Course Curriculum

Prerequisite: WP310, WC300, WS300
Units: 5 credit hours
Textbook: Digging Into WordPress by Chris Coyier & Jeff Starr

Course Description: The course serves as an introduction to Utilizing Content Management Systems for web development. Using WordPress, Students will learn the concepts and structures relevant to building client websites, communities, portfolios and blogs. By the end of the course students will be equipped to set up, manage content, design themes, utilize community-built plugins and write their own plugins.

Topics covered will include:

  • Practical applications and benefits of a CMS
  • WordPress theme architecture
  • WordPress plugin creation and the Plugin API
  • WordPress widgets and Sidebars
  • Participating in the WordPress community

Objectives: To teach students how to develop a variety of types of sites using WordPress as a CMS. Develop a complete wordpress-powered site from scratch by the end of the course.

Accommodations: Students with disabilities or any disadvantage who may need accommodations in the class are encouraged to notify the instructor, so accommodations can be made as soon as possible.

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is the act of presenting work, either written or spoken that is not your own. Platt College and the instructor will not tolerate plagiarism. The penalty will be automatic failure of this course and potential dismissal from the college.

Out of Class Course Work (homework): Every student is expected to do at least 15 hours of work per week outside of the classroom (90 hours per module), including reading text book, following tutorials, watching videos and working on projects. Computers will be available every day on campus before class. Any material from “out of class course work” may be applicable to questions on quizzes or tests. Any assigned homework will be graded.

Attendance: Attendance is mandatory. Three absences with an adequate explanation will be tolerated. the 4th absence must be made up by completing a lab assignment during Sunday lab. All missed work must be made up. The 5th absence will require the student to be dropped.

Materials: Textbook, Hard drive (thumb drive is sufficient), notebook and pen. Students must have access to web hosting and a domain.

Grading Scale:

A: 90% – 100%
B: 80% – 89%
C: 70% – 79%
D: 60% – 69% * Academic Probation
Fail: Below 60%

Mid-Term Quiz 10%
Mini-Projects 20%
Final Exam 30%
Final Project 40%



Week 1: Basic Implementation

Introduction to CMS concepts and flexibility
Overview of necessary skills
Community Resources
Installation Process:  Remote and Local
Introduction to concepts of themes, plugins, widgets, menus
Theme design considerations


Week 2: Theme Development

Theme requirements: template hierarchy, the loop
Sidebars, Widget Areas, Menus
Navigtation, Pagination, Comments
Custom Fields


Week 3: Advanced Development

Theme Options, functions.php, special feature support
Writing Plugins and Widgets
Hooks, Actions and Filters
Custom Post Types and Taxonomies


Week 4: Real World Skills

Admin Panel Customization
Moving to a new host
Database maintenance and recovery
Automating backups
Testing themes and plugins, coding standards
Monetizing CMS skills


Week 5: Final Thoughts

Wildcard topics
Final exam review
Project Critique