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WordPress News Site – PRiNZ BranfordMagazine 2.51

A NEWS SITE USING PRiNZ  BranfordMagazine 2.51

I  created a news site for L1 students using WordPress and  PRiNZ BranfordMagazine 2.51 template. From a user perspective it looks pretty good, although it’s less flexible than Joomla! at the back-end.

There are many other news-stye templates that you can tailor to meet your needs. (See Revolution 2 Theme and Bram.us has a good list of others). 

SUPPORT FOR THOSE USING THE TEMPLATE

1. The creator of the template runs a support forum (this does not take any new support requests, but the database is searchable).

2. Download the excellent e-book – Sites that Soar


KEY STAGES FOR CREATING A SITE USING BRANFORD

The stages I went through to get the site right are roughly:

1. Change the website header (Logo),
You need to do this in Joomla! as well. So you need to find the name of the existing header graphic in the template files (it is known as bg-branding.png) and it’s exactly 625 pixels w x 100 pixels h.Then go into Photoshop and create your own version. Finally, upload your logo to the same folder that has bg-branding.png.

2. Navigation bars
There is a primary navigation bar that appears horizontally beneath the website header. To add sections to this you simply create a page (NOT A POST). This will be automatically added to the navigation bar.

The secondary navigation runs vertically on the left of the page.  It orders posts according to categories   It is not standard to have a nav bar on the left for a news site (it’s more common with blogs). You would normally have the nav bar on the right.

You need to understand that categories in WordPress have IDs. To get categories to appear in the left navigation bar, you need to type these numbers into the template code.  Annoyingly WordPress 2.5 hides IDs. That said, it’s possible to get them to appear again, but you will need to download a plugin which is appropriately called Reveal IDs for WP Admin

5. Joomla! has module positions and Brandford has its own  positions
Now is the time to write  some posts (i.e. create some news articles). You will then categorise these and these categories will appear in various positions on the front page.

The positions on the front page are:

  • Lead Article (this is what appears beneath the tabbed section).
  • Featured articles
  • Right Column Articles

As with the left nav bar, you have to type in the ID numbers of the categories containing content that you want to appear in each position.

ADDING IMAGES TO THE FRONT PAGE

It’s easy to get an image to go with a post, but you will also want any story that appears on the front page to have an image as well. Unlike in Joomla!, the WordPress does not take
the imagefront the post and stick it on the front page.

Instead any images you want to appear on the front page must appear in the CustomFields section of the post. 

This is a complicated process. There is no easy way to change the order of what appears on the front page (to get a headline story, you need to change the date on the post to make it the newest). Joomla! has front page manager which exists soley so adminstrators can order front page content.


CONCLUSION: 

WordPress is great for blogs and seems to be getting better all the time. But you may well outgrow WordPress quite quickly if you use it for a news site.

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