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Thread: Where to start - New school website

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1

    Where to start - New school website

    Hi all,

    I am a teacher in a Secondary School and I have been set the task of designing a new up to date school website. As a lot of school website are very unimpressive I want to make sure ours looks professional and modern.

    Unfortuantely my web dev. skills are certainly not modern. I have experience of creating simple websites using DreamWeaver. I have got 2 days per week until Christmas to get a new website created.

    Could someone give me advice on what software I should be looking at creating this in. As my skills are limited maybe with some templates and good code libraries I can call on rather than developing everything from scratch.

    I can get educational discounts on things like the Adobe suites so software cost is not too much of an issue. Also any advice on what software to use so that non-technical staff can be tasked with updating news feeds etc?

    Thanks,

    Andy

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Bristol, England, United Kingdom
    Posts
    192
    When you say you have experience in Dreamweaver, is that the only experience you have? Do you know any HTML, CSS and more of the advanced languages such as JavaScript?

    If all you know is some basic Dreamweaver, you may struggle to develop a professional, comprehensive website for your school. May I ask what you teach and why you have been chosen for the job? With respect, it sounds as if you're not a web developer, so why have the school not gone for a web development company and/or professional team/individual?

    What software you use to create the website depends on what the website is going to do. Anyway, I'd recommend using the Joomla! content management system for your website over any other CMS available, provided you're only going to need things like school information displayed, information about teachers/students/timetables/etc. Joomla! is easy-to-use, and can be learnt by the non-technical staff in a week or two with a little practice.

    Can you provide more details?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    452
    i will recommend you to use wordpress, you will find so many templates for school related websites, you will be able to customize those templates easily.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Manhattan, New York
    Posts
    8
    I agree with Zabi. Find a wordpress template and go from there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    1

    Instead of going to coding straight away...

    Write things down first, like who you're going to make the website for, what information should be on it, basic content structure, basic functionality requirements.

    After that, use something to create a sketch of your website. I'm a fan of Pencil, but you could use other drawing software, or just, you know, pen and paper.

    Then look at the software you're going to use.

    BTW; for letting users update newsfeeds on your Wordpress-blog, I can advise Windows Live Writer for basic functionality and Office-based interface

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    new york
    Posts
    266
    DREAMWEAVER is an excellent tool for creating/editing web sites. The best way to use Dreamweaver is in Split-screen mode, which gives you the Code screen on left and Display on right. Don't be one of those goofers who don't want to touch HTML/CSS code so make use the code screen to write your code.

    Dreamweaver gives you lots of helpful tidbits. Once you develop a working layout for your pages, you can create your own template with editable sections for content that varies from page-to-page. Getting stuck in another person's template is bad news.

    Let's face it, one of the greatest ways to develop your own design framework is to View Source (including CSS and JavaScript files) of a web site you like to see how it is done. Also do your homework to learn HTML, CSS and JavaScript basics. The CONTENT should be the primary concern. What is the purpose of the site?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Akron, OH
    Posts
    1,132
    As others have already said, I'd recommend loading in Wordpress and selecting a theme. It'll be the quickest, most professional looking route to go. Good luck.
    I'm always up for networking with fellow web professionals. Connect with me on LinkedIn if you like!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    8

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Pakistan
    Posts
    16
    Yeah WordPress free open source CMS can be a great help you can simply add a free theme in it and its there your website is ready ..instead of doing a lot code in html and css

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