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  • Hi guys.

    I’m currently trying to build a website for my girlfriend as a suprise. She’s an Art teacher and I thought she would like somewhere to host resources for her students, let past students keep in touch, and write about arty things as well as host a portfolio of some of her own work and photos.

    So far I have put a basic WP installation up at and chosen a theme which I think I can restyle graphically to suit her.

    The WordPress blog itself is only one of the functions I would like the site to have, so I was imagining something like this in terms of site pages:

    1. Homepage: Static front page which is seen on arrival to the site.
    2. About Me: Static info page about her, which seems to be working OK at the moment.
    3. Photos: A Page of her photos which seems to be working well so far with a Flickr plugin.
    4. Resources: A static page where she can host links to good resource sites and host PDFs of her own content.
    5. Blog: The WordPress loop, hosted on this page so vistors can read her blog, but it isn’t in their faces as soon as they arrive.
    6. Forum: A place for current and past students to ask for help and keep in touch. I had looked BB-Press for this so far but haven’t implemented anything. Would be nice if blog and forum membership were syncronised.

    I guess my question is: Is all this possible? It seems like they are all things I might be justified in expecting to be possible but I’m not too great at coding, being a graphic designer by trade. So far so good, but I’m expecting to have problems with the following:

    a. Moving the blog to a “Blog” page and creating a static front page. There seem to be a number of workarounds for this but none seem to be simple and effective.
    b. Creating a BB-Press Forum on the “Forum” page. A had read that a bit of ‘hacking’ is required to run BB-Press on a WP subpage like I’m trying to do.
    c. Re-ordering the pages to appear in a logical order. A simple one, but can’t seem to find the option in the admin panel.
    d. Seperating the “Blogroll” to list links in categories. Presumably some manual editing of the theme’s sidebar.php file but I’m not sure where to start.
    e. Adding a calendar to the sidebar. As above.

    the last two shouldn’t be too scary but I’ve read that the front page and forum issues aren’t at all straightforward and I’m worried they could be beyond my abilities.

    Can anyone help me with some advice? Is WordPress even the right solution? I’m not familiar with anything else and I know she would find the WP admin panel easy to use.

    Any thoughts?


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  • Don’t forget that you can implement multiple CMS’s on one site. So you can make a static page to start, wordpress for most of it, and phpbb for your bulletin boards. The pain is getting them to look like one flowing website. I tried it with this site for mambo and phpbb (click on forum):

    Hi Gavin

    Your site is good, and that’s kind of what I mean, the forum being part of the site, although you don’t run a WP blog on there. I notice you use Mambo, which I don’t know anything about at all, so would be keener on sticking with WordPress if possible. I also think my girlfriend may find Mambo harder to use than WP which insulates her from the scary guts of the site and keeps options to a minimum.

    I guess I don’t mind the Forum looking a bit different from the site, the photos page on there at the moment already lacks the sidebar so it’s no problem. So long as the pages on the site have a common header and share the same graphic style it will look cohesive.

    I guess I need someone to outline what sort of steps I need to take to get something approaching what I’m aiming for.

    Anyone running a similar site?


    By the way, you can take dynamic content from the WP site, capture it as static html, and cut and paste that sidebar into your photo gallery template. Thats what I did with the navigation above. If I change the dynamic order or naming of the links, it won’t reflect on the forum because it is actually a static “screenshot” of the html.

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