Hi everyone. You've got to check out this site I contributed on earlier in the year...
This project is the brainchild of Paul Armbruster, founder of Kings News Daily & The Puck Passion Project.
Paul brought me on board early in the piece to help him decide if Wordpress, Catalyst and WP Multisite would all play together nicely to help get the outcome for the site he was looking for. From there, we put together a design framework for site, built the layouts and mapped how he'd be able to populate the site and layouts with info making the best of what WP and Catalyst have to offer. We've also taken Back-up Buddy's new multisite functionality into consideration with this project, as Paul will be rolling out sites for other teams within the MS instillation. Back-up buddy's duplicate function is great for this. (NB. There is a small extra step that needs to be performed when duplicating Catalyst sites with B-Bud, where the dynamik images folder for the new site must be manually created. I'll make a separate forum post on this.) We are also running domain mapping within the MS environment to keep child sites at discrete URLs.
The reason that we've waited a while to post it is that what we worked on and launched at the time was pretty much a live Beta. Since then, Paul has done a ton of work polishing the site up, tuning his workflow, refining styling and graphical elements. What he has now is something really awesome, and I'm so glad to have been involved in it in the early stages.
I'll leave Paul to discuss much of what he's got going now, and what his plans are to take it forward as he's got time, but I'd like to run through two important elements of the site on top of what I've already mentioned above...
All the news stories you see on the home page are posts from the WP database. Everything from the main headline, the sub headline and everything in the three columns are populated using the Catlyst Excerpt Plus Widget built by Michael Davis aka surfjam aka I'm not Marvin. In fact, several of the key elements of the Excerpt Plus Widget are a direct result of Paul and I going to Michael and asking very nicely if he'd write in the functionality we were looking for. This was a huge help to the project, and without MD's support we would have been back to the drawing board for a vastly different solution.
Secondly, as you'll notice, this is a news hub site, and whilst each story lives as a post on KND, most of the content is not actually hosted on the site. When a visitor wants to read a story they are taken off to the source site to see the information there. So, whist we have the post title, excerpt, images, video or audio etc. for the post, this is just to populate the news columns.
From there we have a custom function (also written by Michael Davis) that handles the source story URL. Then, when a visitor clicks the post title, they are not taken to a 'single post' page, but are sent out to the source site. This gives us all the flexibility of the post and category blog system, as well as the ability to manipulate the content areas in the columns with the excerpt widgets while still being able to keep the content in its original location. The site will still handle regular blog content in the way WP intended, as the custom function allows a source URL to be assigned or standard blog post functionality.
Paul is now starting to make more use of the regular WP post functionality for social sharing purposes since posts can be easily tweeted and facebooked.
Huge thanks go to Michael for his support with this project!
Hope you all enjoy the site, and once again "Behold the Power of Catalyst". The power and flexibility it offers to greatly expedite the development of WP sites of all sorts, blog, static, minimal, highly customized and more is just outstanding!