Support » Everything else WordPress » Is WordPress good for this type of site?

  • Snacks99


    While I’m sure the answer is YES before you even review my example, I just want to be sure I’m headed on the right path to where I want to go. I have downloaded WordPress 3.5 and have been playing with it for most of the day – but should I?!?

    First I am new to programming, websites and databases; a full-fledged virgin if you will and not that fake born-again kind either. I have spent a fair bit of time learning the basics of databases and some of the programming with PHP and SQL. I am at least familiar (and slightly capable) with MySQL, PHP, HTML, and XAMPP. It will be through these tools that I plan to build a website for our business.

    Now the example, the website I’m striving towards will present scientific data that is collected multiple times hourly, at multiple locations, and is continuous. This data will be sent from the instruments in the field to the database and then needs to be presented in real time on the website. Users will also need to have the ability to search and view (graphs/tables/plots?) archived data from 2 mins or 2 years prior. It is also intended to be an ad-revenue generating website.

    An example of a similar type site is the National Weather Service Site where some information remains static, some is updated daily, but the main draw is the weather data that is updated hourly and is located in a secondary header and in another block on the right hand side. There are also additional links to more real time data.

    Thanks in advance for any help or replies! I’m sure WordPress will work but some reassurances or helpful directions to look will surely ease my mind…I hope…

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  • Barry Hughes


    I don’t think WordPress is any more or less suited to this than any other CMS or framework; I’d imagine that whether you do go with WP or you pick something quite different (such as a framework like Kohana) there will be a lot of work involved in implementing what you have described.

    If it so happens that you are also going to be presenting “normal” content to the world through the same site then WordPress probably is indeed a very good choice since at least that half of the battle will already have been fought and won on your behalf.

    The only other thought I’d throw in the pan is, if you use WP as the foundation there is no law of the universe to say you can’t also leverage another framework (Kohana for WP comes to mind, Zend Framework components can also be pulled in from plugin code, etc), so don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s one CMS/framework or the other – they can often be combined and quite easily, too.

    Thanks for the reply and the info Barry. I understood the basics of what you said and tried to read up a little on the parts I didn’t. I guess one of the biggest issues (and the thing I’m trying to avoid if possible) is that it seems with each step, a new programming language comes into play. Considering I started with a base of ‘nada’, I’m trying not to tackle every language at once.

    Are there any themes that anyone can recommend for my needs? I’ve played around with a few themes and searched through some of the catalogs and nothing has stood out.

    Thanks again for the help, I know I have a lot to tackle and just trying to get the full understanding of the entire process before building!

    You are probably not going to find a theme that fits the bill. Probably the best approach (if you end up using WordPress) is to develop a custom plugin specific to your exact needs.

    This will need the ability to store the data you are collecting (database structure to contain it and input form or interface to get it stored perhaps using XMLRPC or some sort of JSON call), as well as the means to compile it and display it in table form as well as whatever other output is required. Graph form is also very doable – there is a lovely jQuery plugin called Flot which makes plotting data (even real-time data) very simple.

    Everything you are describing is very doable, but you are not going to find anything off-the-shelf that is going to meet that need. You will probably need to develop it or hire someone to develop it for you.

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