H697 Final Final Project, WordPress Translation Questions

The utterly final (for class anyway) version of my project is live.

One of the things I’ve learned about myself and webdesign, particularly when I have a WYSIWYG editor to play with, is that little alignment tricks appeal to the part of my brain which was imprinted in preschool Montessori education. Making things line up! Yay! Which would be why the paragraph text in the sidebar aligns with the edge of the header image, the lists in the sidebar align with the header text, and the right margin of the content text ends on the same line as the text in the top line of the header. Mildly obsessive, maybe, but also fun.

What I’m having the hardest time figuring out is how, exactly, I want to translate all of this into WordPress. Why WordPress? Because it’s a free, user-friendly CMS and the contributors/editors who will be maintaining content once the site is live are not universally tech-savvy. I might consider something like Drupal if I heard people tell me “Yeah, the user interface is totally intuitive once it’s set up!” but so far I haven’t heard that. (Also, a not insignificant fact is that I’ve been using WP for about 4 years now, and have no experience with Drupal…)

Most of the switch from hand-code to WordPress is straightforward, and some of it will even be easier (News, for instance). What I’m having trouble with is the Mentoring Toolkit. I could easily create a Mentoring Category with child categories which match the divisions I’ve sorted the essays into, and then just re-create all the pdfs as posts. Or I could make a static page with PDFs linked. Or I could do both – archive the old essays in a static page and link the static page to an active category. Any thoughts?

2 thoughts on “H697 Final Final Project, WordPress Translation Questions”

  1. Megan,

    I LOVE the new toolkit! There is some excellent information contained in those documents and now we have easy access – hooray! As to your question about structuring the tool kit, I do like the current format with the “mentoring” link and then on the mentoring page all the sub categories with the associated files are visible. I like scrolling down to peruse all at a glance rather than having to click back and forth – I might forget where I had clicked if I have to click too far away from the main page, so having all in a nice list lessons the likelihood of getting lost in a myriad of links. Having the sub category quick links on the left side of the page offers a quick way to navigate to specific categories. Now if the toolkit expands exponentially and scrolling becomes too laborious, then, yes, another organizational strategy probably would be in order, but the current content does not seem to exceed my “scrolling time vs. maintaining interest” time (is that a factor to consider in information architecture?)

    To address the question about pdf: if I was going to assign one of those pdfs as a reading for a class or as a suggested reading for a colloquium, for example, having a pdf is easier to print out than a post – or am I dating myself by suggesting to print out articles to read 🙂 Since each pdf has a discrete site address, it can be found or linked to without having to go through the main site (or maybe I’d want the student to read through the toolkit options to encourage other reading!). I am sure as time goes by, you’ll have to do archiving of some sort, but will the decision be based on whether the article content has become out of date or whether the article was submitted in a particular month? And is this decision based on the structure of a wordpress-based site or the structure of your content?

    I’m curious to follow your process because these are questions that seem integral to digital organization and may become the next sort of information exchange language, if you will, as we expand upon other organizational structures like the card catalog system of title, author, and subject or Dewey Decimal Systems and push information cataloging and retrieval ever forward. Happy sorting!

  2. Nice work on the site!

    For migrating the content for the toolkit page to a WordPress install, I would suggest adding each PDF as an entry in WP’s Media library, giving each a title, description, etc. There is even a plugin for adding tags to the media entries if you want. You could then add those media files to the page in some kind of list or gallery, much like you would do for images or audio/video files.

    Really, it would all depend on whether you’re cool with just a straight-up list on the page, or if you’d want to enable some kind of searching and sorting of that list. (This would also help address Sheri’s point earlier about the list becoming too big to find stuff.)Also whether you’d want to use that list on other parts of your site without having to recreate it.)

Comments are closed.