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General Chat Thread, Web stuff advice please? in General; Hello all and apologies for such a complicated first post... Ive recently taken control of a primary school network. Previously ...
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    Web stuff advice please?

    Hello all and apologies for such a complicated first post...

    Ive recently taken control of a primary school network. Previously I worked as assistant network manager for an Academy where most of my day to day stuff was server side jobs, network issues and most of the less trivial jobs. I didnt do anyting with web as they had a webmaster.

    In the new job though theyve asked If I have the skills to do a website for them, with a VLE. My web skills are ok, ive done personal websites and ive used various CMS etc.

    This thread is more me thinking out aloud. If I wanted to setup a school website how is the best way to go about it from scratch.

    1. Could I run up a virtual server, install IIS and away I go using expression web or dreamweaver.
    2. SHould i use opensource software for the website, like joomla?
    3. For the VLE is moodle the best option and will it integrate into AD?
    4. I dont have a static IP or anything, will the coucnil supply this and then I do my own DNS?
    5. SHould I put in a business adsl line with static Ip and run the website from their?

    So many questions, I also want to implement OWA for smartphone users etc, can this be done on an adsl line?

    Thanks for your input in advance..

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    Quote Originally Posted by phuzion View Post
    Hello all and apologies for such a complicated first post...
    Welcome and don't forget to pop over the the New EduGeek Users thread to let us know more about you.

    Ive recently taken control of a primary school network. Previously I worked as assistant network manager for an Academy where most of my day to day stuff was server side jobs, network issues and most of the less trivial jobs. I didnt do anyting with web as they had a webmaster.

    In the new job though theyve asked If I have the skills to do a website for them, with a VLE. My web skills are ok, ive done personal websites and ive used various CMS etc.

    This thread is more me thinking out aloud. If I wanted to setup a school website how is the best way to go about it from scratch.

    1. Could I run up a virtual server, install IIS and away I go using expression web or dreamweaver.
    Go for what is more efficient. A virtual server can be really handy as long as you have the machine to host it on. No point straining an already overloaded machine. Give it a go and see what the impact is, but try to have a plan to beef up the host box, or move to a dedicated box if needed.

    2. SHould i use opensource software for the website, like joomla?
    Have a look to see what they already have access to via the LA or possibly even a local cluster. I would be tempted to say stick to a pre-built CMS such as Joomla until you know what the school wants long term. Also remember that the school might want an all singing and dancing website, but try getting them to confirm who is going to update it, how frequently, with what materials (text, photos, artwork, video, etc) and go for the option which is most impact for least effort ... it is not about being lazy ... it is about being efficient.

    3. For the VLE is moodle the best option and will it integrate into AD?
    Again, see what is already available to the school. If they don't have a VLE then it might be that they haven't decide what they want to do or even how. It might be that a combination of Joomla and wordpress might be all that is needed ... or it might be that Sharepoint could change the back office functions of teh school and still give you the stuff you need for the website, VLE and so on. Have a look at the The Learning Platform Network for resources about adopting and VLE / learning platform.

    4. I dont have a static IP or anything, will the coucnil supply this and then I do my own DNS?
    Speak to your LA about this ... it does vary slightly from LA / RBC to LA / RBC but it should be fine.

    5. SHould I put in a business adsl line with static Ip and run the website from their?
    Don't pay for anything you don't have to ... if you can make use of an existing service then do so ... or until you need to look around on the grounds of suitability and cost (suitability should be the main concern)

    So many questions, I also want to implement OWA for smartphone users etc, can this be done on an adsl line?

    Thanks for your input in advance..
    Hope this helps ... no doubt others have a lot of advice too.

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    try and stay away from IIS and go for apache .

    Stick with Joomla . If you was to ever leave its a lot easier for some one to manage a joomla site

    VLE with tie in with AD easy.

    Unsure why you want another Internet connection ? Your current provider should be able to set you up with everything you require.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phuzion View Post
    Could I run up a virtual server, install IIS and away I go using expression web or dreamweaver.
    Yes, using a virtual machine would be the best way to go about things. I don't see what you'd need Expression Web or Dreamweaver for if you're using a content management system package, though - they should do all the page loayout stuff for you.

    SHould i use opensource software for the website, like joomla?
    Yes. Joomla, WordPress and Drupal are (I think) the three biggest content management systems around and are always adding new features in competition with each other.

    For the VLE is moodle the best option
    Yes.

    and will it integrate into AD?
    Yes.

    I dont have a static IP or anything, will the coucnil supply this and then I do my own DNS?
    Good question, it rather depends on the council. They might not want to let any incoming traffic through to your site, they might require any websites, etc, to be hosted on their servers offsite.

    SHould I put in a business adsl line with static Ip and run the website from their?
    No, your council-provided service proabably stipulates that they must be the only providor used, for security purposes.

    I also want to implement OWA for smartphone users etc, can this be done on an adsl line?
    OWA is just another web site, you should be able to use whatever Internet connection you like (assuming you can get traffic forwaded to it, of course).

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