It is well known that awareness of WordPress solutions in education is not great considering is potential and relatively small price tag. The reason behind this issue is that the big school website development companies over the last two decades have sold proprietary solutions to schools across the board at large prices. Now with Federal funding gone from site development, schools need to be made aware of the nimbleness and scale-ability of WordPress.
One of its greatest factors is the scalability it possesses. It has the ability to do a small school or instructor website, but can also be scaled to a multi-site solution providing separate mini sites to separate colleges within a university, individual schools in a district, and individual teacher/instructor sites. The goal is to determine the ultimate goal and then design the framework accordingly.
Single sites are great for a small organization or individual needing a web presence. This can be achieved through two different approaches which I will explain later.
In a multi-site network, there is the main site for the school or district and then there are micro sites. Each micro site is related to the main, but possess its own uniquenesses and administrators. This structure is a little more complicated to roll out, but done correctly, will be the best investment.
Money Saving Design
It has been acknowledged that large sums of money can be saved by switching web platforms. Yes, there might be a design cost up front to redevelop and migrate all the data, but overall the yearly upkeep will be reduced in sums. The reason for reduction is that the software is FREE. The costs are in the support system of the site and any ongoing customizations that are necessary.
The large companies that have held the marketshare for school websites know that their code is their intelectual property and therefore they can charge the monthly fees to maintain those sites and environment. The content that exists in those sites is not easily extracted and moved to other platform; it becomes part of the structure. With WordPress, it’s different. The content can easily be exported and moved to another platform.
One Size Can Fit All
The great thing about WordPress being open-source is that there can be a solution for everyone and at varying costs. Hosted solutions are available for tutors, teachers, and students who just need a bare bones site. Meanwhile, the sky becomes the limit when a school or teacher chooses to establish their own self-hosted solution and chooses their own add ons. It’s just in the goal and needs of the individual or institution.
If you haven’t heard of WordPress, check it out and do some research. It will change education!