Support » Fixing WordPress » Complicated Use Of Categories… Trying To Avoid Multisite

  • Here’s what I’m trying to figure out…

    I want to set up local websites that are city specific, but I want to try and avoid using Multisite if possible. I’m hoping that there is a way I can accomplish what I want using nested categories and plugins. Here’s what I want to do…

    When somebody chooses a city category, I want them to stay on that “city” path unless they change to another city. Easy so far, by just using different categories for each city.

    The problem comes in with this… I want to have “cornerstone” content which is NOT city specific to show up in each city category (multiple categories for one article). Basically, when I have an article that is cornerstone or informational, but not city specific, I want it to be pushed to all the local city categories. But the sidebar, menu, etc should all be city specific even though the article is the same, and in multiple categories.

    Here’s an example of the website category layout I’d like to achieve:
              non-specific-category (Main site with “cornerstone” non-specific content)
                        nested-category-1 (How To)
                        nested-category-2 (Tips)
              city-category-1 (let’s say LA)
                       nested-category-1 (LA How To… mix of local specific and cornerstone content)
                       nested-category-2 (LA Tips… mixed local and cornerstone content)
                       nested-category-3 (LA News… just local content)
              city-category-3 (let’s say New York)
                       nested-category-1 (New York How To… mix of local specific and cornerstone content)
                       nested-category-2 (New York Tips… mixed local and cornerstone content)
                       nested-category-3 (New York News… just local content)

    So, here’s what it should happen… (Main site sidebars and menu) (Same content but LA specific sidebars and menu) (Same content but New York specific sidebars and menu)

    Each URL would have the same article content, but have different sidebars, menu’s, etc. that are specific to the city.Is that even possible without using wordpress Multisite, and without having to submit a separate duplicate article for each category individually? Can I somehow mix tags along with categories to achieve this?

    (please let me know if I need to be more clear in my description)

    One more thing… I use Genesis theme so i have access to things like simple sidebars and other genesis tricks. Not sure if that helps.


    Now, I know that I’m going to get these questions from somebody, so I’ll try answering them up front…

    –Why do duplicate content? Duplicate content is bad for Google.–
    I’m doing it for users, not for google, and google is learning every day what’s best for users. The content won’t be completely duplicate either because the menu, sidebars, signup forms, header, and links would likely all be city specific. If google looks at the entire page as a whole, instead of just the article content, then it will do its job of displaying the correct page for each search.

    –Why not just have cornerstone content on the main page, and city specific content on their own categories?–
    I may have to do it this way initially, but from a usage standpoint it doesn’t make much sense. Once users choose a city, I want to keep them in that city rather than making them jump back and forth between main pages and city specific pages, all while randomly switching sidebars and menus on them. It could be very confusing, so I want them to have ALL the content under the city path that they choose, including cornerstone type content.

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  • I am interested in this solution as well… did you get anything since you posted your questions?

    Nope… I just ended up going with the simple solution of using categories and not having the global content available across all categories.

    Going to have to pay to play I guess 😉

    If I understand the question correctly, you can use the template hierarchy and specialized menus and sidebars to achieve everything you’re trying to do:

    So for the Main Category you would need 2 template files:


    You would also need to register the specific menu and sidebar for this category.

    For a City Category,you would need 2 different template files


    Then register the specific menus and sidebar.

    After that, assign the “cornerstone” content to Main Category and any city category you want it to display in. For content unique to a city, only assign it to that city’s category.

    You shouldn’t have to worry about duplicate content, especially if content for use in multiple places will exist in the main category. Just use rel=”canonical”.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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