35th Anniversary web site

This was my first WordPress project. It was 2010 and we were excited by the idea of experimenting with WordPress as a CMS. One of the webmasters stood up a site with WP 3.0.4 and I just… figured it out. Sort of.

WordPress 3.0.4 dashboard

Having worked on the Metaverse project I was used to the idea of content types – structured, patterned, repeatable content templates. I searched for a way to do this with WordPress.  I found a plugin called Custom Field Template. It allowed me to set up little templates that would load in the post editor.

example of a custom field template

My memory is hazy, but I think the user would select a category to load the right template. I was not super happy with the usability of these templates, but the end users we were working with were pretty savvy about web content management and they liked them just fine.

A little searching now reveals that custom post types had just been introduced, and they may have been perfect for this… but perhaps there wasn’t enough information out there for me to figure them out quickly, or maybe my search skills just didn’t turn up the right stuff.

I think I hacked up a copy of the default theme for that year and set up the home page to render some portion of the most recent post in each category.

I worked with a designer who made a gorgeous design, but drove me absolutely crazy with small tweaks and enhancements. It was highly unusual for someone in Creative to pay that much attention to an intranet project, we were usually their last priority. Finally he had to admit that he was applying for another position at the company, and wanted to use the site as a portfolio piece. The reason he finally admitted this to me was because he wanted to use the CSS that was almost entirely written by me as his work during the application process. That explained why he’d kept trying to get me to let him write the CSS.

The trouble with talking about work done on an intranet is that there’s a limit to what I can actually show on my public, personal web site. I think it is okay to show a fragment of the home page, with information that would identify specific people blanked out, and no company logo present.

Screen shot of anniversary web site