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how to create Educational or school WordPress website
Advanced Tutorials, Beginners, Tutorials

Create an Educational Website with WordPress: A Step by Step Guide

Believe it or not, the face of education is changing rapidly with growing internet technologies and web.

The Internet is used in so many ways to improve the education system, and one of them is by creating an educational/school website.

But, I guess you already know it, else why would you be here, right?

In case, you are still not motivated enough to create a website for your education institution, here are some points that might help.

  • It doesn’t cost much, at least if you develop it using WordPress. You can create a professional looking fully functional Education website in $59 if you exclude hosting cost. Basic hosting plan cost around $4 per month.
  • You don’t need to hire a pro! WordPress is pretty easy to use. To be honest, when you reach the end of this article, you will understand the basics of WordPress.
  • With WordPress, you can get your educational website ready in an hour, if you follow this step by step guide.
  • A school website can effectively contribute to organize the working process of your educational establishment, expand the field of activity, and grow the reputation and recognition of your institution among the teachers, students, their parents, and school administration.

So, if you’re motivated and want to create an educational website for your school, college, institute, online portal, or education hub, stay with me. I will guide you through the entire process step-by-step.

Before we begin, let’s have a look at the most famous types of educational websites and their important elements.

BTW, these are some educational websites created using WordPress.

Three Types of Educational Websites

  • A School or College Website gives the information about the school, students, teachers, courses, and classes they offer.
  • An Online Education Portal offers study materials, live classes, and tutorials for students.
  • A Membership Website for Education is the one where students can login and take their classes online, see their grade information, and submit their assignments. Instructors can create, manage courses, take online and offline classes for their students, and monitor the students.

So which type are you creating? Let us know in the comments!

What Do You Need In An Educational Website?

These are some of the elements that most of the educational websites have in common.

  • Home Page – It is the front page of the website where you can put school’s logo, images, important notices, and events information.
  • About page – You can give information about the history of your school, the location, certification, etc. through this page.
  • Courses – In this page, you can give detailed information about courses your school offers.
  • Faculty bio and information – Here, you can give information about the teachers and team members of your education institution.
  • Registration form – This form is for students to sign up for classes in your school.
  • Contact form – You can create an inquiry form for prospective students and site visitors to contact your school.

Sit back, relax, and think about the elements you want to include in the educational website you are about to create. But, don’t think too much, you can easily add/modify later.

So, without any due, let’s start our edventure!

Basic Steps To Create an Educational Website

  1. Find the appropriate domain name for your educational website
  2. Register the domain name and get a hosting plan
  3. Install WordPress
  4. Install a nice, attractive, and responsive educational WordPress theme for your website
  5. Customize the theme to create a desirable look and feel
  6. Install relevant plugins
  7. Add content and information

Now, I will go through the entire process in detail.

Step 1. Think of a Domain name

The first step is to choose a domain name for your educational website. The name is the identity of your brand and represents your educational institute, hence is important. Normally choosing a Domain name is a daunting task and takes up most of the time. Since this is your educational website, it won’t be very difficult. The name of your school, college, educational institute or educational portal itself can be the domain name of your website.

Once you are ready with your prospective domain names, go to Namesilo to check for their availability. Enter the possible names in the search box.

If you want a ‘.com’ domain for your educational portal, you can check for its availability at Namesilo. Once you find a domain name at Namesilo, don’t register it there. I will guide you to get a domain name for free in the next step.

But, if you are a registered school in the US, you can get a ‘.edu’ domain which is limited to accredited degree-granting institutions of higher learning. You can register a .edu domain at EduCause. For countries other than the US, you can register a .edu domain at country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registrars.

Step 2. Register domain name and get hosting plan

A web host is a place where all the contents of your website reside.

Web hosting companies offer you a certain amount of storage and bandwidth for a price. Web hosting service allows your website to be displayed on the Internet. Thus, it is important to use a reliable web hosting service. For starters, I would recommend using a shared hosting plan because it is cheap and easy to use.

We use SiteGround for Rara Theme web hosting and would recommend everyone as it is relatively cheap, very reliable, and WordPress ready.

