RuralWeb/improving websites

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Improving websites/ webportals is one of the skills of the RuralWeb community. We have expertise in HTML, Javascript, (My)SQL and also in WordPress, Joomla, Concrete5 and Typo3.

WordPress learning project[edit | edit source]

Vision In Q1 2014 we want to start the learning circle Making Beautiful Websites (e.g. WordPress for beginners). We have set up a WordPress sandbox and contacted a professional WordPress trainer to help us with the first steps.

Participants of the learning circle are intrinsic motivated to learn, work and share about the topic. Motivation could be to learn collectively more about ICT / making websites and/or to be able to earn an income using ICT in assignment for (local) NGOs, companies or governmental bodies.

All participants must commit themselves to work on the website at least 4 hours a week (to prevent that someone messed up something, and won’t repair it for instance). It is also proposed to start with all participants at once, new participants can join the next starting group, to prevent slowing down.

Product backlog[edit | edit source]

Product backlog-item Issue holder Buddy Status
Hosting of and sand box to learn in Inemarie Cheryl remains under admin of Cheryl, was registered for learning purposes
Meeting Making Beautiful Websites with Kim Nooij, @ 6 jan Inemarie Tim Done, results can be read on this page
Install WordPress participants Cheryl Done on RuralSandbox
Have usernames and inlog for all participants participants Cheryl
Test the WordPress Tim Richmond? Done on RuralSandbox
Use agile style of working (see:

Dutch: en

Tim Inemarie
Looking for (Dutch) ICT experts that can give feed-back on websites and answer questions:
  • Cheryl van Kempen (Concrete5, joomla, wordpress, html, php, css, mySQL, Jquery, javascript)
  • Edmundo Marti (Moodle, blackboard design & installer)
  • Tim Ruijters (application design + modelling)
  • Call at RUG-CIT
  • Call at De Vries Workforce Management employees
  • Call at PUM ICT experts
  • Looking for partnership with Kim Nooij and (who already have graduates in WordPress making.
  • Tim has approached several people and companies [..]
  • Also possible: Dutch supporters of Ruralweb ask question in Dutch online ICT communities & translate the answers.


Possible through Wikiversity guild and Facebook and/or a forum in the sandbox NB: make sure information that is relevant for online participants is shared on an open platform too!

NB: mapping coaches’ and RuralWeb’s supporters expertise once we are working, so that we know what questions to ask whom. Once working as a business, we might hire free-lancers if needed to fulfil a paid assignment.

Inemarie Tim
Start & lead Learning circle Making Beautiful websites (pilot)

1) Questions to Richard and/or Richmond from Soft Productions Africa

  • Feed-back on the revised action plan (6Jan14)
  • What is needed to start and lead the learning circle?
  • What technology would you want to teach in the first learning circle (HTML, Javascript, (My)SQL and also in WordPress (open source), Joomla, Concrete5, Typo3, CMS, CiviCRM (open source); programming or model-driven?

2) Richard and/or Richmond from Soft Productions Arfica and Cheryl fine tune about:

  • When to start (February 2014 together with Techsupport Ghana!)?;
  • With whom to start (only offline group in Soft Productions’ community initially, after having made e-courses, online participants can start in a second group)?;
  • Cooperation with techsupport Ghana in Tamale possible?;
  • Can Bolgatanga and Uganda be involved (how and when)?
Soft Productions Africa? Cheryl
Learning circles Making Beautiful Websites (social business) – possibilities:
  • Small assignments from local institutions (they pay afterwards according to their satisfaction)
  • Participants pay a small fee
  • Scholarships up to 75% of the course fee (to be fundraised for in the Netherlands)
  • Assignment implementer is responsible for the quality and the relation to the assignment giver.
  • Implementer/Service provider division could be 90/10

NB: research what technology local companies use (does cloud tech. work in Africa?), what are their requirements for a website and ICT tools.

Soft Productions Africa? Inemarie
All steps will be noted (in text, slide share, or video) for others to learn online as well (screen shots + explanation in slide share, team viewer) participants Soft Productions Africa?
Content of Learning Circle

- Start with basics / something simple that teaches you systematic thinking E.g. add content to Wordpress (text, pictures, video, etc) – looks great, simple in use, shared open source philosophy). When students are really interested, they will look for more and more complex information to learn.

- According to questions of the learning circle choose other subjects and technologies they want to learn.

-According to assignments: the assignment giver will have certain requirements a website should have, which will give new questions for information.

- Lessons learnt are shared online ( Wikiversity and Facebook) making videos of lessons; slide shares, screen shots etc.

- Example from techsupport Ghana

participants Soft Productions Africa?
Evaluate the way we work after 1 month Soft Productions Africa? participants


  • Who wants to participate? – we can ask this question at Facebook group
  • Input from Ghanaian and Ugandan partners online or through skype and when expected?
  • Offline or also involve online participants?
  • Who will take the lead in the project?
  • Timeline

(possible) Assignments[edit | edit source]

1) We learn together about making websites (programming, design, content management).

2) With what we learn, we can later on go for small collective assignments (small fee, no hard deadline).

3) Those who become ICT experts can earn an income through offering ICT skills to companies, NGOs and other organisations (collectively under RuralWeb-umbrella or on their own).

+ ICT coaches in programming, design, content management, marketing, and organisation (to accelerate learning and bring in new ICT knowledge) will be asked to support with their time and expertise (around 4h/week) to answer specific questions or give feed-back on an learning circle product.

Here you can find some websites we could improve:

Website Url Next action/ status Actionholder Buddy
RuralWeb-website see RuralWeb website for more info; next action: contact RuralWeb organisation and ask if they are interested in improving the website Inemarie Tim
RuralWeb sand box Can be used to practice WordPress, Drupal, Concrete5 Cheryl Tim
FSAN contact FSAN and ask if they are interested in improving the website Inemarie Tim
Wonder they might be interested ; tbc Inemarie Tim
Football portal see football portal for more info Richmond Tim
  • find more organisations: find more organisations which websites can be improved. E.g. Dutch NGOs, or local companies, NGOs and governemental bodies. (Should we focus on companies in the development cooperation business?)
  • first contact:
    • we can offer an analysis of the current website
    • possible questions before the analysis:
      • what software is used for the current website? is this software easy to use? is other software a possibility? which software?
      • what should the new website look like? can we interview some people in the organisation about the wishes of the new website
      • how much budget is available to improve the website?