WordPress content management system

The web publishing model for this course utilises collaborative OER development in a wiki environment to facilitate reuse, with the additional ability to publish content to a website you can control and administer.

Many websites use a content management system (CMS) for publishing, editing and modifying content. The CMS avoids the need for detailed knowledge of HTML (HyperText Markup Language), the standard “code” for creating web pages. However, when it comes to course development and design, most CMSs are typically not designed for large scale collaboration with detailed version history or to facilitate reuse of the content on different websites. Using wiki technology may offer an alternative, as it is expressly designed for large scale collaboration with detailed version control and the wiki pages can be harvested for delivery using different technologies. In this course, we have combined wiki and CMS technology to achieve the best of two worlds.



We use the MediaWiki software engine, the same technology which powers the Wikipedia website. For this course we also use WordPress which is currently the most popular CMS for building websites. Both technologies are open source software.

The strategic vision of the OER Foundation, which hosts the technology for the OERu is to nurture and develop sustainable ecosystems for mainstream adoption of open education approaches. Consequently the Foundation focuses on the ability to reuse any collection of WikiEducator pages for delivery using multiple platforms. All the software code we use to harvest wiki pages and to publish course websites is released under an open source software license which can be replicated by anyone with the relevant technical knowledge. In summary the delivery process involves:

  1. Developing an outline page which links to a collection of individual wiki pages for your course website.
  2. Setting up a WordPress installation on the internet. We will show you how to do this and provide a web service to simplify the process. Staff at OERu partner institutions may prefer using the WordPress sites hosted by the OER Foundation[1].
  3. Using a web service to harvest the collection of your wiki pages specified on the outline page for import into WordPress (or hosted website for OERu partners). This will apply a professional theme for your website using a responsive design framework for viewing on mobile devices. This process will automatically generate the website navigation, next and previous buttons and other layout features.


Microblog activity

At the OER Foundation, we eat our own dog food—we’ve developed this course using the technologies we are sharing with you in this course. This website was generated from this content outline in WikiEducator and the course is hosted on WordPress.

Take a few minutes and:

  1. Explore how the structured bullet list of the outline relates to the navigation menus on the WordPress site (this course site).
  2. Visit a few pages in the outline. Compare each to the resultant layout of the corresponding page in the course site.
  3. If you are navigating the materials from a desktop or notebook, visit the course homepage and reduce the width of your browser display to mimic changes in the navigation and layout for small-screen devices.
  4. Click on an image in the course website to see how it is attributed.

Based on your preliminary reading of this page, please share your thoughts and ideas on the advantages and disadvantages of this open publishing model on WEnotes below, OERu forums or Twitter. For example:

  • Adv: … #ds4oer
  • Disadv: … #ds4oer
  • Other?

(If using WEnotes, you do not need to explicitly add the hash tag “ds4oer” to your post.)

You must be logged in to post to WEnotes.


  1. As a small charitable organisation, we do not have the financial resources to provide free hosting services for everyone. OERu partners contribute membership fees which enable us to provide a hosted website service for partner institutions. If your institution is interested in joining the OERu international network, you will find more information on how to become a partner here. However, using the WordPress option, everyone will be able to publish a course website and you will retain control over your own content.