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Web Development Thread, Using WordPress as a school homepage... in Coding and Web Development; Hi all, My current place of employment is going through a complete rebrand and have asked me to look into ...
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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    Using WordPress as a school homepage...

    Hi all,

    My current place of employment is going through a complete rebrand and have asked me to look into website designing as our current site is pretty awful, its completely unsuitable for the non technical staff and costs a fortune every year,
    I have been recreating the site using Google Sites but its hard to make it look professional, which is unfortunate as it is so easy to edit the sites.

    I was looking into WordPress for the schools main website but was wondering if there were any problems with using it as a main school site, is anyone else using WordPress as there main website that I could take a look at?

    Thanks,

    Olliesaurus

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Yes! Do it! We've just made the jump, it makes life SO easy.

    Like many we were concerned about it's "blog" origin but that's easily stripped out. There's a couple of ten thousand themes to dip your toes into and modify as you see fit (we're using Mantra, awesomely customisable). We're also hosting it on site with a LAMP setup. Easy peasy, loads of documentation and an extremely helpful community.
    We have been worried about creating a new site as our more creative tech moved to pastures new leaving us a clueless bunch when it comes to websites. Yet after a little fiddling we found this to be a great solution.

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    Hi,
    We use wordpress for both the school and sixth form colleges websites St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School and Home - Byron Sixth Form College. The themes were purchased from themeforest. Never had any issues with using wordpress.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    I know this is preaching to the converted and stating the blindingly obvious, but -

    If you are hosting yourself make sure both Wordpress and your Lamp/Wamp environment is fully updated, default passwords are changed and you disable any services you don't need.

    We got hacked a couple of months ago and our entire site was deleted because I over looked something obvious. Thankfully we keep pretty regular backups and the disruptions was quiet minor (back up in less than half a day). If I remember rightly we'd left WebDAV enabled on the default password which then gave some miscreant full access to the server.

    This was Wordpress hosted on a Windows XAMPP server. We installed XAMPP and thought we locked everything down. Didn't realise that is not only had WebDAV, but it was enabled as standard...

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    ^Absolutely, worth repeating over and over! Easily done.

    Another handy thing is the multisite ability, so if you have faculties/departments or even groups of students that wish to put up their own page you can add a site as a subdomain or subfolder of the main site and give them full control without any impact on the main or other sites.

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    And delete/rename the default admin account to something more cryptic - BBC News - Wordpress website targeted by hackers

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I know this is preaching to the converted and stating the blindingly obvious, but -

    If you are hosting yourself make sure both Wordpress and your Lamp/Wamp environment is fully updated, default passwords are changed and you disable any services you don't need.

    We got hacked a couple of months ago and our entire site was deleted because I over looked something obvious. Thankfully we keep pretty regular backups and the disruptions was quiet minor (back up in less than half a day). If I remember rightly we'd left WebDAV enabled on the default password which then gave some miscreant full access to the server.

    This was Wordpress hosted on a Windows XAMPP server. We installed XAMPP and thought we locked everything down. Didn't realise that is not only had WebDAV, but it was enabled as standard...
    All good advice, and for this reason I personally wouldn't bother hosting Wordpress internally, unless you were using it only internally. Hosting is so cheap and easy, and they can take care of the security (though you still need to be careful with passwords)

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    Olliesaurus's Avatar
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    Hmmm, a lot of positives for WordPress!

    I will make a virtual server and give it a go, thanks for your feedback!

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    Hi guys, some good info here. We are looking at using Wordpress for a few of the classes just to have basic blogs, and it seems like you guys might be able to help me out.

    I have created an account for the school, with a view to adding each required class as a separate Page, but it seems any new Post that is created only goes on the homepage? I can see that you can add Pages below each other, but is there any way/plugin to add Posts to different Pages?

    Cheers

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    It's a difficult question to answer @Phildw - not because it's not easy, but there are thousands and thousands of ways. The best bet is usually to pick a decent all in one theme and use it's tools to do things how you want. For instance, we don't really use posts at all however used a plugin called "Posts in Pages" that allows us to embed posts in certain pages. Wordpress support forums are awesome too, both generally and for each theme and plugin.

  11. Thanks to synaesthesia from:

    Phildw (9th January 2014)

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    @Phildw - Have a look at Edublogs (Edublogs – education blogs for teachers, students and schools). It runs off of Wordpress and has been made primarily for education, might be worth a peek at.

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    Phildw (9th January 2014)

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    It's a difficult question to answer @Phildw - not because it's not easy, but there are thousands and thousands of ways. The best bet is usually to pick a decent all in one theme and use it's tools to do things how you want. For instance, we don't really use posts at all however used a plugin called "Posts in Pages" that allows us to embed posts in certain pages. Wordpress support forums are awesome too, both generally and for each theme and plugin.
    Quote Originally Posted by TomCollins View Post
    @Phildw - Have a look at Edublogs (Edublogs – education blogs for teachers, students and schools). It runs off of Wordpress and has been made primarily for education, might be worth a peek at.
    Excellent, thanks for the tips and the quick repsonse guys!

    Btw Synth I literally just read a post of yours from the summer regarding a humourous avary error message....

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    We use word press for our main site and sub sites. We bought hosting which allows us to use wordpress from our cpanel. It's great. Took some time to find a suitable theme and to mod it to our requirments but now its so easy to update and users don't need to have any web skills.

    Sandhurst School |

    We also use it for headteacher blog Headteacher Weekly Update

    Adam
    Last edited by aleach2; 9th January 2014 at 02:33 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phildw View Post
    ...

    I have created an account for the school, with a view to adding each required class as a separate Page, but it seems any new Post that is created only goes on the homepage? I can see that you can add Pages below each other, but is there any way/plugin to add Posts to different Pages?

    Cheers
    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    It's a difficult question to answer @Phildw - not because it's not easy, but there are thousands and thousands of ways. The best bet is usually to pick a decent all in one theme and use it's tools to do things how you want. For instance, we don't really use posts at all however used a plugin called "Posts in Pages" that allows us to embed posts in certain pages. Wordpress support forums are awesome too, both generally and for each theme and plugin.
    Just a little follow up to my question from yesterday, thought it might help some people in the future. Had a look at that plugin and some others, but was unable to use it. The reason for this is that if you have a blog hosted on Wordpress itself you can only use the pre-installed plugins, and cannot add any yourself.

    However I did find that the answer to what I wanted to do was actually very simple, and that is that you can customise the top menu to link to categories of posts, and not pages, and this will achieve exactly the effect I was looking for. See here: Custom menus | wordpress tips for more info. Also you can change what page people see when they first access your blog by following the instructions here: WordPress › Support » Change home page.

    Hope that is of some help to someone in the future, and thanks again for your help (@synaesthesia in particular).
    Last edited by Phildw; 10th January 2014 at 11:04 AM.

  17. Thanks to Phildw from:

    synaesthesia (10th January 2014)

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