HighEdWeb Assocation
The Annual Conference for Higher Education Web Professionals, Austin, Texas, October 23-26, 2011

Session Details

Versatility on the Cheap: Wordpress to the Rescue

PST Poster Sessions Track

Texas Ballroom 1-3


The answer will be easy for some. In our particular case, this was quite a riddle to solve. While we can publish urgent notices through our CMS, it takes at least an hour for a publish to go through, way too long for any notice to be effective. What could we possibly come up with on such short notice, that wouldn’t require spending a lot of money? After a short time the answer dawned on me: Wordpress. In our case we set up a simple Wordpress installation on a virtual server running Windows 2008 R2. With Microsoft’s new Web Platform Installer, Wordpress can be installed and ready to set up in 5 to 10 minutes. Why Wordpress other than it’s free and easy to setup? In many cases someone other than the technical staff, most likely the PR and Marketing department, will be responsible for coordinating and creating the emergency message for the website. With Wordpress, anyone with the proper credentials can log in and post the information they need from wherever they may be, either by smartphone or computer. For some, just having a link to an emergency page may be enough. In our case, once the information is posted by PR and Marketing, someone from the technical side of the house will then click a checkbox in IIS on the two production website servers to redirect all requests in the tccd.edu domain to our emergency site, emergency.tccd.edu. With budget cuts affecting most all of education, it is always important to have solutions on hand that can be executed with reasonable ease and at a low cost. Again, this is the beauty of Wordpress. Not only is it our choice for our emergency site, but a separate installation is our social hub for all faculty and staff. This social hub not only allows for faculty and staff to have their personal blogs, but they can post podcasts and other materials for their students. While the students don’t have the ability to login to the site, they have the ability to see all the material posted, as well as interact through comments, etc. with the faculty and their classmates. If you’re looking for a one stop shop that can be managed by the smallest of staffs with the smallest of budgets for any use you choose, Wordpress can rescue YOU! This presentation will go over the versatility and many uses of Wordpress, pros and cons to using Wordpress, some technical aspects with Wordpress and IIS7, Windows Server 2008 R2, virtual servers, and WebPlatformInstaller