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Windows Thread, Wordpress for school website in Technical; Hi Guys I am just wondering whether any of you have used Wordpress to setup your school website? I have ...
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    Wordpress for school website

    Hi Guys

    I am just wondering whether any of you have used Wordpress to setup your school website? I have setup a test account on our web server with wordpress on it but not sure where to start?

    It is for a primary school so the idea is to make it very child friendly as well as very interactive!

    Have any of you used this and maybe send me links to your site so that i can have a look at it!
    And maybe some sort of guide/tutorials ?

    Thanks

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    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Wyke Regis Junior School

    Yes and I have had no problems and it has coped with our rather large site, this on basic £60 per year hosting too.

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    Do you reckon you could put me to the right direction as to how you put the whole thing together? YOur site looks absolutely amazing and is exactly what we were after?

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    I've used Wordpress to setup the Fairfax School website using a custom theme that I created.

    In my opinion it's an excellent choice for a school CMS, as most others are too bloated and overkill for a school site - especially a primary school site. I'm sure you'll find it ideal for the job!

    Depending on whether you're into HTML/CSS/PHP you might want to look into theme development, best place to start is using a framework such as Hybrid or Thematic. Otherwise there are plentiful free themes out there!

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    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marvin View Post
    Do you reckon you could put me to the right direction as to how you put the whole thing together? YOur site looks absolutely amazing and is exactly what we were after?
    Find a theme you really like, Atahualpa is one of the best and easiest to modify that I have found. Install it and have a play. It will take you a while to really get to grips with it, but it is so flexible it really is worth the effort.

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    I would echo all of the above.

    I recently rebuilt our school website using the Atahualpa theme on WordPress, and SMT have been extremely pleased with it, especially as our old website (which looked like carp) was costing us over £1,500/year(!) in hosting and maintenance through a web design company. They also wanted £2,000 just to update the site theme, which had astonishingly been agreed to by the Head before I arrived and put the brakes on it!

    It's now costing less than 10% of the running cost, and with the huge saving on the redesign the Bursar was more than happy for us to make a donation to the Atahualpa developer, which gets you priority support with any problems you have with the theme - though I haven't had any.

    Ideally you'd use some external hosting that supports PHP and MySQL, which isn't that expensive and is worth the money to take the load an security exposure off of your own server (assuming your LA isn't already providing that for you). I'm using Zen Internet Hosting - prices are reasonable and the support is excellent. I'm sure someone will soon recommend CS New Media for hosting as a lot of people here use them, but having tested WordPress on their servers, I know for a fact that the auto-upgrade features don't quite work the way they should on their platform, and they've not yet figured out why.

    Some plugins I used to enhance the site:

    • Acronyms - very useful for automatically adding explanations for all those EYFS and PSHE terms that no-one outside education knows.
    • Advanced Most Recent Posts - Nice for adding pictures to your recent posts feed (we use this for news articles put out by marketing).
    • Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator - helps Google, Bing, and other search engines index the site
    • HTML Page Sitemap - automatically creates a human-readable site map page (not the XML type that search engines use)
    • Lightbox Plus - absolute must-have for displaying photos in a gorgeous lightbox effect
    • Page Links To - Atahualpha and other themes will buyild page navigation menus for you. If you want to add arbitrary links into those automatic menus, use this to do it.
    • pageMash - very useful for re-organising pages in the aforementioned menus as the WordPress interface is a bit clumsy for arbitrary ordering.
    • Role Manager - a bit more advanced, I use this to delegate permissions to edit certain pages to other members of staff without giving the full rights that the WordPress standard Editor role would normally give them
    • Simple Section Navigation - Good little page navigation widget
    Last edited by AngryTechnician; 27th May 2010 at 10:48 AM. Reason: Grammar

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