WordPress .com just rolled out a new education vertical that is meant to help educators easily create good-looking websites for their classes. Over the last few months, WordPress.com, the fully hosted version of the popular open-source WordPress content management system, started introducing a number of verticals that focus specifically on certain types of sites, be they restaurant sites, homepages for musicians or personal portfolios. Today’s announcement marks WordPress.com’s first direct foray into the education business.
With this launch, WordPress.com is also introducing a new theme, Chalkboard, that it will highlight in addition to the other education-focused designs in its gallery.
The company argues that “whether you need a group blog for your high school history project, or to keep your 3rd grade students’ parents up to date about the next field trip, you’ll find the solution here at WordPress.com.” Given that not every school and parent will be comfortable with all the class information being freely available on the web, WordPress.com’s announcement also stresses that these sites and/or individual pages can always be hidden behind passwords.
The launch of all of these verticals over the last few months is clearly meant to highlight the fact that WordPress is not just a basic blogging platform anymore. Thanks to its flexible theming engine and the addition of custom post types, WordPress has now become a pretty capable content management system that can be used for far more than basic blogging.