Advantages of SiteGround for Educational/School WordPress Websites:

  1. SiteGround gives you a free domain. There are only few web hosts that offer free domain name.
  2. SiteGround is officially recommended by WordPress.
  3. SiteGround has uptime of 99.99%. This means your website will always be accessible.
  4. SiteGround has an excellent 24/7 customer support service.
  5. SiteGround is one of the fastest web hosts. SiteGround uses SSDs on their servers and provides fast speed at a relatively lower price.
  6. You get free SSL certificate (HTTPS) on SiteGround. SiteGround offers built in Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate. Having an SSL certificate makes your blog trustworthy.

How to get SiteGround’s web host and a free domain

Step 1: Go to SiteGround by clicking here.

Step 2: Choose the StartUp plan by clicking GET STARTED. You can choose other plans as well. But, as a beginner, Startup plan will work.

https://raratheme.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/choose-Siteground-WordPress-hosting-for-your-food-blog.jpg

Step 3: Select register a new domain. Enter the domain name you searched at Namesilo.com earlier. And then, click PROCEED.

https://raratheme.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/enter-domain-name-to-purchase-hosting-at-Siteground.jpg

Step 4: Lastly, enter your name, physical address, email address, payment information, and period of your subscription.

https://raratheme.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Choose-hosting-package-on-SiteGround-for-your-food-blog.jpg

I recommend you to check the Domain Privacy in Extra Services section. Domain Privacy safeguards your information like name, address and phone number from Domain WHOIS search. This means your personal information will be protected.

Step 3. Install WordPress

We will use WordPress to build the educational website.

WordPress is a great platform for creating any sort of educational websites and an excellent content management system. You can create a fully functional website without ever understanding a single line of code and that too for FREE.

And, creating an educational website is super easy with WordPress.

Once you register with SiteGround, you can install WordPress with few clicks.

First, login to your SiteGround account. Check your email for the login info. You get an email with login instructions after you successfully register at SiteGround.

Then, follow these easy step by step instructions by SiteGround. Your WordPress website will be ready in a few steps.

CHEERS!

Now you have an educational website of your own.

Now, let’s proceed to makeover the WordPress website and give it an elegant and professional look.

Before that, we need to access WordPress admin panel and make some changes in the settings.

Type http://yourblogname.com/wp-admin on your web browser to access the admin panel of your WordPress. Login with your credentials (username or email and password).

wordpress backend login

After you login, you will be directed to the WordPress Admin Panel. This is where you will personalize your website and add pages and post.

On the Dashboard, go to Settings and click on Permalinks.

changing permalinks on self hosted wordpress site

Then in the Custom Settings, select “Post Name” and click Save Changes. This step is necessary to create your URL’s readable.

Changing permalink setting on wordpress


Step 4. Install a beautiful WordPress theme

In WordPress, you can easily change the appearance, layout, and design of your blog with WordPress themes.

You just have to find a good looking theme that suits your purpose and install it on your website. And, in no time, your website will look beautiful.

Before you install any theme, here are a few things to look for while choosing a WordPress theme.

  1. Design: The layout and features of the theme affect the look and feel of your website. You should select a theme that looks clean, professional and suits your educational website type.
  2. Designer: Poorly coded themes will result in many technical errors. Also, they lower the performance of your website and limit your website’s ranking on search engines. So, it’s important that you know if the designer of the theme is experienced enough and the theme has good reviews.
  3. Responsiveness: The theme should be responsive i.e. it should be optimized for every type of electronic devices – Computer, Mobile, Tablet. You don’t want to miss audience on any platforms.
  4. SEO Ready: If a theme is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ready, your website will rank higher in Google Search results. Thus, more people will have access to your website, which is good for popularity. To check if a theme is SEO ready, go here and paste the URL of the theme. If a theme has many errors, avoid the theme. A theme with few errors is better for SEO.
  5. Support from the developer: This applies only to the Premium themes. When you buy a Premium theme, check how responsive the support team is.

I also recommend you to refer to this blogpost on how to choose a WordPress theme to select a theme for your website.

For this guide, I’m going to pick Education Zone WordPress theme because it is free and has all the important elements for a school website. You can find some of our education WordPress themes here.

How to upload the theme in your WordPress Dashboard?

First, login to the WordPress Dashboard http://yourwebsitename.com/wp-admin.

Then, go to Appearance → Themes.
changing theme on wordpress

Click on the Add New button at the top.

We can install WordPress themes by two methods – directly from the WordPress Repository (for free themes only) or by Upload Method.

