Create a Website for an Educational Institution with WordPress & SchoolFun
The Schoolfun WordPress theme has been developed by Cubic Themes and has been created for building a website for an educational institution. The theme includes a range of useful features such as shortcodes, widgets, custom post types, and more, which all help you quickly setup your website and ensure it’s easy for your visitors to navigate.
If you are creating a website for a college, school, kindergarten or other place of learning, then this WordPress theme could be just what you need. Find out if it meets your requirements in our detailed Schoolfun theme review.
Schoolfun has lots of useful features, without being weighed down by unnecessary bells and whistles. To help get a good idea of what this theme can do and if it’s the right choice for your project, here are some of its main features.
Switching the colour scheme of your website is easy with Schoolfun thanks to the three in-built colour schemes and the easy way they can be activated through the theme options. Providing the included maroon, blue, or green colour schemes match your institutions branding then you can get your website up and running without having to worry about tinkering with any of the underlying CSS.
To help make navigating your website as user friendly as possible, the theme makes use of a fixed or sticky navigation toolbar at the top of the page which is always on view. As the user scrolls down the page, the header menu contracts to avoid taking up too much screen real estate, while still making it easy for your visitors to find the content and information they are looking for no matter where they are on the page.
As well as the top fixed horizontal menu, this educational WordPress theme also includes five other menu areas which can be customized and setup using the default WordPress menu manger.
The theme also takes advantages of Google rich snippets, giving you an opportunity to have your institution’s event details listed in the Google search engine results pages when your site is displayed.
To help you organize your content more effectively, the Schoolfun theme includes a number of custom post types:
These post types work in a similar way to the default WordPress post type but give you the opportunity to add some additional information to each piece of content, beyond the standard post title and post article.
This additional information is then displayed on the front end of the website when the visitors are viewing that particular post type.
The Schoolfun theme includes a number of shortcodes which are used to insert a range of page elements into your posts and pages. These shortcodes include:
- Drop caps
- Multi-column layouts
You can of course use a third party plugin to add even more shortcodes to your website is you wish.
Other features of the Schoolfun educational theme include:
- Responsive mobile friendly layout
- Retina display and HiDPi ready
- 10 Built-in custom widgets
- Multiple widget areas
- Selection of page templates
- Threaded comments
- Importable dummy data for quick setup
Overall, Schoolfun has some useful features that make it a good choice for building a website for a school, college, or other educational institution.
Using the Schoolfun Theme
Once you’ve uploaded and activated the theme, you can choose to import the demo dummy content using the WordPress Importer tool (Tools > Import > WordPress). This is a good idea as it will add all the pages and content to your site that you need to set it up to resemble the demo version of Schoolfun. Working from the demo theme version is easier than starting from scratch and trying to build the site yourself.
The demo content includes a custom front page which allows you to quickly setup the homepage for your website, instead of showing the most recent blog posts on the homepage as is the default setting with WordPress.
Customizing the Theme
While the Schoolfun theme allows you to customize some of the settings for your site using the WordPress Customizer tool, most of the changes are made through a custom theme options control panel.
This means you will have to switch browser tabs or windows so see what effect your changes are having on the front end of your website, as opposed to getting the live preview that the WordPress Customizer offers.
Through the theme options control panel you can change the following aspects of your site’s appearance:
- Choose from three colour schemes (maroon, blue, green)
- Upload logos and favicons
- Configure the slideshows
- Setup the quick navigation options
- Organize the custom post types
- Add content to the footer
- Enter social media profile URLs
As the theme makes use of custom post types, you get more options for adding content to your site than the standard WordPress post and page options. This helps you keep the different types content separate on your website, making it both easy to organize from an admin perspective, and easy to navigate from an end user or site visitor perspective.
Where appropriate, these custom post types have their own taxonomies, similar to categories or tags, which are used to further organize the individual custom posts.
When creating your educational website with WordPress and this theme, it’s a good idea to take advantage of the custom posts that are included with Schoolfun for the above reasons.
Setting up the Widgets
With Schoolfun including seven widget areas and 10 custom widgets, you get plenty of options for dragging and dropping those widgets into the available widget areas.
The widgets areas of the theme are as follows:
- Homepage Left: will appear on homepage’s left side
- Homepage Middle: will appear in the middle of homepage
- Homepage Right: will appear on homepage’s right side under quick navigation
- Sidebar Pages: will appear on all Single Pages
- Sidebar Blog Posts: will appear on News, Archives, Search, Category and Posts
- Footer Left: will appear on Footer
- Footer Middle: will appear on Footer
There are 10 custom widgets which can be added to the above widget areas, along with any of the other widgets you may have active on your site, such as the default WordPress options, those from any plugins you have installed, or any custom widgets you’ve created. The 10 Schoolfun widgets include:
- Location Google Map Widget
- Display Random Testimonial
- Latest News
- Latest Gallery Entry
- Team Widget
- Latest Tweets
- Flickr Photo Stream
- Tabs showing blog posts, portfolio, and Flickr content
Once you’ve set up the basics, such as the menu options, and widget areas, you can begin adding content to your website using the various post types.
Documentation & Support
The online documentation for Schoolfun will walk you through the main features of the theme and how to use them. As there isn’t too much to configure and setup, the document is a little brief but it does cover all the most important information.
Customers can also access the support service which is staffed between 9 am and 5 pm GMT+7 every day to get answers to any questions you might have.
The Schoolfun educational theme is available on three pricing options:
- Standard: $49
- Developer: $79
- Cubic Themes Member Club: $169 1st year, $69 thereafter
The developer option includes the layered Photoshop files for easy customization and permits use on unlimited domains. The club membership options gives you access to all eight WordPress themes currently available from Cubic Themes. The team plan to release one new premium theme every other month which club members will get access to while their membership is active.
Schoolfun makes use of some of the best features of WordPress, such as custom post types and custom taxonomies, to make creating a website for an educational institution very straightforward, while also ensuring your content and website is easy to organize as its grows, and is easy for your visitors to navigate.
Being able to quickly change colour schemes for the whole site at the touch of a button is a nice feature, although it would be good to see some more colour schemes added to the theme, or at least an easy way to create your own. That would hopefully make Schoolfun a good fit for more institutions not using the included maroon, blue, or green colours in their branding.
The good selection of widgets and widgets areas does give you a lot of options covering which content is displayed on your site and its various pages, making Schoolfun a flexible theme.
If you are building a website for a school, college, or kindergarten, then Schoolfun and its features are well worth investigating to see if it matches all your requirements.