Hi Michelle, I'm not sure if you're bound by SP at this stage but you will note that most of these linked sites are using tables to mark-up the page layout. This is typical of SP installs and I can certainly advise that to build an accessible and standards comliant site in the SharePoint framework is h-a-r-d work. I think in an educational environment the the function and accessibility factors are key.
The exception here is the Cleveland Clinic which somebody has done well to create with quite nice code, but Firebug tells me that the full page laods at around 1.3 mb! I'm afraid this is also typical of Microsoft platform systems too.
MS say they are attending to the tabular mark-up/accessibility thing etc... and here are obviously advantages to SP (specifically for intranets and typical user workflow services etc..) but I firmly believe there are significantly better public web CMS's out there for EDU scenarios.
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"We have started the move to make all our sites HTTPS. With our InCommon membership (paid by our State Chancellor's Ofice), we get free certificates, so there is no ongoing costs.
In 2014, Google said they give some SEO bumps to HTTPS sites.…"
"Yep, I got the same messages. Some of our sites use SSL and we've been talking about migrating all the rest our sites for a while now. I suspect we will be doing it rather than just talking about it sooner rather than later now. :\"
I recently got a notice from Google that in October 2017 Chrome V62 with show the warning "NOT SECURE" on all our web pages we have a input field for search. Since on most of our pages there is nothing that would require secure information I've never felt the need for HTTPS. Our class registration pages are secure but not the general information pages. The warning is going to scare people though. Are others upgrading their websites?See More
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"Hi Samuel – WordPress will be a good choice for this kind of project. Can you let us know more about what features you are thinking of adding? It seems to me that a combination of a WordPress site and tightly integrated social media channels…"