WordPress CMS Additions

I fell over last night so no long lists of Alchemical Formulae to round out Alchemy until tomorrow. This is a quick purely technology post.

I looked at adding a Wiki to the site to support static pages and then I looked at the WordPress CMS (content management system) add-ons. The WordPress CMS add-ons only make WP about half a CMS but, on the face of it, it’s an okay fit for me. My matrix of these systems is:

1. Single user site — blog + plugins.
2. Multi-user, no-external user editing site — CMS + plugins. Drupal is a great choice here.
3. Crown-sourcing site — Wiki.

Since I’m a single user, single author site where I want to host a big number of static pages with comments, themes, table of contents, etc. I decided to forgo the wiki and customize my site to the hilt with WP plugins. This is frought with peril because most of the mid-tier WP plugins are garbage. Sorting the garbage plugins from the good-but-not-a-good-fit plugins from “works!” is an investment. I ended up with:

– CMS Tree Page View

This plugin allows me to build my static pages as a tree from roots down to child pages. It supports arbitrary order and a drag-and-drop interface. Highly useful for organizing a large number of static pages into individual sites within a main site.

– Custom sidebars

My favorite find so far. Allows a site owner to design several sidebars for different portions of the site. A blog has blog sidebars (categories, archives, tags), a static section has a table of contents, another static section has a different set of links, etc. The sidebars are named, seperately configured, and added in the post. Super nice.

– Exclude Pages from Navigation

WordPress wants to add all pages to drop down menus. It wants to add child menus to child menus. This looks messy, especially if the site has custom sidebars with embedded navigation. This adds a checkbox to exclude pages from navigation.

– Search Everything

Forces WordPress to index all the static pages for search engines and the search box on the site. Normally it only indexes blog posts.

– Widget Entries

Very useful for custom sidebars. It provides a place to organize, edit, and create custom text widgets with a full page editor instead of the teeny editor provided in the add widget screen.

I would love to have breadcrumb navigation added to static pages, too, but so far all the breadcrumb plugins require hacking up theme templates and I’m not certain I want to do that.

So that’s where I am with being able to put up full game conversions on my site — among other things.  I might reach a point where I need to convert to Drupal but… not quite yet.