Formerly “Introduction to Web Content Management Systems: Drupal and Wordpress”

Are you interested in building an e-commerce website? Content management systems (CMS) make Web content and work flow accessible in a collaborative environment. This course focuses on Wordpress, one of the most popular open-source content management systems. Many of these concepts are applicable to a wide variety of CMS solutions.

This course introduces real-life use cases to guide you through the planning and implementation phases of setting up an e-commerce site. You will learn how to install, configure, customize and test products, shopping carts, and checkout pages via hands-on exercises and assignments. The course also covers the basics of creating and managing a Wordpress site, including configuring menus, adding plugins, and adding and customizing themes. Discussions address security, user permissions, content creation and management best practices. You will also learn to use Wordpress community resources to troubleshoot problems.

Upon completion of the course, you will be able to understand the underlying concepts and be prepared to use Wordpress to build a fully-functioning online store.

Topics include:

  • Introduction: Technologies and concepts

  • CMS building blocks: Databases, templates, themes and plugins

  • Installing, configuring and updating core software

  • Security issues: Protecting your site from hackers

  • Configuring user permissions

  • Creating, editing, and managing content and products

  • Configuring and testing payment gateways

  • Uploading and editing images and embedding multimedia files

  • Building pages: Menus, sidebars, and widgets

  • Organizing and presenting content and products with categories and tags

  • Installing and updating modules and plug-ins

  • Changing site designs using contributed themes

  • Customizing logos, colors, and typography

  • How to set up a custom child theme folder

  • Troubleshooting the "white screen of death" and other common problems

Note(s): An online Wordpress installation is required to complete homework assignments. Several low-cost options for Wordpress hosting will be discussed in the first class meeting. A account does not meet this requirement.

Skills Needed: Students should be able to understand Wordpress HTML code and identify the most common HTML tags, such as title, heading and paragraph. The more knowledge of inheritance, CSS and graphical production techniques you have going in to this course, the more fun you will have creating custom themes. The CSS skills and graphical production techniques involved in creating custom themes will not be covered, so students entering the course without those skills will have to rely on off-the-shelf customizable themes.