I’ve been helping a few different universities setup clones on the OU Docs site. I was doing some work for Middlebury College and they were asking for a documentation site. Ours was running, but just barely, on an instance of DokuWiki, so we went through some options of what to do:
Option 1: Transition to a flat file CMS. Pros: This could seemingly be forkable by any institution, especially if we used Jekyll has the CMS. But the downside is that it doesn’t have the friendliness of a WYSIWIG editor.
Option 2: Transition to WordPress. Pros: it’s very easy to use and manage multiple users. Cons: Most of the better plugins were premium and we had a hard time finding an open source one.
We’ve opted for WordPress and as long as the premium plugin is purchased, we can still share our data very easy. With a couple of really handy plugins we can also quickly convert mentions of the platform “OU Create”and URLs “create.ou.edu” over to anything else.
Because Amy Collier allowed me to share what was built for MiddCreate, I’ve been able to help three other institutions stand up similar instances of documentation. It’s certainly not a perfect model (I think in a perfect model there’s a central documentation site into your bank a la federated wiki and they get auto-white labeled) but it’s proved to be scalable enough. Below is a tutorial for how an exact replica of our site and custom tailor it to your institution.
- Install WordPress
Install the Sparkling Wordpress theme.
Install Documentor (a premium plugin). I’ve bought a multi license which gave me five sites for $35. Not too shabby.
Import an XML file containing all previous Docs. You can get this by going to a previous document site, going to Documentor > Manage and clicking Export (I’m always happy to share).
- Create a page titled “Support” and change page template to full-width (no sidebar)
Add shortcode [documentor 1] to page and Publish.
Change front page to static page “Support”.
Install Text Replace plugin
Add following code under Settings > Text Replace
middcreate.net => NEWSITE.net
middcreate => UNIVERSITY Create
MiddCreate => UNIVERSITY Create
Middlebury => UNIVERSITY
Middcreate.net => plymouthcreate.net
- Install Velvet Blues Update URLs plugin
Go to Tools > Update URLs
- Go to Appearance > Menu and add new menu with custom link that takes user back to home page