Thinking of using WordPress, a free open-source platform, to host out-of-class discussions, student responses, or a class homepage? You have a few choices make before you get started. Use this tutorial as a guide for choosing the option that works best for your needs:
|Is WordPress free?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can I run it without installing software?||Yes||Yes||No|
|Is the site hosted for me?||Yes||Yes||No|
|Can I choose my own domain name?||No (Premium $18)||No||Yes|
|Can I use existing themes?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Can I customize themes?||No (Premium $30)||Yes*||Yes|
|Can I install plugins?||No||Yes*||Yes|
|Is there unlimited space to host media?||No (Premium $20-$200)||Yes||Yes|
|Is it free of advertisements?||No||Yes||Yes|
|If it breaks will someone else fix it?||Yes||Yes||No*|
|Is it very stable?||Yes||No||No|
* Discuss with CDLR staff.
- Themes control the look and feel of the site. When choosing a theme consider the layout, colors, menu options, and available “widgets.”
- Widgets are ways of organizing the display of content in the sidebar areas. Widgets are used to show post archives, recent comments, an “about” text, tag clouds, RSS feeds, calendars and other items.
- Categories can be used like tags to indicate subjects that are relevant to posts and to allow users to see posts that share common subjects. They can also be used to organize posts onto different pages.
- Plugins expand the functionality of your WordPress site to add private forums, integrate your site with other social media platforms, offer search engine optimization, and much more.