Building a website for a professional writer
April 21, 2011 3:42 PM   Subscribe

[WebdesignFilter]: Building a website for a professional writer and film critic. Just articles and stories, as Victorian as possible. Got a prototype ready and need feedback.

My writer friend has several dozen articles published with magazines off- and online. He writes way more than that, though, so he's decided to take the step to publish articles on his own website. (He's oldschool but with gentle nudges from myself and other friends he got enthusiastic about the idea! yay!) Also, he needs a place to put articles he's written to accompany his lectures on film at open Uni. He doesn't demand too much but I want to get decent basics.

To begin with we've got 30 articles (several pages worth) in 3-4 categories. He will add to these at the rate of one or two per week (as he has years of material just needing an edit before publishing). This is what I've lego-d together (memail me if you'd like a link to the working demo):

- linux hosting with cPanel
- latest WordPress with the default TwentyTen theme (which fulfills my friend's requirements totally, he says)
- Comments and blog features totally disabled - used as a cheap CMS. The writer doesn't have a twitter or facebook and doesn't want a blog either. Just overview pages, with a long list of articles on each page.
- WP "Sub Pages" widget so each category page shows a subnavigation showing the list of articles inside this category. (With long academic titles. Nightmare...)
- Some pages just have one page, such as the About, Bio, Contact.
- Maybe later, a links page to a number of articles out on the web.
- CMS tree view plugin so pages can be worked on in a tree structure.
- Login for the writer so he can add articles himself by pasting them from Word.

Am I naive to think that's serving the requirements pretty well? (We're meeting next week for me to try teach him putting in articles (that will be the hard part probably). Anything obvious I've missed? A masthead? Copyright notice?

Btw. I'm doing this non-commercially to teach myself and to help an old friend. Thanks a lot for any comments you could spare!

(ChanceFilter: Anybody know how to get the Hemingway theme to do submenus like here, that'd make my month...)
posted by yoHighness to Computers & Internet (4 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

Best answer: No, that all sounds good. I will play Devil's Advocate and suggest that you do enable the blog so that he can at least write blog entries like "I posted a new article: blah blah. Take a look."
posted by adamrice at 4:18 PM on April 21, 2011

Best answer: Just make sure you show him the Paste From Word button in Wordpress. It strips out most of the junky code that gets wedged in there when you copy/paste.

Re: the submenus in Hemingway - I haven't got the actual theme to play with, but at first glance it should be a fairly straightfoward tweak. You wouldn't be able to use the plugin that you've linked to - it would have to be custom code. You'd have to say something like "if this page has sub-pages, include the bit of code that generates the navigation." However, if you're not familiar with HTML, CSS and PHP then it might not be that obvious. There seem to be some forums dedicated to the Hemingway theme, so they might be able to help in a more concrete manner.

A couple of things that have helped make Wordpress more friendly are:

Role Scoper - lock down everything unnecessary for the end user. It's a bit fiddly, but stick with it.
White Label CMS - brand and customise the back end of the site.
posted by Magnakai at 4:53 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Magnakai and adamrice, thank you very much!
posted by yoHighness at 11:04 AM on April 22, 2011

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