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Web Design Using WordPress

Introduction to Web Design Using WordPress

E. A Hall MS After School “RISE” Program

Ted Altenberg, Web Designer & EAHMS Academic Coordinator


Student Websites


Class Overview:

  • WordPress is one of the world’s leading free open source website content management systems (CMS). It is the most popular of all the CMS platforms; one reason why is because it is by far the easiest to learn and to use — and yet it is powerful enough to create amazing websites with all the features most people and organizations would ever want or need.
  • WordPress (WP) is available free from most web hosting companies, and anyone can create free WP websites as subdomains at
  • In this class, students will create their own websites at and will learn the basic tools of using WP. The skills learned in this class are marketable skills that students can use in a wide variety of well-paying jobs in many sectors of the economy.


  • In order to be successful in this class, students should know, understand and be able to do the following:
    • Basic comfort with and ability to use Windows-based computers; and
    • Basic understanding of what websites are, how they are organized, and how they function.
  • Every website is about something; therefore, each student will be expected to choose a topic for their website. This can be anything at all in which they are interested, so long as it meets basic decency standards (i.e. no references to violence, gangs, drugs, alcohol, sex, discrimination, etc.).

Class Outline:

  1. What is the Internet? How does it work?               Tuesday, November 18, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
    • A brief history of computers and how the Internet came to be
    • The “Information Superhighway” analogy
    • The World Wide Web is just 1 “lane” on the Information Superhighway
    • Protocols: TCP/IP, DNS, HTTP
    • Homework: By class #3 (in 2 weeks, December 2), students need to have their website topic selected; students are encouraged to have a 2nd (maybe even 3rd) choice, just in case their 1st choice is inappropriate for some reason. (Feel free to go to and check to see if the subdomain name you want to use is available.)
    • View the slideshow for today's lesson, in full slides (2.6 MB), 6-up handout (659 KB), or slides with notes (2.9 MB).
  2. How are websites made?                                          Tuesday, November 25, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
    • What is a website made of: code text files, image files, database “engine” and more
    • Code: html, css, php, javascript, java, MySQL, and more
    • Static vs. dynamic websites
    • CMS choices (proprietary vs. open source; popular choices)
    • Why WordPress is so awesome
    • Today's presentation (in un-pretty text...)
  3. A Tour of WordPress – Create your WP site           Friday, December 4, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
  4. Create your WP site                                                            Tuesday, December 9, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
  5. Create your WP site (continued)                                               Tuesday, December 16, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
  6. Finding, logging in to your website                                                   Tuesday, January 13, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
    • “Front end” vs. “Back end”
  7. Adding content to your website                                       Tuesday, January 20, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
    1. Understanding the WP Dashboard
    2. Where content goes: pages and posts
    3. Creating a new web page
    4. “WYSIWYG” visual editor vs. “text” raw code
    5. Adding text content
  8. Adding content to your website               Tuesday, January 27, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
    1. Adding images
    2. Adding videos: embedding YouTube videos
    3. Homework: If students have not created at least 3 pages by end of class today, they should do so before next week’s class.
  9. Navigation menus    
    • Understanding the “information architecture” of a website
    • Creating your custom menu
  10. Work on your website                         Tuesday, February 3, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
  11. Themes                                                                                  Tuesday, February 10, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
    • Understanding how themes give a site its design: layout, style, colors, fonts, etc.
    • Choosing a theme: pros and cons of various themes
    • Choose a theme for your website
  12. Work on your website                                                  Tuesday, February 17, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
  13. Posts & the “blogroll”                                                Tuesday, February 24, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
    • Understanding the blogroll
    • Sorting your blogroll using categories
    • Add a post (or 2 or 3)
  14. Work on your website                                                Tuesday, March 3, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
  15. Work on your website                                                Tuesday, March 10, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
  16. Plugins  —  adding functionality to your website         Tuesday, March 17, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
    • How plugins work
    • Plugin options
    • Add a plugin (or not)
  17. Work on your website                                                     Tuesday, March 24, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
  18. Website showcase                                                            Tuesday, March 31, 3:55–4:30 pm, Rm 2
    Show off your hard work and creativity!