I have created quite a few websites over the last few years, some with dynamic galleries, some with blogs and others with eCommerce sections. My own personal website, this website, is a basic WordPress template (I intend to improve upon the design at some point). One problem I have had with creating sites that have dynamically editable regions is that every part of the site with user editable data/regions has its own sign-in page and admin section.
I am currently in the process of building a website that will have pretty much all of the previously mentioned features. It is going to have 2 pages that each have dynamic photo galleries, it will have a blog and it will have an online store, as well as the usual about us, contact us and home page. I do not want to have to set up lots of different log on screens, user names, passwords etc…
For this reason I am going to develop the entire site in WordPress.
Every feature that I have mentioned so far has an easy to install plugin/feature in wordpress. For example:
- I have used Zen Cart for eCommerce in the past, I recommend Jigoshop plugin for WordPress
- I have used Zen Photo for photo galleries in the past (this is great if you decide not to use WordPress), but for wordpress I would recommend Gallery or NextGen gallery plugins
- WordPress can nicely handle static pages, so creating a home, contact and about pages is easily done
- Do I need to suggest what to use as a blog?
Developing and installing a custom theme for WordPress is very easy, so there is no reason why your website can not be completely your own. The only way people will be able to tell that you have developed around a WordPress site is if they view the site source and see the document structure, but I am guessing the kind of person visiting your site will not be interested in this.
A few nice features/plugins that I have found while doing my site are:
- Pages Post by Rich Gubby is a great plugin, if you set your blog to post to a page that you do not have in your menu, then use this plugin to send specific category posts to specific pages, you can effectively have two blogs within one wordpress site e.g. my software and photography sections (the posting to a page that is not in your menu is a way of hiding the entire list of posts as every post will go to this page as well as the specific pages set in this plug in)
- The All In One Social Network Button Plugin is great for linking to all your social networks
- The Google Analytics plugin is an easy way to monitor traffic to your site
Just do a search in the plugin’s section of WordPress and you will find thousands of plugins. If you can’t find the one you are looking for and fancy some fun, you could develop one. WordPress provides an API and developer documentation, you can find it here
The important thing with all these cool features is that they are all available via a single log on, you do not need to navigate to the admin sections of several different parts of your site. Once I have finished the website in question I will be placing a link within the Website section of my Projects page. I will post a blog entry when I have made progress, I will also post updates with any new cool features or plugins I find useful along the way.