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School Websites: Walkthrough

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Video Walkthrough – 2014 Responsive School Theme

See what’s new, how to put news with images on the front page, how to edit your staff list and more…

Audience / Front Pages

A good question to keep in mind when you are working on your site is “Who is this for?”. This can help you decide if something is appropriate on your site or where it might be most appropriate. Generally, the following is a good hierarchy to keep in mind:

New Visitors
Your front page should be a well thought out presentation to those that are not familiar with your school. This is your chance to look good to those that might be moving from out of town (or across town) and are interested in learning more about you. Your front page IS your first impression.

Community Members without Students
There will be those that live in the neighborhood you serve but don’t have students that may want to know what’s going on. Perhaps they want to know about academics in your school. Maybe they want to know about any activities that might interest them. Your site should not be so focused on talking to parents and students that they already feel unwelcome before getting past the front page.

Parents and Students
When we get to these groups, we are talking about communities that you already have a relationship with. It’s easy to tell these folks (“Look on our parents page”, or “Check out the Scholar Station” ). Creating unique pages on your site for these unique groups allows you to provide a LOT of information for them in one place without falling into the “Put it on the front page” trap.

Once you have a front page that serves as a great first impression for the first two groups, it should take a lot of thought to edit it further. Consider how you can serve all of your audiences better by giving them unique experiences rather than trying to serve them all in one place.

Standards for LPS School Web Sites

Since the 2010-2011 academic year, school sites have been asked to have the following elements on their front page:

  • A message from and photo of the principal
  • Start and end times for school day
  • Basic contact information: phone number, address, phone, fax

We encourage schools to position their sites toward an audience that is unfamiliar with their community and use the font page as a way to welcome these individuals to your school and introduce them to the wonderful aspects of your environment. Smaller sections of the front page can still be used to highlight current announcements and secondary pages can be focused on specific audiences such as parents to serve them better.

What about High Schools?

While High Schools should still have very easy access to basic school information and a contact form on the front page, a principal letter and photo can be placed on a separate Principal’s page if that is preferred.

Who typically updates the site at a school?

There is no typical situation. We have principals, office staff, SEMs and teachers serving as primary site editors throughout the district. This is determined by who a school has on staff that may be interested in maintaining the site and who the principal feels has the ability to fit it into their other daily duties. It is recommended that the school website be maintained in the office as the school website is really an extension of the school office. School websites are best when they provide information that would otherwise require a call to the office (When is that event? What do we need to bring? How much does it cost? Who teaches there? Where can I find your building?). Since these are the questions that are regularly answered by the office staff, they tend to be most in tune with what would be helpful to have online.

“How do we do this?”

School Information

The basic school information is already part of your template. The principal name and email address along with school street address and phone numbers can be found in the mega-footer at the bottom of each page on the site.

Principal Letter/Photo

You are certainly free to place a photo/letter on your site yourself if you have the expertise on site to do it, but you can certainly ask to have it done as well. Simply email your new letter and/or photo to Brian Fitzgerald (bfitz@lps.org).

Where Do I Get a Photo Taken?

Please contact Cynthia Wehland-Falk (cwehlan@lps.org), our district photographer and she can either coordinate a time with you to get a photograph or tell you of an upcoming time when several folks might be getting photographed.

Written by admin

January 5th, 2017 at 9:10 am

Posted in .U,WordPress

School Websites: Getting Started

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Have you been asked to help maintain a school site? Here are a few steps to help you get going.

1. Create a WordPress Account

If you haven’t signed in to WordPress at LPS before (or aren’t sure), you’ll need to before we can add you as an editor of the school website. Simply go to http://www.lps.org/go/wplogin and sign in with your LPS login and password. If you do this and you already had an account, don’t worry. Nothing will happen — you will not now have two accounts.

2. Become a member of the school site

It’s possible that you may have a person at your school that knows how to add you as a member of the site (any site editor can do this). If you are currently editor-less OR if no one at your school knows how to do this, please have your principal email me at bfitz@lps.org to have you added as an editor of the site.

3. Login and Edit

Assuming that you are perhaps new to WordPress (or at least new to editing a school site), I’ve made the 15 minute video below to walk you through the basics of editing your site. You’ll also want to look at the walkthrough page for more information about school websites.

4. Sign up for Staff Development

We have two staff development courses that you’ll want to attend. The first is a WordPress Basics course and the second is WordPress for School Website Managers.

WordPress Basics is a two hour class that will teach you how to use WordPress. It will cover topics like creating pages and posts, managing your menu, working with widgets and uploading images.

WordPress for School Website Managers is a two hour course that discusses the school websites and provides time for questions and work directly related to school sites.

Written by admin

January 5th, 2017 at 9:06 am

Posted in .U,WordPress

Adding Users to Your WordPress Site

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Want to get some help with your site or have plans to work on another site as a group, WordPress makes it easy to invite others in.

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Written by Brian Fitzgerald

September 9th, 2016 at 10:54 am

Posted in .U,WordPress

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Transferring ownership of a non-personal blog on WP.LPS.ORG

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This is how to transfer access to a non-personal LPS wordpress site from one LPS staff member to another. Non-personal sites are those that don’t contain a username in the address. For example, while you can transfer access for a site like http://wp.lps.org/chessclub, you should not transfer access for a site like http://wp.lps.org/jdoe.

