SHEN (Sydney Home Education Network)

My contribution to the build and running of the Sydney Home Education Network website.

A New Website, 2021

Covid-19 killed all of SHEN’s events and the membership took a hit as well. In early 2021 SHEN found within its membership someone who could build websites, and took the opportunity to save scarce funds and do the website maintenance and re-build themselves.

To date far nothing has changed and it will be interesting to see what happens with the SHEN website.

Actuate Theme Dies, 2020

When trying to fix a problem with the menu drop downs not showing I discovered that the Actuate theme is no longer supported. It was fixed for a time with a legacy plugin but this caused its own problems. Since installing Actucate there had never been an update, which is probably not surprising for a free theme.

To replace it I found an excellent theme from Paid Membership Pro, the suppliers of the membership management software. Memberlite is especially made for the Paid Membership Pro plugins and it’s so versatile the theme has many applications.

The look using the Memerlite theme from Paid Memberships Pro.

Moving from Joomla! to WordPress, 2016

Old SHEN home page using Joomla!.

Another Joomla site conversion! The old Sydney Home Education Network site needed an uplift to make it mobile responsive and new software to allow members to add content.

SHEN (Sydney Home Education Network) had an existing site that had a nice design and colour scheme using Joomla. The design was not responsive making it hard to use on mobile phones. In addition, support for the Joomla modules was declining and the few updates coming out were keeping the software going and not improving the usability.

Actuate Theme

WordPress is excellent for responsive design as there are many templates to chose from and it’s easy to make your own if nothing suits.

Acutate Theme by mudThemes was chosen and a child theme was made to reference it. This is a great looking theme but looking at the CSS there are a lot of classes for different colour schemes but there are no options to select them. The bought version doesn’t appear to have been released making it look like an incomplete product.

Using WordPress as a Membership and Events Website

SHEN home page. Featuring a pleasing layout with a great photo showing the freedom home education can bring.

SHEN’s Joomla website managed the memberships and the events, keeping track of memberships and taking bookings for events. The committee was keen to delegate as much of the work of running SHEN as possible to the members, so a facility to allow them to create and manage their own events and content was required.

Memberships are managed by Paid Memberships Pro, events and the calendar are looked after by Events Calendar Pro by Modern Tribe and WP User Frontend Pro allows users to enter their own articles plus home education related resources and services.

The Events Calendar

SHEN Events Page. Showing the pop up of the event details. If added the featured image shows here.

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