The Office of Communications offers comprehensive and strategic guidance in the planning, implementation and management of Harvard Law School websites; mobile applications; social media accounts; program, clinic or administrative office blogs; online video; and email communications and marketing.
The Online Team administers the official HLS website (hls.harvard.edu) and partners with Information Technology Services to manage and support it.
To request web access, training and support for the HLS website, please email the online team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
External Websites for the HLS Community
Our staff can help HLS departments, programs, clinics and other initiatives explore publishing options for online communications. While we do not administer externally hosted Law School websites, our staff is available to consult on online content strategy, information architecture, web analytics, and visual identity (branding) for those sites and channels.
There are a variety of options available to Harvard University employees with an range of functionality, customization, and cost:
Open Scholar (Drupal) – Free
Open Scholar is a free web hosing platform offered through Harvard University. You can learn more about setting up an Open Scholar site at Harvard’s Open Scholar page. Open Scholar sites are a great option for smaller projects, especially if the administrator of the site does not have a web background.
These sites do not require any knowledge of coding or html. Building the sites involves a simple drag and drop interface and you do have some option for customization in terms of design. Harvard Web Publishing provides professional support for the Open Scholar Sites.
You will be able to add a custom domain to your Open Scholar site, and the online team can assist you in procuring and configuring your domain.
Harvard Blogs (WordPress) – Free
Harvard offers free WordPress sites to anyone with a harvard.edu email address via blogs.harvard.edu.
These WordPress sites come pre-loaded with thoroughly vetted themes and plugins. You do not have the ability to add your own, but there are a number of options for you to choose from.
The Harvard blogs are a good, cost-effective option for those looking to build out fully functional WordPress sites. There are currently more than 900 Harvard Blogs up and running.
All of the sites on this platform have the same URL structure, which is blogs.harvard.edu/xxxx. You will not be able to add a custom URL to these sites.
WordPress.com – Free Model | $99/year Premium | $300/year Business
WordPress.com offers three different pricing models, and you can review the details of each on their website. All of the models offer you access to free themes as well as premium themes that range from $40-$100 month.
With the free model, you will not have full control over the domain, and it will have to include wordpress.com. Both the premium and business models enable you to configure custom URLs that you can obtain from the Online team.
Unlike with WordPress.org, you will not be able to add plugins to your WordPress.com site – it comes with many of the most common features already installed. The interface for WordPress.com is easy to work with, so even those with the most basic website experience will be able to administer the site.
WordPress.com does offer email and live chat support for both the premium and business models.
If you choose to proceed with this route, we would recommend that you choose the premium model. If you need the functionality only available through the business model, it would likely make more sense for you to consider the next option, a Harvard Law WP Engine site, below.
WP Engine WordPress.org – $30/month and up
For complex site that require a greater level of customization and flexibility, Harvard Law School will stand up a WordPress.org site for you on our WP Engine hosting platform. WP Engine offers more robust functionality, giving you full control over the themes and plugins you’d like to include on your site provided they don’t pose a security risk.
WP Engine backs up your site each morning and oversees the platform updates to ensure that your site is running the most up-to-date version of WordPress. You will also have access to WP Engine support to help troubleshoot any setup issues that you might encounter.
You can request a domain name from the Online team, and we can assist you in setting up the URL.
Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in external online publishing options.