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Written by Brian Fitzgerald

May 5th, 2016 at 4:25 pm

Posted in .U,WordPress

Creating a Photo Gallery with WordPress and an iPad

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The following video uses an iPad, but the iPhone/iPod Touch app is nearly identical. The WordPress app also exists for Android but it works a little different.

Written by admin

November 20th, 2013 at 9:06 am

Posted in .U,Video,WordPress

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Staff Lists for School Web Sites

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For as long as we’ve had school websites, one of the toughest tasks each year has been to maintain the staff list. It’s never just been a matter of making sure that the names of positions were up to date — but usually also included keeping links to staff members’ websites and other online resources up to date.

For the past few years we have offered an embeddable staff list which uses district data to keep these lists up to date, then provides individual staff members a way to update details of their listing including their preferred name, position and links to web resources.

The automated system isn’t perfect as the staff whose primary location is a particular school isn’t always the same as who that location considers to be that staff due to itinerant staff, staff on leave and other factors. In addition to this, while our system can display school photos once they have been taken and entered into the system, it uses ID badge photos when those are not available which are typically not very nice photos.

The following 20 minute-ish video walks through the staff list system and discusses some of its features and issues.

Written by admin

August 24th, 2013 at 7:30 am

Posted in .U,Video,WordPress

Creating a PhotoBlog with WordPress

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Enjoy taking photos and want a web site that is a great showcase for them? In this video, I show you how in a few minutes, you can have a site that is a fantastic home for your pictures.

Written by Brian Fitzgerald

August 20th, 2013 at 10:40 am

Adding a Calendar to a WordPress Web Site

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Create Your Calendar

If you don’t already have a calendar that you want to put on your wordpress site, you need to create one. You can do this by clicking on the small gear after the word Calendars in your left column

Create Your Calendar

Name Your Calendar

Name your calendar something useful to you and hit “OK”

Name Your Calendar

Add Events

Ensuring that your new calendar is selected [1], add some events to your calendar [2]. Sometimes its easiest to unselect your other calendars to ensure stuff is going on the right calendar, but it’s not necessary.

Add Events

Once your calendar has stuff on it, it’s time to share it

You can share your calendar by clicking on the small down arrow after your calendar name and selecting “Share Calendar”

Share and Get Web Address

You want to share this calendar with “Public” so that visitors to your web page can view the it [1]. You also need to copy the address to the public calendar by right-clicking on the address after the word “View” and selecting “Copy Link Address” (Chrome) or “Copy Link Location” (Firefox) [2]. If you do not have a right mouse button to click on this, you can hold down the control key on your mac keyboard while you click OR with a mac trackpad you can click with two fingers instead of one.

Hit “OK” to save your changes and close the dialog once you have done this step.

Share and Get Web Address

WordPress: Add a Calendar Page

Now we need a page to put this calendar on to. In WordPress, select Pages and “Add New”

WordPress: Add a Calendar Page

Putting the Calendar on Your Page

There are quite a few steps here, so we’ll go one at a time

  1. Change your formatting option to “Text” so you can place your calendar code into this page.
  2. Type the following into your page: <iframe style=”border: none;” src=”
  3. After this, paste in the address you copied from Zimbra
  4. Finish it off by typing: ” width=”100%” height=”1000″></iframe> (yours should now look similar to the example shown)
  5. If you are using the standard LPS staff theme, I’d select the “No Sidebar” option under Template to give you the full width of the page for your calendar
  6. Finally, hit “Publish”
Putting the Calendar on Your Page

Hit “View Page”

Hit "View Page"

Calendar on WordPress!!

That’s it! You have a calendar in your WordPress page. Want to add or remove events? Just go to zimbra and take care of your calendar like any other calendar you would have. You can even share that calendar like other Zimbra calendars and let others help manage it.

Calendar on WordPress!!

Written by Brian Fitzgerald

August 9th, 2013 at 8:11 am

Posted in WordPress

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Using the Link Widget

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The link widget is a great way to give folks easy access to related and important resources from nearly any page of your WordPress web site.

Written by Brian Fitzgerald

March 3rd, 2011 at 3:36 pm

WordPress and Your Mobile

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WordPress has applications available for iOS, Android and Blackberry. If your phone/handheld uses one of these operating systems, you could have a site management tool right in your pocket!

To start using WordPress on your mobile device, do the following:

  1. Go to your site admin on a standard computer browser and select “Settings” > “Writing”. Check the “XML-RPC” box and save the setting.
  2. Install the WordPress application from your device’s app store (iOS, Android, BlackBerry).
  3. Launch and configure your WordPress app. Each version of the app looks a little different, but you will want to setup a “self-hosted” wordpress installation, use “wp.lps.org” as the site address, then enter your LPS login and password.
  4. Once you are this far, you will be able to choose the sites that you wish to manage from your device. Visit your application preferences to set up notifications if you have a site that accepts comments.

Written by Brian Fitzgerald

March 3rd, 2011 at 2:24 pm

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