Using WordPress as a content management systemPosted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2011 by Jamie
We have been finding ourselves turning more and more to WordPress to meet our Content Management needs. Over the past couple of years it has outgrown its ‘blogging software’ roots and become a fully fledged content management system in its own right, being awarded the Overall Best Open Source CMS Award in the 2009 Open Source CMS Awards.
This is a small brochure style website that required an easy to use and archived latest news system, with certain news items to appear on the home page, as well as a Chinese translated version of the site which was to be translated by the client themselves, i.e not an automatic translation.
For the Chinese version of the site we used a WordPress plugin called qTranslate. There are plenty of Translation plugins for WordPress although most of them provide an automatic translation of some sort, using various online services, qTranslate enables the client to write the translation themselves, as you can see in the screenshot below.
The plugin also creates a user friendly URL for the Chinese version, simply adding the folder ‘/zh/’ to the URL, for example: http://www.goldenboughip.com/GBIP/zh/services/.
The only issue we had was that only the text contained within the WordPress database is translated. We also needed to load a different banner for the Chinese version, as well as other little bits of text such as the contact form labels. For this we used some custom php to detect which language was currently being viewed and then serve up the appropriate text snippet or set of banners.
Precious Cargo has been a huge task and we are all very pleased with the result. The one installation of WordPress actually manages 2 different sub sites of The Laurence Sterne Trust, Precious Cargo and The Collection.
The main focus of the Precious cargo sub site was to be the ‘Letters from Yorick to Eliza‘, which are scans from a book. Each scanned page is set up as a different page in WordPress (all sub pages of the same parent). Each of these pages has a featured image attached (the scanned image), as well as some content (the page notes). A number of the letters also have YouTube videos associated which are added via a custom field.
Alongside the letters we needed a number of pages, each with a gallery of images and extra ‘page notes’ at the bottom, the page notes being created with custom fields and the Custom Field Template plugin (which adds WYSIWYG editing to custom fields). One of these pages also needed to display certain events and exhibitions from the main Laurence Sterne Trust website. We had built a custom event management system for them last year so for this we added the ability to tag an event as ‘precious cargo’ we then fed all the precious cargo tagged events through to this page.
For two of the pages we also required a ‘mini blog’, with one of them having comment functionality. As these only needed to be single category blogs we simply output the posts from the relevant category in each page’s template, along with the featured image and the usual social bookmarking links.
This left the ‘posts’ in WordPress relatively free and enabled us to use these for the second sub site, The Collection. This is a showcase of books and various other items, ‘The World’s largest collection of editions of the 18th century writer Laurence Sterne’s work.’
These are split into 9 categories just like the usual blog posts, the categories are all sub categories of a top level ‘the collection’ category. Each item has a featured image and a set of images displayed in a gallery format. We made use of custom fields to display extra information, such as object history, dimensions, date, author etc.
We also included the WordPress search function, limiting the results to the Collection categories only, rather than the entire WordPress databse which would give us precious cargo pages aswell.