How to Install and Change the theme from WordPress Repository

After you click on Add New, WordPress Repository shows you the list of featured themes on the dashboard. Search for Education Zone or a theme of your interest in the search bar, and click Install. WordPress will then install the theme on your site.

installing theme from server on wordpress

Now, click Activate to make it the default theme of your educational site.

How to Install and Change the theme by Upload Method?

Download the Education Zone theme or any other education WordPress theme that better suit your requirements before you proceed to this step.

After you click on Add new, click Upload Theme to upload your theme to the site.

uploading theme on wordpress from computer

Then, click Browse and select a theme from your computer. The theme should be in “.zip” format.

uploading theme from computer on wordpress

After the theme is successfully uploaded, click the Install Now button. Your theme will be ready in few seconds.

Finally, click on Activate to activate the theme on your school website.

Congratulations!
You have successfully installed an educational theme on your website.

You can now customize it and use its features to build your own official school website. If you installed the Education Zone theme, you can move ahead with personalizing the theme by following this Education Zone theme documentation.

I have also listed three best themes for an educational website. All the listed themes have free versions too. You can try out the free versions first before you go Premium.

If you find the free versions intriguing and if you really want to build an educational/school website, investing few bucks on a quality Premium theme is truly a good investment. Read here for 7 reasons to choose a Premium theme.

Note: All the themes listed here are made by our team. We have lots of beautiful themes for various purposes. However, the list contains only the themes that are appropriate for an educational website/blog. All our themes are designed and coded by experienced designers. All the themes are responsive and SEO ready. And, you get a first-rate support from our designers.

Recommended Themes for Educational Website:

1. Preschool and Kindergarten Pro

Preschool and Kindergarten Pro is a kid-friendly, easy to use WordPress theme with amazing features and beautiful design.

The easy navigation and simple user interface on this theme attract the users and provide better user experience. This theme allows you to create recreational as well as educational activities for kids, blog posts about the events, manage photo galleries, and better communicate with prospective parents.

The theme comes with 7 predefined pages, 8 predefined header layouts, 16 Custom widgets, Multi-language compatibility and extensive documentation, that allow you to conveniently personalize your website as you desire. The theme has all the tools, features, plugins and widgets to easily set up your fully functional educational website for Kindergartens, Preschools, and Educational institutions.

View Live Demo Here Download here Try Free Version Here

2. Rara Academic Pro

Rara Academic Pro is beautiful theme designed with a clean, professional look for Educational Portal, Training Center, Courses hub, College, Academy, University, School, and Kindergarten.

This theme allows you to create unlimited courses, online classes, or build an open online library while being scalable and accessible.

The theme comes with 9 predefined header layouts, 6 predefined pages, 13 Custom widgets, attractive blog layout, multi-language compatibility and extensive documentation, that allows you to build a seamlessly professional looking website for your institution. The theme features plenty of room for educational information, custom post types, events and custom pages to communicate the message to the visitors.

View Live Demo Here Download here Try Free Version Here

3. Education Zone Pro

Education Zone Pro is an exquisite theme made for educational institutions and colleges.

This theme allows you to a build an information website of a school which includes courses offered, team information, articles and blog posts by students, school news, upcoming school events, school’s newsletter, etc.

The theme comes with many added customized pages, headers, widgets and other tools that can be easily customized to build an institution website that has a clean, professional design and features to professionally communicate your message to your prospective students.

View Live Demo Here Download here Try Free Version Here

All of these themes are responsive, well coded, speed optimized, and SEO ready. Furthermore, once you buy these themes, you can use it on any number of domains for free for lifetime. Besides all these features, you will also get great support from experienced developers if you run into any issues.

Step 5.  Install WordPress Plugins

School plugins are bits of software that can be uploaded to extend and expand the functionality of your educational WordPress site.

The plugins I am going to list below will help you create and manage the courses, allow students to enroll and provide the means for instructors to evaluate student’s work, receive payments for the classes, and provide a delivery system for the classes.

How to install a WordPress Plugin?

First, login to your WordPress admin panel. http://yourwebsite.com/wp-admin

Then, click on Plugins.

installing plugin in wordpress theme

Then, click on Add New.

adding new plugin on wordpress

After that, on the search bar type the name of the plugin you want to install. I searched for teachPress.

Searching plugin in wordpress

Then, click on Install Now button to install the plugin.

The installation will take few seconds. You will see Installing.. written on the button.

Finally, click on the Activate button to activate the plugin on your site.

