At the start of this term I create a website for my classes. There were a number of reasons why I chose to do this. Last year I attended a number of good professional learning sessions about implementing technology, making web pages, learning about wikis, web 2.0 tools and practising using a number of Adobe products.
The problem is without my own class blog or website I had nowhere to upload many of the web 2.0 applications I was creating. I tried out Wikispaces and while I don’t want to write a critical review until I give it another chance, I did find it a little slow and cumbersome. While I understand there can be benefits having a wiki over a blog, I found the lack of customisation options a drawback. Positioning objects on the screen for me was frustrating in Wikispaces and since I know the basics of HTML, Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Flash I wanted to use these skills.
That’s when someone suggested I use WordPress. I have found WordPress to be an excellent choice for my own school site. WordPress is free to use and you can access thousands of great templates for free. There are also many free plug-ins which you can easily add such as language translators, menus and social media tools. For me a great feature is that you can also edit the code easily to make further customisations.
WordPress has built in features so you can block your site from Google and other search engines. You can also password protect pages and posts to keep your site private for within the school only. WordPress also gives you the option to moderate all posts before they appear on the site, which is great for school teachers.
I have really enjoyed learning WordPress as a Content Management System and I have been able to learn more about CSS and a little about coding with PHP. That’s the great thing about using WordPress, they make it easy for people that don’t want to look at code, but make the code easily accessible for anyone wanting to take that route.
Has anyone else had any other experiences hosting their own school blog, website or wiki?