New theme, New theme, New theme, I just cant make up my mind on a temporary theme. I plan to make my own theme based on several themes that I like but in the meantime I need something to run on the site that will be similar to my custom made theme so the content doesn’t look out of place once it is built. In addition to the theme dilemma I have another issue which is content organization. I just cant make up my mind on categories, sub categories and posts. I am used to working with Joomla and Xoops which are more article / news driven and not blog style like WordPress. The issues I keep running into are that my content is better suited on a CMS (Content Management System) website but instead I just keep using and tweaking a blog site to run like an article / news driven site.
This obviously introduces issues such as categories, sub categories and posts, I will explain each in more detail and include why I continue to use WordPress despite these issues. Categories in WordPress seem as if they need to be kept to a bare minimum, Its just the way it is designed. Sub Categories really need to be kept to a minimum and sometimes you are punished for using them. In one theme they will work perfect but in another they look like top level categories and another theme they might not show up at all. Posts are complicated because they aren’t any options for a multipart post. Like when you are reading a review on the color Red vs. the color Green and first their are 2 pages on introduction and then the page of battle and the final page of conclusion, WordPress is 1 page all or nothing.
Despite all of this I continue to use WordPress for many reasons including,
- Built on the latest PHP5 and MYSQL5
- Its extremely easy to keep up to date
- Plugins and Themes are Bountiful
- Plugins and Themes are fast and easy to install / uninstall
- Theme Quick preview (Shows your actual site without applying) is the bees knees
- Choice of WYSIWYG editor and both can support many plugins
- Very easy to add / change / remove categories & posts (something NO CMS package can do)
Lets face it, I can go on and on with all the great things about WordPress and if it wasn’t so great it wouldn’t have blown up as huge as it did in such a short amount of time. Don’t get me wrong here as WordPress definitely does have its negatives too. Some are very specific to the user like the difficulty involved in making your own custom widgets while others are obvious short comings like the inability to natively attach files to posts (PDF, Excel, Word, ZIP, Etc..). After using Joomla for several years I realize what a total pain in the ass it is to manage a full blown powerful CMS site and a real life. I don’t want to spend all my time managing my website, I only want to share my projects with the world in a quick and easy way. If it is too much of a pain I will never get around to updating anything and people will only see the finished product of something like my QuadRoCopter and not actually how I got there.
So I am stuck thinking, dreaming and talking about how to organize this site without hacking it until it is a full CMS site while still keeping articles and projects organized and easy to find. I have found some plugins very useful for what I think will be my final outcome in the overall site design and layout. The current plan is to keep the categories and sub categories to a minimum while keeping linked documents easy to find. What I have come up with is this plan,
- Keep categories down to a few major sections
- Give larger projects and topics their own categories
- Keep all reviews (Software, Hardware & Consumer) in 1 category
- If a topic expands beyond X articles give it a category
- Use post Excerpts & Thumbnail on Excerpt to clean up search results & Categories
- Use Related Posts (post like this) plugin to help link similar topics
- Build custom theme around my content layout
With this plan I believe I can pull this off, without needing to switch to a more powerful CMS system and while keeping the site neat and organized. Hopefully this little update will help others who are also currently stuck at the crossroads of wanting the extremely control and organization a CMS site offers but while needing the simplicity of a WordPress site due to time or other constraints.