Last year my wife Michelle launched Print Play Learn (formerly Harriet & Violet), a free teaching resources site for teachers, parents and children specialising in Early Years and Primary education. Last week the site turned one!
School teachers have a variety of resource websites to use, but Michelle, a Primary school teacher herself, constantly found she had to create her own resources to use in the classroom and thought it would be beneficial to others to share them on her own site. She looked to me for the technical side of setting up the site, as she set about creating a good number of resources to launch the site with.
There was no question in my mind that this would be a WordPress site. Even though all the resources are free to download, Easy Digital Downloads was the perfect solution for managing the resources and their downloads. The EDD checkout is bypassed using the EDD Free Download extension.
At the moment users can sign up to the site to keep up to date with news and show download history. It is free to do so, although not required to download resources. This membership is managed through Restrict Content Pro, and is a great foundation if we decide to release premium resources for different membership tiers down the line.
Michelle loves both Instagram and WordPress, so much so that it was her idea for me to build Instagrate Pro, so it seemed only fitting to use it on her site to show the resources being used. Of course there is a blog too.
The site had an extremely soft launch, a new Twitter account was opened and I worked on some basic SEO for the site. Michelle has spent periods of time adding new resources but we have not actively advertised or pushed the site. It has predominantly been word of mouth. Considering this, Michelle and I are pretty pleased with the first year’s statistics:
46,883 Unique visitors
262,620 Page views
52,200 Resource downloads
2,032 Website signups
936 Twitter followers
Michelle had been using the TES website for many years and she started to add some of her H&V resources to the site. They proved popular and the TES invited H&V to become a Content Partner, which means they promote the site and her resources, which has helped with traffic.
The site sorely needs a spruce up. Its theme is bespoke but heavily influenced by a premium theme, as well as borrowing from other sites. We need to work on the style of the brand and update the site accordingly.
The great thing about the site is that it can tick along without much management from month to month. However, Michelle wants to get lots of new resources up and will be looking at adding some exclusive content later in the year.
It has been an interesting project for us both and we can’t believe a year has gone by so fast. Michelle is proud to have a site that actually gets some traffic and people find useful. Here’s to another year of teaching resources!