This project was a little unusual. It was a complete rebuild of the WordPress theme I’d developed for CSfD in 2013, which accommodated some very peculiar specifications that had been insisted upon by the SEO company they were working with at the time. Those specifications had made it impossible for CSfD to update or expand the content of their site themselves from within the WordPress administration panel, completely defeating the purpose of having a content management system.
With no changes planned for the design of the site, the solution that would best solve the site’s problems and meet CSfD’s up to date requirements was a clean and complete rebuild of the back end.
Several pages of CSfD’s website contain information that’s laid out in ways that require knowledge of HTML and CSS. Source code in the WordPress page editor would force staff to pick through the HTML in order to edit the text displayed on the page, which is unacceptable.
The solution is a set of custom options, which makes editing or adding text and images to pages with styled content extremely easy. For example, CSfD’s home page features a set of three columns, placed side-by-side. All their staff have to do to create those columns is type the title and content for each one into a set of corresponding boxes in their new custom theme options and then place a ‘shortcode’ in the page’s content. Shortcodes can be inserted into any page, at any point, using the standard WordPress editor.
The shortcode [homecols] inserted into CSfD’s home page easily creates three perfectly spaced columns, displaying the titles and content they entered in the custom theme options.
CSfD’s “About Us” page features a set of staff profiles that, similar to the columns on their home page, each require their own block of HTML and CSS. Their Media page offers a collection of videos, which also require individual coding in order to make them responsive and to sit in line with their respective titles and descriptions. The answer to both of these challenges is WordPress Custom Post Types, which enable adding individual items that can then be displayed in groups very easily with the use of shortcodes.
Both Team Member and Video Media posts are sortable via drag and drop in the WordPress control panel, so that CSfD have complete control over the order they appear on the relevant pages of their web site.
Each one of these features is implemented with custom programming, not third party plugins, which means they depend only upon the style and script files that I’ve written for the site and they’re tailor-made to do exactly what they need to do — no more and no less.
Other features programmed into CSfD’s new site include breadcrumb navigation that’s automatically created and a flyout menu that supports easily manageable multiple columns.
CSfD’s web site has been vastly improved in terms of responsiveness and manageability.
Thanks again for all your hard work and patience! It certainly looks super and is something we can now be proud to show a prospective customer.
Helen Henshaw — CSfD Ltd
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