WordPress

Many ways exist to build a website. WordPress is a great way to build a site without using coding and offers a good compromise between user-friendliness and site building power. WordPress comes in 2 flavors: wordpress.com and wordpress.org. Lakekit.net is a wordpress.org site. WordPress.org is an open source project which means anyone has permission to modify the underlying code, giving a great amount of flexibility in designing a site. A wordpress.org site requires a hosting account explained in the next section below. Most WordPress.org sites operate as standalone sites with its administrator performing all of the various administrative functions. But this site, lakekit.net, is the base site for a special form of wordpress.org called a multisite or network.

In a network, multiple WordPress sites work through one installation of the WordPress software, all managed by a network administrator. Each of these multiple sites, or sub-sites, acts as a standalone site to a visitor. A network works best when the sub-sites have functions and interests in common. Lake organization sites fit this commonality well. With a network, the network administrator takes care of many of the administrative duties associated with a standalone wordpress.org site. Network sub-site site administrators then have fewer administrative duties than standalone WordPress site administrators. As a result, they can concentrate their attention on providing good content on their site.

WordPress consists of core WordPress software, a theme, and plugins. In addition, the site has media files and a database. The core files provide the website building operating system. The theme generates the layout or appearance of the site pages. The plugins add features and functions not available from the core software. Themes and plugins can be free or fee-based. The media files include the images included on the pages and other files such as PDF files linked to within the site. The database stores text and other data needed to operate the site. 

The core software, themes, plugins, media files, and database reside on a computer system, or server, attached to the internet for delivering webpages. When visiting lakekit.net or one of the network sites, the webpages are delivered from this server. WordPress.org sites are self-hosted which means our network purchases use of the server from a hosting company.

The administrative area of a WordPress site is the place to design, create, and modify webpages. Other actions in this area are updating software components and adding themes or plugins. The administrators access the administrative area with a user name and password. As previously mentioned, a WordPress network has a network administrator, and each sub-site has a site administrator. The network administrator manages the more complex administrator functions. Sub-site administrators have access to all capability needed to manage their site content, but their administration screen is kept much simpler than for the network administrator. This simplicity is purposely designed into sub-site administrator screens so the organization can focus on building and maintaining their webpages.

WordPress has the flexibility to allow all the design characteristics the internet can offer. If the site designer wishes to stay away from coding, a basic WordPress webpage usually consists of a header area and menu at the top, the main content in the middle, and a footer at the bottom. 

A new model basic template site has been designed. It is available at basicsite-2.lakekit.net,  and it includes a description for how each page was built and instructions for using and modifying the page. This model basic template site uses a drag and drop plugin called Elementor which positions page components in rows and columns.  The plugin then permits the site administrator to position blocks of text, images, videos, etc., wherever they want into the space.

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