My local public school, West Pymble Public School, is a lovely school with a great community. Although there are many awesome distinguishing features and benefits the school has, one of the standouts is the out-of-school care program. West Pymble Out of School Care is a real gem and Di, Sonja and all others involved do a great job.
Much of my contribution to charitable and community causes is assistance with WordPress and how these organizations can better benefit from the Web. I was therefore delighted when my wife elected me to setup a Website for West Pymble Out of School Care. Fortunately others helped with the content and Sandra did alot of work in getting the content looking great on the new Site (which made my job alot simpler).
Where to Start with the new Website
When developing any Website, it’s important to consider the ability of the stakeholders to manage the Website. Considerations aren’t restricted to technical ability but, especially with not-for-profit or charity organizations, include the availability of time of people to manage the Website (as well as other factors). Money is also an important constraint to consider.
About the new Website
WordPress is therefore an ideal Content Management System (CMS) for managing Websites. WordPress can be setup to be extremely cost effective whilst maintaining the ability to expand the Website functionality should this be needed in the future. WordPress was therefore the best choice for the new Website.
The West Pymble Out of School Care Website is made to be simple to maintain and change content whilst being attractive to viewers. As more people visit Websites from mobile devices (e.g. Android, iPad and iPhone) the Site had to look great on large screen and small screen devices (take a look at the Site on a mobile device and you’ll notice how the layout changes for different size devices). On the topic of mobile devices, small functionality items have been added to the Site such as the coded phone numbers which mean a simple one-click to dial West Pymble Out of School Care. The capabilities are also available to easily enable other functionality such as Event Management (and bookings), membership areas and even an Online Shop (why not sell products Online if parents find this useful?). The most important factor of all is that it’s an incredibly simple Website to maintain.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for almost all Websites. The new Website in built on a well coded Theme which makes it simple for Search ‘bots to understand the content of the Site. WordPress itself is very Search Engine ‘friendly’ but a few extras have been added to make the Site even better for visitors and Search Engines. Some examples include the very fast load speed of the Pages which is achieved through browser caching, database caching, lossless compression of images and various other clever little techniques. Should the Website start to see large visitor numbers I’ll likely configure a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to deliver static content and enable high-performance DNS (e.g. Amazon AWS Route 53 which I use on my Website).
Oh, and another nifty bit of coding added is the address that is provided in Microformats hcard format which makes it easy for Search Engines to understand exactly where West Pymble Out of School Care is located.
Wait, I have to mention a very very last SEO cool feature; you’ll notice that the sharing buttons shown are those that you use most. Yes, the Site determines the sharing/bookmarking Sites you visit most and then show these buttons in preference over services you likely don’t use.
Domain Name and Hosting
The domain name chosen is wpoosc.com.au and is currently hosted on a generic shared Host. For now, with low visitor numbers, all-purpose shared Linux hosting works well and is very inexpensive. If the Site does start to see significant visitor numbers then dedicated hosting with CDN delivery of static content will be an option.
Email and Extras
wpoosc.com.au is a newly acquired domain name therefore an email address/email addresses need to be setup. For this it’s likely that the excellent Gmail will be used via the extras provided with Google Apps. Google Apps has a few free products for schools, charities and not-for-profit organizations so this should be free for West Pymble Out of School Care.
A Page is also being setup on Google Places as, for local searches, Google Places has really replaced the traditional business directories such as Yellow Pages.
O.k. That’s enough about the Website. Why not head over to the Website now and share it via the Facebook, Twitter or other social media buttons on the Site.