Last year I had a vision for an awesome site for home schoolers in South Africa. I envisioned a web site that would act like a portal to everything home schooling, and particularly South African home schooling, online. I hoped I could create something like that, but I didn’t have the coding and design expertise to pull it off.
For many of my readers, you’re thinking … Plugins? Themes? What are those? Quite simply, they’re like mini components of a website, all ready for you to use without ever needing to know your html from your css. It’s the IKEA furniture of web site building.
Take a look at ;my family website for example – see the way it is laid out? Well, I didn’t code all of that. I just chose a nice theme from a ready-made system, selected a few options like colours and images, and voila, we have a webpage. All the extras – the comments section, the linked within images and more are all “plugins”. They’re little extras that can be added to the basic theme of one’s website simply by plugging them in, so to speak!
With my dream for a great home schooling site in South Africa taking on a life of its own, I was super excited to find WPMU-DEV – and find out that they had EVERYTHING that I wanted for my site. Within a month I built the Homeschool HUB with the vision to provide homeschoolers across South Africa a HUB to all things homeschooling.
Here are just a few of the great plugins/themes that I love:
Buddypress Themes: Buddypress is a plugin that turns the site into a standard blog site into a social network site that allows people to become members, belong to chat groups and more. WMPU-DEV offers great themes designed to work, well with this plugin.
Autoblog Plugin: Many South Africa home schoolers blog and it’s great to be able to share our blog posts automatically in one spot. Autoblog simply duplicates members’ own blog posts so that they all feature on the same website (with links back to the original source of course).
Group Calendar: with so much happening in and around South Africa that pertains to home schoolers, this plugin is invaluable. It allows each member to create an event, invite others and put it on the website calendar.
These are just a few of the great plugins that turned my dream of a Homeschool HUB into reality: ww3.homeschoolhub.co.za.
Unfortunately, through unforeseen circumstances, the HUB came to a grinding halt as I had to change hosts unexpectedly and ran out of money to keep this project going and hence couldn’t renew my WPMU-DEV membership. For now the HUB is there, but it is not functioning at the capacity it has potential to. Which is another reason for this post. WPMU DEV is giving away THREE lifetime memberships to someone like me (or you!). Simply write a post that connects to them and you’ll be entered into the draw.
I’m really REALLY hoping that I win this one as it will mean I can kick life back into the HUB and hopefully it will grow beyond its current 120+ members into something of a awesome service to people around South Africa. WPMU-DEV is by far the best WordPress support, theme and plugin site for all people – newbies and developers alike! I want to be part of the WPMU-DEV family again – and, if you’ve ever considered building a website, then you do too!
(oh, and if you win because of me – you’re allowed to share!! 🙂