Once the plugin is activated, you will see the list of your plugins.

Some WordPress Plugins for School Websites

Now, let’s talk about some of the School WordPress Plugins that every educational website should use.

LearnDash

LearnDash

LearnDash supports multi-tier courses which allow you to easily create courses with lessons, topics, quizzes, and categories. You can give user assignments and then approve or comment on them.

It also comes with quiz and test management tools with multiple choice questions. You can easily set prerequisites for students such as finishing a lesson first before going to the next lesson.

LifterLMS

LifterLMS is a learning management system which supports multi-tier courses with training modules, lessons, categories, etc. This plugin works like a membership website where the students register or purchase a course. This upgrades their membership level, and then they can access the relevant content.

It also comes with built-in shopping cart functionality, which you can use to sell your courses.

teachPress

teachPress is a course management and BibTeX compatible publication management system. It is optimized for the needs of professors and researchers. It adds two tabs to your dashboard: course and publications.

You can create courses and student accounts from the course tab. Further, you can describe the publications that will be used for the course from the publication tab. It can be a book, booklet, article, chapter, presentation, online, etc.

CoursePress

CoursePress allows users to easily create and share courses with quizzes, videos, and audios. You can make courses that are primarily videos, allow users to upload and download content, and create a discussion board where students and facilitators can exchange ideas. CoursePress lets you make free as well as paid courses.

Sensei

Image result for sensei wordpress plugin

Sensei is a teaching coursework WordPress plugin which allows users to create courses, write lessons, and add quizzes for the courses. You can set course prerequisites, register users, and charge for your courses if you want. Sensei also offers you to get an analysis of who is taking your course and how are they progressing.

WPCourseware

WPCourseware is an e-learning tool, which has a simple drag and drop functionality that makes it easy to create courses. This plugin includes features like student progress visualizer, course outlines, and customizable email notifications. It allows you to create a wide variety of quiz types, including multiple choice, true and false, open ended, or you can make students upload a file as their answer.

Choose the plugin that meets your requirements. Besides, educational plugins, you should also add plugins for SEO, Security, Performance, and Backup.

But, DO NOT overload your educational website with Plugins.

Step 6. Add content to your School Website

Wow! Celebrations are at hands. Your website is now almost ready.

Now, add the relevant content to your website and you will have your own full-fledged educational/school website.

To add posts, go to Posts> Add New on your admin Dashboard.

To add pages on your website, go to Pages> Add New on your admin Dashboard.

Content you should add on a school website

  • Information about the school and its contacts. You should give brief information about the school, its establishment, certification, their aim and motto, courses they offer, etc. You should also provide the contact data of your school, its address, telephone numbers, Google Maps location etc.
  • Classes and Courses. A section providing information about the classes and courses offered by the school. It is important to mention both the summary and details of the courses, number of students’ enrolling in a particular class and a particular course.
  • Gallery. It pictorially showcases various important school activities, events, achievements, etc.
  • News and Events. They include photo reports of the recent or upcoming activities, seminars, workshops, articles, announcements etc. They also include the awards, education, and career enhancement training.
  • Student’s info page. This is a section where you can add the personal information of the students, their achievements and progress, and their exam details.
  • Faculty members. This section includes the personal information of all the teachers, the course they teach and their years of experience.
  • Parent’s testimonial. In this section, you can add parents’ views towards your school and its activities.
  • Why Choose Us Section. You can display the achievements of your school, post photos of your school, teachers, and outstanding graduates and tell the prospective parents and students why they should choose your school.
  • Students Success Stories. This is where you can display your students’ achievements, skills and success story.
  • Blog/Newsletter where the students’ articles, creativity, and writings are published either daily or monthly or annually.

Conclusion

Phew! If you really came all the way till here along with me, I assume you got your website ready.

You now have a fully functioning educational/school website with all the necessary tools.

Feel free to customize your site the way you want. Play around with the themes, plugins and design your very own educational website.

Here are 11 things you should do after installing WordPress for the first time.

Let us know about your favorite themes and plugins in the comments below!

From “Umm” to “Wow”, learn how to use WordPress like a Pro

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About Author

Suresh Pant

<p>Suresh is a content, SEO, and UX specialist. He has been working as a copywriter for more than 3 years. Suresh, besides blogging and digging the Internet, also loves mathematics, data science, and algorithms.</p>

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