On Monday (Yes, I know i’m late!), one of my free part-time developments went live – River Primary School website.
This was a particularly interesting project due to the difference in audience compared to previous websites i’ve delivered and the diversity between two sets of users that had to be covered. With a primary school website you are trying to deliver a site which parents can use, which children can use and which is designed in an appealing way to children (but also professional).
I’m not a fan of clip art, nor the dredded Comic Sans font… but Primary Schools use these a lot. There is nothing wrong with this of course, it’s just as personal principle I had to find other means to get child friendliness in the actual web design itself – which I did so in using photos of things like coloured pencils, children’s drawings and using Garamond fonts. Luckily there was no previous website to compare against, so we had a completely clean slate to start with.
During development, I had at the back of my mind that other websites would be required shortly for other future part-time projects – so initially the site was built as a empty template shell and tightened up into a reusable state. What this means is that the template only required a stylesheet change and change to its configuration to give it the correct titles. Chuck another CSS file at it, different content and slightly different configuration settings, then you get a completely new website in very little time. Now if only I could get similiar rapid development for the new GTW site! (Now thats another story… and a nightmare migration one at that!)
With River Primary School’s website though, the template method is temporary. In the “grand scheme of things” (Most likely in 2010 when things calm down a bit from 2009), the website will eventually be put into a Content Management System (Drupal). Ideally I wanted things in Drupal from the start, but time was against me sadly – but this is a start at least! 🙂
There’s still work to go though… more pages to be added, including some big Year Group pages in the next few months. Hopefully now there will be encouragement to help it grow as a useful resource as well as being a web presence for the school.