Case: developing a portal for a University | Creonit


Higher education establishment website

Project launch date — September 2020

We have developed a portal with a modular system for compiling pages for the University.

  • Admin panel (unified media library; logging changes)
  • News section
  • End-to-end tagging system
  • Events section
  • Feedback form
  • Content designer
  • Receipt scenarios
  • Search on the site
  • Pages of institutes and departments
  • Addresses and contacts
  • Questionnaires and voting
  • State exam calculator
  • Version for the visually impaired


Russian New University (RusNU) - autonomous non-profit organization of higher education, founded in 1991.

90th place
«100 best universities in Russia» (Forbes, 2019)
over 400
doctors, candidates of science and teachers-practitioners
15 030
students (for 2018)


The customer was already familiar to us: in 2018, we successfully launched a website — a service of intellectual games for schoolchildren. Now we had to develop a portal for the University and implement it so that the client could manage it independently and collect a huge number of pages for various tasks. And preferably without actively interfering with the code.

At the same time, it was necessary to draw up a project development plan and outline the approximate composition of releases for all the numerous requests.

The timing was also important: the first version of the portal should be launched by the beginning of summer so that applicants have access to all the necessary information.


This is the fourth attempt for RusNU to launch the University portal with different agencies, the previous three failed. One of the reasons is the wrong perception of the project. Not everyone was able to realize its scale: contractors believed that they would have to work on a standard corporate site, for which standard 1C-Bitrix info blocks are enough. When in fact it should have been a flexible constructor.

So, we needed service with the automation of at least several areas within the University. The customer also had many ideas for creating additional value for students. But the capabilities of the current version of the site did not allow you to implement even such important functions as, for example, the schedule.

Special attention should also be paid to the appearance of the portal: it was not updated for many years, but it was actively developing. There are a lot of sections and pages made using different templates. And one more important point: it was necessary to restore order, observing special requirements for websites of higher educational institutions.

Planing and designing

Drawing up a detailed technical task with a basic description of the requirements — this is how we started working on the project. There were so many nuances that we spent more than 40 hours just discussing them. It was important for us to preserve the huge layers of information that were already on the site and structure them correctly.

Stanislav Khromushin
Stanislav Khromushin

When we conducted analytics, studied the websites of other universities, and discussed the visual brief, it became clear that we all want to move in a unique visual direction.

Goal: To make a modern, user-friendly, and scalable website. And if everything is clear with the first points, then for the last one we have developed a large UI kit of 60+ widgets for all occasions.

We have prepared the concept of the main page in a strict enough style to emphasize the status of the University. After the presentation, it was decided to add a bit of saturation to the layout and move away from excessive rigor. We created a set of juicy gradients — a different color for each of the universities and colleges. This helped to separate all the information on the portal. As a result, the layout was adopted, the styles were defined, and then the internal pages and adaptive were developed.

Implemented functions

Admin panel

We implemented the site on the Symfony Framework using the API Based approach. To solve the client's problems, we have included a media library, a system of 63 widgets (with customizable width, margins, grouping, and content settings), and a complex tagging system in the administrative panel.

Widgets — blocks for convenient layout that make up the content of pages. It looks like a constructor.

Work in the admin panel is structured in such a way that several people can't edit one object at the same time: it is blocked, and the Manager sees who is currently working on the block. It also provides a history of all changes made.

The shared library is implemented for the convenience of working with media files of the entire portal: files can be grouped into folders, set tags for them, attach people, and then quickly find and filter them.

Content constructor

The content for each page is collected from 60 different widgets. Each widget contains many settings that can change its properties and visual display. The content is dynamic in almost all sections of the site, and the editor only needs to configure the widget once so that it updates itself in the future.

Widgets can be divided into columns, grouped, and combined into tabs. You can also copy their structure to other pages.

This makes it easier to build complex pages: you can copy the widget and simply replace the content. Another handy widget feature is the built-in text typographer.

Tagging system

Dina Garbuz
Project Manager
Dina Garbuz

An important feature of the site is end-to-end tagging of all content. First of all, it helps editors navigate through hundreds of pages in the admin panel and quickly find the ones they need. And the tag system is useful for users when they need to set up smart linking and displaying content in widgets. Tags can be encoded with colors: beautiful design gradients are pre-set.

List of events and feedback forms

A special auxiliary widget — schedule-is provided for the event page. We took into account different variations in it, for example, parallel threads in one event.

