When creating a school website, there are several tools and low cost options to consider. I personally recommend WordPress because I use and love it, and because it is easy to set up several pages, add contact forms, and upload files and images pretty seamlessly. If you are adventurous, and have advanced tech skills, you can also look into your own hosting using WordPress as well as the many plugins available. Additionally, there are several others including: Wix, SquareSpace, and Weebly that also offer paid and free versions, as well as website “builders” that step you through the process. With WordPress, after choosing a site name, you can sign up for a .com or .org address and pay around $20/year to have your own url that doesn’t include .wordpress.com –which looks much more professional.
As mentioned in the previous post, there are several key pieces of information that should be included on a school website.
In this series of posts, I will be demonstrating how to create and add these simple features to a standard WordPress website. Many of these features overlap in how to add them to your site, for example:
- Adding and editing a page
- Add and edit your About page to give information about your school
- Add a page telling about school faculty and staff, and include photos
- Grades and subjects taught
- Adding a contact form
- Adding widgets
- Embedding a calendar to list upcoming school events
- Adding a follow button, so parents and others can be notified of updates
- Adding an external link as a menu item
- Providing access to school email or grades
On a school website it would be very helpful to include access to school email, grades, or other external websites or platforms. This can easily be done by creating a menu item that is an external link. That way, if you have your menu items along the top, as I do on this website, the link to grades or email will be easily accessible, and will take users directly to the relevant website. Here’s how…
First, you’ll go back to the main menu on the left, and scroll all the way to the bottom to “WP Admin”. Clicking there will allow you to see some more customization options. Look down the menu to the left, and hover over “Appearance” and then choose “Menus”. From here you should see options as to how to add items to your menu–including custom link. Click there to add your custom URL and add it to your menu. Voila!