This week for Clio 3, I’m presenting on WordPress–the platform on which I’m writing right now. As we’ll discuss in class, though, it’s so much more. WordPress is, indeed, a full content management system.

To give my classmates a preview of what I’ll be doing:

  • First, a Prezi (which you are free to browse) giving a bit of explanation of WordPress and its structure. The infographic that I tweeted shows things nicely; I’m going into a bit more detail.
  • Next I’m talking specifically about pages in WordPress, giving an explanation of them, and a brief overview of creating a custom page in your template. To do that, I’m going through the PHP of an individual page (including slight modifications I made), and using one of my own examples. I’ll show a bit of how we might do some more sophisticated things, and question if we want to do all of that to make one specific page… It may be useful for having more such pages, though.
  • I’ll also talk about important aspects of WordPress themes–including some rules that I’ve broken and things that I need to correct.
  • Finally, I’m talking about linking your own database into WordPress. As I discovered, there are some sophisticated ways to do this, even involving two plugins. In the end, though, I went for what might be a simpler way, one that did not involve copying my extant database. Why? I didn’t want there to be an extra copy, and I knew how to link to the copy that I already have on my server. Plus, I like having the self-contained database. This involved creating a special type of page and putting in the PHP that I did for my basic listing of claims (original). Here’s what the same page looks like placed into WordPress. I’ll show you how I did that in my presentation (here’s the code, with my login info redacted).

Since Sasha will also be presenting (on Omeka), the presentation will be short, and thus general. What I learned in preparing this presentation: you can do a lot with WordPress, and since it’s so used, people have done a lot with it. So my goal is to give everyone an idea of its basic structure, and show a couple of small things you can do with it. I hope this will then help everyone to play on their own with it. 

If there is anything else someone wants to know, please don’t hesitate to comment. I’m working through the day but will at least try to touch upon it.

And thus, I will have done my two presentations for the class. Since I was silly enough to do my presentations two weeks in a row, with a West Coast trip between them, I got behind in a couple of other things; thankfully I am again off work on Monday. I’ve finally normalized most of my database, and added everything into the joiner tables. It’s now ready to take data entry… Once I get a more sophisticated form up and running. For now, I have this, which populates one of my tables.  My next goal: using Sasha’s excellent tutorial, create a complete data entry form. Thankfully, I am off on Monday, and have no travel planned until Thanksgiving.

In the next couple of weeks I will also be creating tutorials based on my presentations for Programming Historian, and contributing resources (thank you Erin for setting this up!) to the class site.

So that is where I am. This time, the presentation will be a lot shorter (I promise!), and I will not be running on 2.5 hours of sleep, and a full day of work (including a presentation to a board committee), before it!

See everyone in class.