I spent most of yesterday converting the PlanetoidPark web site so it’s solely based on WordPress. WordPress is a blogging server solution, open source, but it’s very much now usable for any kind of database back-end web sites.
I’ve been thinking about this for a month, and when I got back from vacation it was one of my todo action items. Why? Because after over two decades of programming, there’s a time and place to stop doing custom solutions and just take something that is done by hundreds of other programmers and extend it yourself, or then help out and give back patches and features to the source base.
With WordPress now I could quickly update any entries and create new ones, and associate images with posts. Also I could add tags, write custom pages, and do all this via a web-interface.
Some notes for anyone else interested in doing this. I changes the permalink (the URL where the postings are found so it’s a direct link with no timestamp using the /%postname%/ construct, for example here’s where all the releases are. This way the web site looks like any other web site, and not directly like a blog site.
I also found this cool audio player widget so I could put promos into each posting using a simple construct. There are other plugins I use, such as the Google Sitemaps widget that automatically makes new sitemaps for search engines each time a new posting is created or updated. I actually expect to find more interesting widgets along the way, or I could write some myself in case I need special solutions.
There are so many ways to customize the CSS via the templates, so there’s no problems with extending and changing the look and feel along the way. There’s also an RSS feed as part of the web site — I do think that’s better long term than mailing lists, as the end users could decide when to read new posts, rather than getting clutter into their mailboxes.
Anyway, in case you are working on a producer, band, or label site, or something similar, and have access to an ISP account with MySql (most of them have it), I really recommend looking into WordPress. Most likely I will turn this web site to a WordPress site, as well, but I need to worry a little bit about avoiding broken links, and do some preplanning before this will happen, but maybe within a month or so. This blog is already using WordPress, so it will be a manner of just changing the rest to this service, and put in symbolic links to avoid possible existing links out there.