CONTENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
Upon starting this project, we knew that it would take a lot longer to build from scratch rather than using a CMS. For this reason, we plan to develop the site through a CMS and create the website from scratch at a future date giving us more customisation for our site. This also gives the site time to develop and grab a market before committing to anything serious. As our group all have experience building sites from coding, we can do this part ourselves when we have spare time, further increasing our savings. To get our company off the ground we would have to find a content management system that would suit all our needs and requirements at this time. Our mission was to find a content management system that can handle all the features and functionality we hope to implement into our website while also being simple and minimalistic. Some of the things we hope to include in the website includes an easy to use home page with attractive colours and pictures to attract the attention of users of all ages while advertising our eLearning platform. We also plan to create a sign in and registration page with a handful of subscription options for parents and teachers to choose from. The site will be filled with information about the App along with pictures and videos of the app in use along with a forum and a way to contact us if they have any issues.
For our App we plan to supply a handful of games to educate children unknowingly in a fun and innovate way. This helps children to develop lifelong learning skills unknowingly from a young age in a fun and entertaining way. We hope to make an active community with our games where kids can earn education points, prizes and cosmetics for avatars they create themselves. Implementing such an interactive environment with progress towards levelling up your character can entertain children for hours every day. Another smart business approach we can implement into this app is adding the ability for customers to purchase additional prize boxes for a small charge. Having micro-transactions in our app is completely optional and won’t change an individual’s experience while using the application as they can still earn these prizes as they play, however this offers additional prize boxes for a fee if their child enjoys it.
To include all these features and possibly more features down the line we decided to research two different content management systems and decide which one of them would be best suited to our specific needs. The two systems that stuck out to us we WordPress and Joomla (Content Management System, 2018).
Technical Solution 1 – WordPress
With WordPress being the most popular open source CMS in the world and being used by over 70 million online websites, we knew we would have to research the platform extensively. WordPress is well known for its endless supply of vast features and functionality through its free plugins and themes options. WordPress is an incredibly swift, simple and cost-effective way of entering the online network. When creating your first site the platform provides thousands of predeveloped themes to choose from. Once a theme is set it can be customised and changed to whatever the user requires. The site automatically creates a default admin account and provides the creator the ability to create more admin accounts for other team members (Content Management System, 2018). However, where this platform thoroughly shines is through its plugins. The WordPress plugin feature allows users to extend the features and functionality of a website or blog. ‘As of February 2019, WordPress.org has 54,402 plugins available, each of which offers custom functions and features enabling users to tailor their sites to their specific needs’ (WordPress, 2019). Examples of popular websites that use WordPress include Disney, BBC, Sony and New York Times. WordPress is also search engine friendly as it comes pre-installed with the WordPress SEO plugin or you can download several different plugins like this one to help with search engine optimization. This plugin makes it, so your website will appear higher and more accurately in search results.
Technical Solution 2 – Joomla
Joomla is one of the other CMS packages we considered using for our project. This software is free and open source so it can be used by anybody much like WordPress so you can study, edit or change any of the code and make it your own. Joomla is very open to customization as you can easily change the logo, header and footer, headings and other contents of your website. Like WordPress, Joomla comes with plug-ins and templates that can be changed or added since Joomla is open-source (WordPress vs Joomla, 2018). The Joomla website has an online forum with constant support from other users, so you can always find support when attempting to use this software. After looking at Jooma’s interface it is noticeably very user friendly, so it will be quite easy to build your website using this software. Joomla is also based off PHP and MySQL which are both open-source so it would be possible to use knowledge from previous college work when using this software package (Joomla, 2018). We dealt with PHP and MySQL quite a lot throughout our third year of college, so Joomla 94 would be a good choice for us to develop the website. While Joomla may not be as popular as WordPress, it holds a strong competitive market with companies such as IKEA, Linux and even government sites such as the UK Ministry of Defence.
Although Joomla has many useful features and reasons to choose it, we decided that WordPress was the winner in our choice of content management systems simply due to our experience with it in the past. We believe using our developers preferred software we will in turn develop a website of a much higher quality rather than all three of us learning a new CMS platform. WordPress has endless support for any type of site being developed and we believe we can make a site of high enough quality to enter the eLearning market successfully using their software. If the platform becomes troublesome overtime, we plan to develop a new website from scratch when we have a longer timeframe. With our past knowledge of coding we can develop the site ourselves or hire developers to create a more advanced site for us.
The following will describe three ways that we could use to create an application for our platform. Using easy-to-use app builders like AppyPie are not always the best solution, while they may initially be free of charge, you will need a subscription for a prolonged period and more than bare-bones customization. There are only three types of applications we can create (this does not mean categories, like games app, news app, etc.)
A native application is a program that is developed to be used and integrated on a specific Operating System (OS). The idea is that since it’s directly connected and installed on a device it will be able to utilise the hardware and software capabilities to its full potential. Examples of native apps include Google Maps and Facebook for both iOS and Android. They both come pre-installed and are optimised to function efficiently for each OS. A native app has to be developed for each platform you want to support individually. Different platforms require alternative coding languages and Software Development Kits (SDKs). Android uses Java and Kotlin for app development, while constructing a native program for a video game console would consist of C++ and C Sharp (C#). If we wanted to develop an educational gaming app, 85 we would also require a development platform like the Unity or Unreal engines. (Quora, 2016) The cost will be difficult to estimate as it depends on a large number of variables. An educational native application for a video game console such as a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One would cost much more than an application for mobile devices. Since our budget is tight for the first few years we will not initially be developing an app for those gaming platforms.
A Web app varies from native apps since the program itself is stored on a web client and run from an internet browser. You are not required to download the program and it does not take up any space on any forms of internal storage like a hard-disk or external storage, such as an SD card. Web apps unlike native apps, need the internet to be accessible and so cannot be used when offline.