Today I had the easy task of showing some of the wonderful school office staff how to update the school website. It’s pretty straightforward, but compared to using the deeply awful web tool of a certain Scandinavian MLE, it’s a delightful walk in the park.
Our school’s new website is now live – hurrah! I’m pretty impressed with how it’s turned out, mainly due to the elegant and powerful wonder that is WordPress. It hopefully should be easy to update as well, particularly once I’ve shown the senior leaders how to add posts and edit pages.
For those who know which school I go to, the website is www…sch.uk. For those who don’t, post me a comment and I’ll email you the link!
For those avid readers out there who compulsively check my blog every day for new updates and insights, my sincerest apologies for not posting for the last week. Y’see, I’ve been a-building a fan-dangled new website for my school using the wonder that is WordPress. Our current website is built using the web-hosting tool of a certain MLE, which takes all its eye-melting ugliness and incomprehensibleness and then foists it upon the unsuspecting Interweb public. As LGfL offers free hosting as part of LGfL2.0, I thought it was at least worth exploring other options for websites. Such as WordPress.
The path to an open source (i.e. free!) Content Management System is not entirely straightforward however. Here are some of the hurdles for building a WordPress website using LGfL’s hostings.
- Logging on using FTP. Atomwide do give very clear and helpful instructions, but I still initially found this hard.
- Installing WordPress using the famous five minute install. Easy once you know how I suppose!
- Choosing a theme. I ended up plumping for the ‘twenty eleven’ theme, which turned out to be quite a good idea as loads of people use it and so there’s plenty of community support out there on the web.
- Editing the styling etc. of the theme. I got stuck with a permissions error, which got me confused for a while. But thankfully the WordPress ‘codex’ had lots of helpful advice.
- Setting up a child theme. I was a little dubious about directly editing the stylesheets and code of a theme and then discovered that I wasn’t meant to but rather set up a child theme instead. It’s dashed clever really, and means you can tweak a theme to your heart’s content and then put everything back if you break things (as I invariably did).
- Making use of widgets and the like. WordPress comes with several options for what to put in the sidebar, but you can also download thousands of other widgets and plugins as well. Very handy!
- Using Keynote for easy image editing/creation. This might seem a bit bonkers, but Keynote is actually really helpful for creating web images. Everything works in pixels, and then you’re only an export away from the perfect .PNG file. Hurrah!
I would definitely not call myself a CSS Master by any means yet, but I think the nearly-finished site is looking quite good. Maybe I’ll let you see it one day.