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Chris SilichCreative Technologist

Student Show

Client: Creative Circus

Design & Wordpress Development

During my time as a Program Director at the Creative Circus (a creative portfolio school in Atlanta) we needed a website to manage the school’s internal competition.

What started as a simple website to showcase a few student projects grew into a massive system with hundreds of user accounts with different access limitations, creating, editing, and voting on terrabytes of content.


  • Adobe XD & paper (for the design work)
  • WordPress theme (from scratch)
  • SCSS
  • Advanced Custom Fields (WP plugin)
  • Multi Rating Pro (WP plugin)


  • Students create user profiles and submit their projects as wordpress posts.
  • Administrators approve and categorize the posts.
  • Site “mode” is changed for voting.
  • Invited judges create accounts, and assign star ratings to all the submitted projects.
  • Once the awards are handed out, site mode changes back to allow students to see who won.
  • Winning projects stay online forever, and can be posted on social media by the students.

Technologically, the main challenge was balancing the ease of making accounts and posts in a (relatively) user-friendly CMS like WordPress, with the need for complex security.

For example, nosey students shouldn’t be able to see other students’ posts in the same show until after awards are assigned, but they can see posts from old shows.

The design concept was a desk in the school, where students brainstorm, sketch, illustrate, measure, cut, glue, and sweat.

This concept allowed for some really fun, but sometimes challenging, SCSS.

This site can be viewed publicly, but for security reasons, I can’t share code or provide a log in for the back end.