The Marie-Victorin School Commission groups 70 French-language educational institutions on the south shore of Montreal. In 2010, the web presence of these institutions was all over the place: some were built by independent suppliers, others by the commission’s IT department, while some schools didn’t have a site at all. The content of the sites was often dated or incomplete. The Commission decided to remedy the situation by stating the following objectives:
- School personnel must be able to maintain their site easily, without knowing any programming
- It should be possible to create a school’s website in hours, not weeks
- Sites should have a graphic unity to identify them as part of the commission, while permitting each one to express some individuality
- Costs must be closely controlled
The creation of a WordPress multisite network met objectives 1, 2 and 4. Users benefit from WordPress’s legendary ease of use, administrators can generate a school site in a few clicks, and the vast repertoire of open source extensions virtually eliminates licensing costs.
In the course of this project:
- We analyzed, selected, installed and configured all the extensions necessary to fulfill client needs
- We trained and supported the IT department in the administration of a WordPress installation
- We developed a WordPress theme offering customization options to individual schools: header, colour palette, navigation, homepage layout, using widgets
- We developed an extension adding widgets specific to the commission
- And we trained and supported the communications department in its role of training and supporting school personnel in their turn
All of the Commission’s schools now manage their sites within this system. The project was so successful that the Commission’s own site as well as many of its administrative units now use a second WordPress network, in which our involvement was similar.
This project was undertaken for IDÉA Communication