall 2024.

Migrate to CampusPress

If specific criteria are met, research entities that need larger, more complex site structures may migrate to a new platform from Harvard Web Publishing called  CampusPress. It is also WordPress-based, featuring a Harvard-branded theme and supporting the block editor.

The WordPress block editor, also known as Gutenberg, makes content creation more intuitive and flexible. With built-in layout choices, seamless integration of widgets and embeds, and reusable blocks for consistent branding, the block editor ensures a versatile and up-to-date content creation experience.

In Spring 2024, a new Harvard theme is set to be launched, followed by the release of an HSPH-branded theme.

The following business needs may mean that a CampusPress site is recommended:

  • A custom domain (URL)
  • Complex data management
  • Removal of Harvard Chan branding (for groups that are University-wide or are collaborations with multiple institutions)
  • Very complex site structures that would be difficult to nest in our main site.

There will be no cost to groups on this platform.

Examples of CampusPress-based sites:

Become a compliant self-hosted site

A handful of sites that need a lot of custom functionality or design and have funding may be invited to become “compliant self-hosted” sites. “Compliant” in this case means following Harvard University rules around branding, hosting, accessibility, security, and domain registration.

The following scenarios may mean that a compliant self-hosted site is recommended:

  • Large groups that have a distinct brand identity, and have a strong business reason for departing from Harvard Chan School and Harvard University’s branding.

Groups that develop self-hosted sites must:

  • Enter into a maintenance agreement with a web vendor, and comply with Harvard’s hosting, security, and accessibility policies.
  • Receive approval for any custom domains from Trademark, the Office of Communications, and IT.
  • Work with IT to transfer site hosting to Harvard’s preferred host, Pantheon.
  • Pay for their own design, development, and maintenance costs.

Examples of compliant self-hosted sites:

Join the Harvard Chan intranet

We will be launching a new intranet project to create a separate space for content meant only for Harvard Chan School students, faculty, researchers, and staff (internal-facing content).

Communications team members will be meeting with site editors throughout the fall and winter to determine what content belongs on the intranet, and what content belongs on the public-facing website. Before you meet with us, we encourage you to:

  • Identify content that should be on the intranet (content that is for an internal audience only).
  • Identify any content that must be on a public-facing website to comply with University policies.


Will your domain change?

Nearly all Harvard Chan sites will be impacted by domain (URL) changes.

In the future, no affiliate websites will have top-level directories. URLs will be nested under appropriate categories (e.g. labs, departments, academic programs). New domains could look like this:

The “www” prefix will soon be phased out, and all current .sph domains will undergo migration to the .hsph domain.

We will work with search engine optimization (SEO) specialists to mitigate the impact of changing domain names, and plan to ensure that old URLs redirect to the correct places on the new website.

How do I get started with CampusPress?

Using the CampusPress platform, your team will build your own site with prebuilt themes.  To request a site, access training and support, please visit:

How do I get started with a compliant self-hosted site?

Groups seeking to hire an external design or development vendor to build their website must receive advance permission from the Web Governance Committee. Groups that engage with an outside vendor are required to be hosted on the School’s servers ( Harvard contract) and will need to comply with the web hosting policy. However, the School will not provide support and maintenance for these sites. The group must budget for ongoing professional maintenance of their sites, including, but not limited to: WordPress core and plugin updates, bug fixes, unforeseen issues, and feature improvements. We recommend leveraging the Pantheon Autopilot feature to keep maintenance costs low.

Ready to get started? Submit a website request.