Educational Software Thread, Wordpress for Schools in Technical; Hi guys,
I am trying to get everything ready for the new curriculum for one of the schools I look ...
16th July 2014, 01:59 PM #1
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Wordpress for Schools
I am trying to get everything ready for the new curriculum for one of the schools I look after. They have bought into the Rising Stars Switched On Computing Curriculum. So far it seems fine. They have most of the software needs, but under one of the units for Year 5, they have talked about using Wordpress. Googling it seems to show that you can actually install it on the local server. Is this to make sure they only have access to it internally?? I want to try and make it as secure as possible..
How have you guys setup Wordpress (or an alternative) for your schools???
16th July 2014, 02:08 PM #2
I have my own hosting (£8/month) with a number of domains hosted on there and they're all done in WP these days. The host even provides one click installs using Softaculous.
I'd setup a VM LAMP environment (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP)
Once you've got it installed actually using it and managing it is all done thru a browser so it's a doddle.
16th July 2014, 03:23 PM #3
Is this for Unit 5.5 We are bloggers? We're going to use Primaryblogger to have a blog for each class which they can add to as they go which is Wordpress based, and still means they can use the Dashboard tools, HTML editting etc. without having to host Wordpress. Each pupil has to have their own account which we've done via gmail addresses at the moment.
We've been trialling this this year and so far it's worked pretty well.
16th July 2014, 07:10 PM #4
I know it sounds a chore but honestly it's not hard and very reliable. Not to mention the cost is right ;-)
16th July 2014, 08:08 PM #5
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We have WordPress mu installed on site with it linked to ad users use there normal log in
16th July 2014, 08:22 PM #6
I setup wordpress in house on an ubuntu server and just made it into a network, allowed self signup on the site and let the class go off on it. One Wordpress Network per class and then a plugin which listed all of the sites on the network on a page on the main wordpress blog.
Worked very well actually after some teething troubles.
17th July 2014, 09:02 AM #7
Go on, share the learning. What were the issues you had and how were they overcome?
Originally Posted by Cache
17th July 2014, 07:52 PM #8
To be fair a lot of it was on the technical side of it, relating to getting out through a proxy liuke this: Ubuntu Server Wordpress Proxy Settings Not Working and for us then having a mail relay which worked for sending out usernames and passwords.
We restricted the signup domain to the school one and had a couple of addresses setup for each blog to use, however while wordpress for the most part respects the admin email address for sending things out, it also quite heavily falls back on a default address of email@example.com. "QnD wp_mail filter" fixed this so that we could use whatever email address we wanted for emailing out, without having to fall back to wordpress@
For the list of blogs on a single page we used "Multi-Site Site List Shortcode"
In the end, this was my checklist for configuring the server/blogs (before Ubuntu 14.04 came out so didn't have Zend OpCache):
ICT Staff were added as Network Admins for the site so that they could go and manage any of the blogs and deal with any issues.
Enable ModRewrite (sudo a2enmod rewrite)
Install Postfix - configure as a satellite
Alter php.ini so sendmail is configured, use -f firstname.lastname@example.org
Add Proxy to WP-Config:
Add and Activate email filter plugin - http://www.butlerblog.com/2011/07/14/changing-the-wp_mail-from-address-with-a-plugin/
define( 'WP_ALLOW_MULTISITE', true );
Additional Server Notes
Install php5-curl (sudo apt-get install php5-curl)
Installed SUHOSIN for PHP (apt-get install php5-suhosin)
Installed APC (apt-get install php-apc)
Increase APC cache size (/etc/php5/apache2/conf.d/apc.ini)
Increased Max Upload File Size
Increase Max post size
After that, it was just gradually adding a few more file types to allowed upload types as and when required
Last edited by Cache; 17th July 2014 at 07:57 PM.
17th July 2014, 08:00 PM #9
I'm starting to like the idea of having our own webserver in school to run this if I can find a spare machine to load up. How many of these installs were done in primary schools - just trying to gauge whether it's achievable?
17th July 2014, 08:04 PM #10
Ours is a secondary school, however the virtual machine I'm using to run 6 Networks which can cope with 30 simultaneous users after a bit of tweaking using APC is using 1GB of RAM with 2 virtual CPU's, so it's nothing special. A half decent desktop should be able to cope.
Last edited by Cache; 17th July 2014 at 08:05 PM.
17th July 2014, 08:57 PM #11
Originally Posted by Bananas
You may just be getting me hooked on this idea. Can I just check - is it a two-step process?
1) Set up a hosting process. Does this have to be a Wordpress hosting service like this? https://www.123-reg.co.uk/web-hosting/wordpress.shtml
2) Then set up the LAMP environment. Could I do this on a Windows desktop (whilst giving myself a crash course in Ubuntu?)
17th July 2014, 09:46 PM #12
It's either or, you use a hosting company like above to host your wordpress
You setup your own lamp environment to do it locally.
If you want to play I can probably set something up on my host for you to have a little play with if you like?
17th July 2014, 10:32 PM #13
Ah I see .... I think I'd go with my own environment if I could but it depends how much time would be spent putting things right if they go wrong lol!
I have set up a school website in Wordpress (www.fritchleyprimaryschool.co.uk) so I am relatively ok with the front end - it's the bit underneath that drives it all which I need to learn - is this what I could access if I took up your kind offer?
17th July 2014, 10:54 PM #14
Yeah I could set you up a temp account in cpanel, you can either install WordPress by hand or my host offers softaculous which installs WordPress using a script so all you do is click a button.
I'll have a look tomorrow, I reckon someone must've setup a lamp vm that could be nicked. If not if I've got a spare bit of time tomorrow I've got vmware workstation on my laptop I'll see about setting up a vm. Once I've done it I'll see about uploading it somewhere and share it out, no licencing issues so might be relatively easy way of sorting it.
Plus it'd be an environment for other software like if you wanted to get into Moodle, Joomla stuff like that.
I'll start on this tomorrow it'll give me something less boring to do
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