Intermediate WordPress Lab: Spring 2015

We learned a tremendous amount in the introductory web design lab. This tech section will extend that learning to give you a better understanding of how WordPress fits in the context of Nonprofits. You will also dive deeper into CSS and learn just a smidgen of PHP. By the end of the course, you will be able to create a functioning site for any small Non Profit or NGO and teach them how to use and maintain it.

Lab Leader

Brendin Nye

Office Hours: 2:30 – 4:30pm Wednesdays in the Everett office, Social Sciences 2 Room 047.


Tonje Switzer

Required Materials:

  • A registered domain name
  • Web hosting services
  • earbuds/headphones for watching videos in lab

A computer (Windows, Mac, Linux) with internet access. We will be using the Mac computers in lab, but feel free to bring your own laptop.

Class Website:

Our lab section is WordPress Part 2. We will be posting our lessons, homework assignments, and supplemental information under this section of the website.

Homework Submission:

All assignments, including the midterm and final, will be submitted via the lab email:

  • When emailing a homework assignment, you must use the following format for the email subject: HW# Firstname Lastname.
  • For the midterm and final, replace HW# with Midterm or Final.
  • If you are resubmitting an assignment or turning an assignment in late, you must add either Resub or Late after your name in the email subject.

Weekly Assignments:

Homework and projects will be assigned in lab and will be due the following Thursday by 6pm (when lab starts) if not stated otherwise on the syllabus.

Late Assignments:

All late assignments will be given 1 week from the original due date (the next lab meeting time at 6:00pm) to be turned in for up to 50%. If you have not submitted an assignment at the original due date, but turn it in after, it is considered a late assignment.

All resubmissions of assignments will be given 1 week from the original due date (the next lab meeting time at 6:00PM) to be turned in for up to 70%. If you submit an assignment at the original due date, but want to resubmit for for up to 70%, it is considered a resubmission.


Tech labs are worth 25% of your overall grade in SOCY 30C

Grading Breakdown:

Your grade in the lab is determined by 3 components:

Weekly Assignments: 50%

Midterm: 25%

Final: 25%

Attendance and Participation:

Students are expected to show up prepared and on time for each class. As per the criteria of the Everett Program Tuesday class30C, missing more than two days of instruction without appropriate leave will result in a failing grade.

Students are required to show up on time and remain in class for the entire duration of the allotted time. Collaboration and mutual support are critical to success in the program. Hence, if you finish your work early, please assist your classmates in understanding/completing their work.

If you must miss class (sick, etc.) you must email the lab leader at least an hour before lab. Do not come to lab and ask. Failure to notify the lab leader via email, will result in being marked absent.

Classroom Expectations

Tech labs are an integral part of the Everett Program and should be taken with the same seriousness as any other class. The same goes for interaction with the lab leaders and facilitators. They have been delegated authority by the instructuor of record and should be treated with the same respect afforded to any instructor. This includes

Academic Integrity

Cheating on exams and plagiarism are examples of violations in the realm of ethics and integrity. If you have any questions on what constitutes both good scholarship or the consequences of failing to work within campus expectations of honesty and professionalism, please view the available resources through the Division of Undergraduate Education (

Students Needing Accommodation

If you qualify for classroom accommodations because of a disability, please submit your Accommodation Authorization Letter from the Disability Resource Center (DRC) to me as soon as possible, preferably within the first two weeks of the quarter. Contact DRC by phone at 831-459-2089 or by email at for more information.

Course Overview/Schedule:

Week 1 – 4/2 – Digging into WordPress

A review of why we feel the content of this lab is important to you as non-engineer hackers. We’ll go through real world examples of the skills you’ll be learning and then creating a development environment on which you’ll be doing work for the quarter.

Week 2 – 4/9 – Developer Tools

Most, if not all, web browsers come with developer tools. Developer tools are a suite of helpful utilities that range from allowing you to inspect elements on a webpage and their associated CSS, to being able to see communications between the web server and browser. In this lab, we will be focusing on the tools that best aid us in customizing our WordPress websites.

Week 3 – 4/16 – Child Themes

Child themes are one of the most important tools in the WordPress Integration Specialist’s toolkit. They allow you to take a theme you like and tweak it to be a theme you love. They allow you to do this in a way that won’t break your site.

Week 4 – 4/23 – Messin’ With Templates

Going more technical, we uncover what makes WordPress tick. Templates are the instructions that the browser uses to construct a page using records from the database. That will make more sense when we finish the lesson.

Week 5 – 4/30 – Midterm

Putting together everything from the previous 4 weeks. The midterm is difficult but you’ll have plenty of support. You will create a detailed child theme using the _s theme framework.

Week 6 – 5/7 – Backups, Restoration, and Migration Part I

As a WordPress Integration Specialist, you must become proficient in commanding the bundle of files and data that make up a WordPress website. This lesson will walk you through the various methods of backing up, restoring, and migrating a website from one location to another. We will also teach you how to create a local development environment so that you can work on a website without an internet connection.

Week 7 – 5/14 – Backups, Restoration, and Migration Part II

There is a lot to cover

Week 8 – 5/21 – Site Maintenance and Benevolent IT

We move into a less technical phase of the class and discuss more how you can be an effective webmaster for your org. We will go over creating a maintenance routine, as well as best practices for effectively communicating and teaching key technical lessons to your NGO. We will also learn about proper documentation. Plus you will learn how a differential gear works!

Week 9 – 5/28 – Custom Post Types and Proper Taxonomy

WordPress is a powerful CMS because of the way it allows you to create and sort large quantities of data. We will learn about the various uses of custom post types as well as how to properly employ taxonomies (tags and categories) so that users of the site can easily find what they’re looking for and your NGO can spend less time managing the website.

Week 10 – 6/4 – The Final

The exact form of the final is to be determined but will most likely take the form of a mock website consultancy. You will create a website that satisfies the communicated needs of a fictional NGO.

Final due by Wednesday, June 10th at 11:59PM