Langara Outlines

WMADD 4840 Outline (2017)

NOTE: this outline is for a previous running of the class. To go to the current outline, use the menu at the top of the page.

Your final assignment is due within one week of the last class, by midnight. The final exam will take place in the last class session—not in the exam period as officially scheduled. The exact dates are:

  • Exam: March 31
  • Final Assignment: April 7
WMADD 4835 Content Management Systems
Credits: 3 Room: B014
Contact Info:
Kevin McMillan
Office A247b
Days & Times:
Spring 2017
Fridays, Jan 06 – April 03
12:30-320 (lecture)
3:30–5:20 (lab)

SKIP to Class Content

This class will cover Content Management Systems, specifically WordPress.

Like anything in life, this outline is subject to occasional changes.

Throughout the term, I will add links to additional supporting content.

I want to make as much of your learning task-based, so nearly every week there will be problem-solving exercises to be completed in class or in the lab.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to

  • install a Content Management System (CMS) framework on a production web server
  • configure a local testing environment with the same CMS
  • evaluate, install and configure appropriate CMS themes, modules, widgets, and plugins
  • create content, media, menu structures & content types
  • create and restore data and system backups
  • identify and implement appropriate security and anti-spam measures (user accounts, permissions, patches, etc.)
  • customize themes
  • write basic themes

Textbook / Reference Material

There is no textbook for this course: we will use primarily online sources: Videos
Installing and Running WordPress: MAMP  (mac & windows )
Installing and Running WordPress: WAMP ( windows )
WordPress: Essential Training
WordPress: Building Themes From Scratch Using Underscores
WordPress: Developing Secure Sites

WordPress References
The WordPress Codex

WordPress Cheat Sheets
WP Mega Cheat Sheet
WP Developer Super Cheat Sheet

Course Structure

The class schedule is detailed below.

Techniques learned in one assignment or exercise will always be the starting point for subsequent ones. Be assured, therefore, that no lectures that can be easily missed.

It is your responsibility to make sure that you do not miss any announcements or course materials given in any class. Any additional announcements will be made via email to your mylangara accounts.

Main Assignment: Theme Project 30%
Quizzes 15%
Lab Exercises 15%
Midterm 20%
Final 20%

Final Assignment Description (Revised March 2017)

Note, also, that dates listed can change in response to class progress. 

Week 1: Jan 06 ( Introduction to WordPress )

  • CMS vs Static Sites / vs models
  • Setup of Local Testing Environment: MAMP
  • WP Dashboard
  • WP Editing Area
  • Media / Galleries
  • Embeds
  • Posts
  • Permalinks

Weekly Videos


Lab Exercise

Week 2: Jan 13 ( Basic Content Types )

  • Posts vs Pages
  • Categories & Tags
  • Excerpts
  • Settings / Customizer
  • Menus
  • Site Backup

Lab Exercise


Weekly Videos

Week 3: Jan 20 ( Themes & Plugins)

  • A range of themes for business, portfolios, etc
  • JetPack
  • Common plugins

Lab Exercise

Weekly Videos

Week 4: Jan 27 ( Users / Comments / Security )

  • Test Number 1
  • User roles
  • Comments / Anti-Spam Measures
  • Other comment systems
  • Security pt 1

Lab Exercise

Weekly Videos

Week 5: Feb 03 ( Backup / Restoration / Duplication)

  • A Range of Backup Options
  • Backup Automation
  • Site Transfer
  • Site Restoration
  • Security pt 2


Weekly Videos

Week 6: Feb 10 (Midterm )


Week 7: Feb 17 ( Reading Week )

  • No classes this week. College closed Monday, but open other days.

Week 8: Feb 24  ( Child Themes )

  • Purpose of Child Themes
  • Functions.php
  • WordPress CSS

Weekly Videos


Week 9: Mar 02 ( Theme Writing )

  • The Loop
  • Basic Template Tags: content, author, category, tags, excerpt, post-thumbnail, etc
  • The WordPress Template Hierarchy
  • Menus

Weekly Videos


Week 10: Mar 09 ( Theme Writing 2 )

  • Test Number 2
  • Functions.php: scripts, fonts, theme-support
  • Starter Themes: Underscores
  • get_template_part

Week 11: Mar 16 ( Theme Writing 3 )

Week 12: Mar 23 ( Theme Writing 4 )

  • Multiple Loops
  • Custom Post Types



The following six-part exercise will help you prepare for the exam and the final assignment.

Week 13: Mar 30: Exam