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School website

I am looking to get back into i.t after a career break. I did computer science at uni and worked for one of the big 5. I have decided to pursue web design and am tinkering with HTML, CSS and wordpress. I understand I need to build up a portfolio and have approached my local primary school because they have an outdated website. I suggested a couple of improvements that could be done and I said that if they want in the short term I could maintain their existing website on a voluntary basis as the person who does it does not get time to update it and parents want upto date info on it. In the long term I would like to offer to redo their website once I'm more proficient but wanted to know whether :

you thought wordpress would be suitable for a school website or if not what would you suggest.

Also, to create mock up designs for a website to show to the client what would you use?

Is their site running on PHP and a database system or just a bunch of HTML pages connected together? Without PHP/MySQL there's no point for Wordpress.

For the mock up designs just use Photoshop.
I've always been a fireworks fan myself. I do any techier stuff in PS. Wordpress is more of a blogging CMS however a lot of people these days adapt it into something alot more
Thanks for replying. The website at present is just a load of html pages that uses frames and tables! It mainly looks very old so if it will probably be just a case of revamping it to make it look modern what would be best?

Can I assume that If they require a login page for say parents only then we would need php/mysql ?
What do actually know at this point? Are you efficient in maintaining servers and databases, and writing the PHP to access the databases? I'm not sure how you go about having a login system with HTML and CSS alone.

I suppose you could use WordPress for this if you use the blogging aspect of it for school updates and upcoming events (making them posts on the main page). And then have the different classes, teacher bios, etc be separate pages that are accessed via the sidebar/navigation.

What would the login system be used for? What can the parents/students see when they login that a regular guest wouldn't be able to view? If it would be used to the view the particular students classes, grades, and assignments then that would definitely require a database. And you would probably need a CMS for the teachers to change/add grades and assignments to the pages without having to go into the actual code to make any edits.


Active Member
Have to admit I'm a Fireworks person here. The two main tools are Photoshop and Fireworks. They are both created/owned by adobe, Fireworks was created by macromedia until Adobe bought them out, and the reason there are still two not one merged into the other is Fireworks is for web development and Photoshop well for photos, event hough you can do web development in both. But Fireworks does offer the same tools I find.

Fireworks is created/still maintained to make development of web graphics/mock ups really easy, as in it creates layers for you, you don't have to create one then do what ever, create another do what ever you just do whatever, then do whatever again and you can do everything Photoshop can I find.

So look at Fireworks for web development I would say then once you have conquered that learn Photoshop and your good to go for all web dev jobs that get advertised. As some want you to know Fireworks inside out and some want photoshop some don't care, but if you know both then you've covered all your bases.

I know we have both at work, and at home. but never use Photoshop for web work, just way too time consuming when I can do the same stuff in Fireworks in a much faster time. :)


Staff member
I'd like to say though, that if you haven't used fireworks but you have photoshop, you're best sticking with photoshop as you'll be quicker :)