There are also separate widgets for describing speakers and an event entry form that can be configured via a special form Builder in the administrative panel.

Ability to configure the form fields yourself and specify whether are required. If you fill in the "Text on button" field, only the button will be displayed on the site. Clicking on it will open the form itself in a pop-up window. The created form is linked to a specific event and automatically displayed on its page.

Scenarios of entering

To decide on the university and specialty, to understand which exams are exactly useful and what documents are needed — the heads of applicants are often filled with such questions. Therefore, our task is to implement the portal pages in such a way that users can easily follow the entire receipt process and quickly understand the necessary information.

First, a person chooses a direction and immediately sees the numbered steps of entering, that is, receives an algorithm of actions. Then he learns a list of all the required documents. And the page ends with a feedback form so that all the user's questions are resolved for sure.

The content of each step of the receipt is configured in the administrative panel using widgets, which gives you a lot of design options: from simple text to inserting a news feed by a tag.

Pages of institutes and departments

Our task was to create succinct but simple pages for each Institute. The main difficulty was in the intricate structure and a large number of relationships between the elements. Also, the presentation of information differs for each type of user.

We implemented the pages as follows:

Pages consist entirely of widgets so that the client can always swap blocks, add new ones, and change their content, type, and order. For example, in the department's section, you don't need to set the content separately for each card: the information will be pulled up on its own, and in the widget, just select the desired institute. News for these pages is pulled up by a tag that is configured in the admin panel.

Legal requirement

In our country, there are state requirements for websites of educational organizations. They mainly relate to information that must be posted, as well as technological and software tools that are used for the operation of the site. In General, this work is quite painstaking, and you can not do without it.

For example, the Order of Rosobrnadzor No. 785 of 29.05.2014 requires a special section "Information about an educational organization", which must have a specific structure with a common navigation mechanism.

Separately, we note the work with micro-markup, which can also not be ignored. It affects the output in search engines — so search engines better read information about location, dates, contact numbers, and opening hours. This information is usually displayed in a snippet (a text fragment that describes the found link in the search results).

For an educational institution, it is important to mark up: General information about the organization and pages in this section, branches, and teachers, as well as a link to the version for the visually impaired, which is another mandatory requirement.

This version of the site is important for people with impaired vision. It allows you to choose color schemes, adjust letter spacing and font size, and allows you to hide images. The user can quickly adjust the interface for themselves: by clicking on the corresponding icon in the header, the appearance settings panel is displayed.

Questionnaires and voting

The testing system is configured through the administrative panel: you can create any tests with different types of questions and answers. A questionnaire is a separate widget that can be configured in a few clicks. It can be placed anywhere. The voting system is configured in the same way and can be inserted into any news item.

The results of all polls and votes are saved in the admin panel. They can be uploaded in XLS format for further processing.

State exam calculator

Each applicant wants to learn as quickly as possible about where they can go with their exam results. We have provided this opportunity, and now the site has a convenient tool for finding directions.

A person just needs to select the subjects in which they passed the exams and enter their points — they will see a list of areas that correspond to the selected exams. If their score is higher than the pass mark, the line will be highlighted in green.

Search on the site

Smart search displays tooltips in the site header when you enter a search query: the category and 3 most suitable results are suggested.

If you go to page 404, you will see the mascot RusNU — raccoon, which even has its own page in VK.

The full-text search is organized through the Sphinx system. It is good because it has a high speed of indexing and search, and is also able to integrate with database management systems.


Now we have launched the main portal, which completely replaced and improved the previous university website. But the work has not yet been completed, and there are many interesting plans ahead related to implementation:

  • Incoming list of students (with data import from 1C)
  • Personal accounts for students, teachers, and employees
  • Schedules (with data import from the internal information system)
  • Notification system on the site
  • Knowledge base
  • Extensive testing system for university students and staff
  • Narrower personalization for project roles

Scientia potentia est.

Let's discuss your project
Alexandra Shevchenko
Account manager
Alexandra Shevchenko

We will receive your request and send you an offer within 24 hours with an approximate estimate of the development cost and clarifying questions. After that, we will call you and discuss the project’s goals and requirements. And let’s get started.

Let's discuss your project
Alexandra Shevchenko
Account manager
Alexandra Shevchenko

We will receive your request and send you an offer within 24 hours with an approximate estimate of the development cost and clarifying questions. After that, we will call you and discuss the project’s goals and requirements. And let’s get started.