help with site builder tools, for research & ed site

Category: Website Design

JessieHenshaw
Asked:
2013-09-10 11:20 am EST

Hits: 411
I'd like a site builder that has educational tools and is manageable for a science writer, letting me
+ change the proportions of the builder's graphic layouts so I can have my own style
+ place images, data tables, graphs, with pop-up viewer for them, and pop-up help windows
+ to read as
-- an Ebook in some places
-- a newsletter in others
-- a scientific research paper
-- a tutorial in others
+ take user comments and tabulate responses to questions.

I think it might be a combination of Softaculous tools, but don't know. I'd pay something if there's something well enough designed at at a level I could learn how to do. I've been updating my site for 15 years or so, http://synapse9.com, and developing the new site http://jessiehenshaw.com

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JacobIMH
Staff
9,962 Points
2013-09-10 12:38 pm EST
Hello JessieHenshaw, and thanks for your thorough question.

It's a pretty loaded question so I'll do my best to touch on each of your points below:

For a site builder that has educational tools, I suppose it would depend on exactly what you mean by educational. There is the very popular and widely used by educational institutions Moodle software for instance.

Moodle is a Course Management System (CMS), also known as a Learning Management System (LMS) or a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). It is a Free web application that educators can use to create effective online learning sites.

We have a whole Moodle education channel that covers a wide range of topics on how to use this software. Based on it sounding like you'd want to customize things to your taste, you'd probably want to check out our changing the appearance of Moodle section as well.

Now for some of your other needs, Moodle probably wouldn't be best for those. Such as having pop-up help windows, and being read in different formats would probably require some extra work outside of what Moodle is intended for.

One of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) is WordPress. It's probably got some of the most flexibility in terms of customization than most other software.

We also have a WordPress education channel with a whole section on changing the WordPress appearance.

Now where WordPress might have a leg up on Moodle, is with all of the WordPress plugins and widgets available for free. Basically the most people use WordPress over other CMS, so there are more people making customized plugins for it to solve ever new problems and needs than with other platforms.

Now those would be the 2 I'd recommend based off your needs. But you might still be interested in checking out some of the other popular ones such as Joomla, Drupal or even the Premium Website Builder.

In regards to paying for getting something put together for you. We also have our web design experts that you can request a free consultation with. They could customize WordPress to help meet your needs, and then hand you off the keys so you could go in and manage content on your own, and make your own adjustments if needed.

I hope I touched on all of your questions as best as possible. If you had any further follow-up questions at all please don't hesitate to ask!

- Jacob

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