WordPress is great because it makes it extremely easy for people to tell their story.
A big part of what we do on the Voce Platforms Team is enable clients use WordPress to tell their stories their way.
This more often than not results in a lot of custom development, but ultimately frees our clients from having to remember that closing </h2> and what CSS class that <div> had to have to line up with the side, and a whole host of other things not related to producing meaningful content.
The Problem: The Pioneer Woman Site Didn’t Make Use of Sidebars/Widgets so all Sidebar Content Had to be Manually Edited HTML.
Managing sidebars for 6 blogs even with the convenience of widgets is a job in of itself, let alone when you are homeschooling your kids, running a ranch, writing a cookbook, and documenting it all as content for said blogs.
Before Voce’s redesign of The Pioneer Woman, she was hand-editing HTML to update her sidebar content – something both time consuming and error prone.
Ree seemed to keep things consistent when creating sidebar content, and a pattern emerged:
Since Ree’s content consisted mostly of an image, title, and text/links – the Image/Title/Text Promo widget was born.
Using the above settings, the widget below is produced:
Hand editing HTML problem: solved. But we took it one step further.
Many times, Ree was simply highlighting a recent post she had made on a certain blog, or in a certain category. What if we could automate that?
Enter “Super Widgets”
Ree’s Super Widgets come in three flavors:
- Single Post – Select a single post to display Title, Thumbnail, and Excerpt
- Single Taxonomy – Display the most recent post in a selected taxonomy (category, tag, etc)
- Multi Post – Display the most recent X posts in a selected taxonomy
With the Single Post Super Widget, it’s easy for Ree to find a single post she wants to display.
The content of the above widget won’t change unless the post content does.
For automatically renewed content, Ree can choose a Single Taxonomy or Multi Post Super Widget, as seen below:
The widget below will always show the most recent 3 posts in the “Random Critters” category.
And that’s how we help The Pioneer Woman wrangle her content!
As I said before, this is all about giving the person – or team – who is responsible for the content the simplest and easiest to use tools so they can do so effectively and without any unnecessary obstacles in their way.