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WordPress A CMS? Wish It Was...Seasonal Content Issue (14 posts)

  1. Terry
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I'm a superfan of WordPress, really I am...but...my biggest beef with it is that there's no way to schedule/manipulate already published posts...it all has to be handled manually.

    For example:

    I have a website that has over 1,500 posts and growing daily. Some of those posts are seasonal (I do not use wp as a "blog" or "journal" or "diary" but as a "website"...as in...I need a CMS).

    Frequently I need to pull up old posts that pertain to the current season (holidays/gardening/tax time/school finals/yada yada). The only way I can do that (bring a published post back up to the top of the feed so my subscribers see it and list it on home page) is to go into each post on the day and at the time of day I want it "re-published" and manually change the timestamp. By doing that my email subscribers see the re-published post (currently rss readers don't get the "update" for some reason) and it's listed on the homepage as a recent post.

    What's Needed:

    An option within each post (say by the timestamp section) that you can schedule a "re-publish date". That way the post stays "live" on the website until next season or date that WP re-publishes it.

    Right now I'm having a heck of a time manipulating seasonal content (since it all has to be handled manually on the required date and the required time of day). PIA!!!

    I've looked and looked and looked for plugins, all I can find that's semi-close to what I'm after is a "random" re-publish plugin. I need something that I can choose which particular post gets re-published when. Preferably built right into the post's edit section.

    luv ya wp ;)

  2. gerbilk
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    How about a combination of these two plugins and make use of categories

    post-expirator

    scheduled-draft-publish-plugin-for-wordpress/

  3. Terry
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    That's getting pretty close gerbilk, thanks! What I really like about that setup is that I can keep a running draft for updates (that won't appear in the original post, only in the newly published draft).

    I'm concerned though about keeping the original permalink intact (so there are no broken links on the site when one post "expires"). Saving a post even in draft won't allow the same permalink to be used as an already published post.

    I've also tried deleting the old post, then adding a new post (with the old post's content--same permalink--the new update) so that I can reach all subscribers (both email and rss), but found that some readers couldn't load the new post until several days later (I don't know if it was an internal server error but it wasn't a page 404). Could be an isp cache issue, but regardless--if a post is deleted for any length of time (sometimes just minutes), it did affect some readers. So the new post has to be published at the exact same time as the old post is deleted to avoid that.

  4. marie-aude
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Another option would be to use "organize series" plugin with "series publisher" . Caution : if you publish and unpublish a story, it will change the permalink IF your permalink structure is based on date. If not, I think it's the perfect tool for you.

    With would you not use custom fields ? It would be a little bit hassle at the beginning, changing all the posts to add a custom field, but then you are able to run queries based on the value of this custom field

  5. StevenCashman009
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Terry, you require too much. The value of WordPress is easy install and easy way to work with it. All you have described can be done with additional plugins. No more.

    {spam links removed}

  6. I can think of two quick workarounds for your seasonal posts.

    1) Put them in pages and make a blog post to say 'Hey, updated the post with the season!' when updated.

    2) Make a new blog post for each season (in each year) and make it sticky so it's on the top.

    Option 1 keeps the permalink the same forever. Option 2 keeps a historical 'This was last year, this is next year...'

    If you use a series plugin, it makes it even easier to link all the seasons together.

  7. NetworkGeek
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    You know, my first thought was "Gee, is there *any* CMS that could do this out of the box?" I'm not saying that as a kind of criticism, but, rather, if there is a system out there, maybe someone can look at the underlying code and make a plugin for WordPress.

    It seems like something that could be really useful, but I honestly have never actually seen that functionality in any of the systems I've looked at in the past.

  8. Terry
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    All you have described can be done with additional plugins. No more.

    Really StevenCashman009? I haven't found anything close yet.

    1) Put them in pages and make a blog post to say 'Hey, updated the post with the season!' when updated.

    2) Make a new blog post for each season (in each year) and make it sticky so it's on the top.

    1) That would mean around 50% or so of my content would need to be on pages since much of my content is seasonal or definitely of interest at a certain time of year. Pages/posts your method would work regardless...but read the next point:

    2) Making new blog posts pointing to the seasonal stuff is a messy option since I'm just creating/generating extra posts of no value (to the website as a whole) saying "hey click here to read this update that asks you to then click over there to another post"...not very user friendly to my subscribers...(but you're right--it's an option that is doable and solves two problems: alerting subscribers--both rss and email--to seasonal content and I can do it on a scheduled/timestamp). I would have to keep those update posts live (which would number in the the hundreds a year) or if I delete them to keep things tidy, go in and do htaccess redirects so I don't have a bunch of missing posts on my site (for search engine crawlers, etc.).

    Thanks for the suggestions Ipstenu, I would prefer though something neater/cleaner (to avoid site clutter and more reader friendly). Picky I know! ;)

    Another option would be to use "organize series" plugin with "series publisher" . Caution : if you publish and unpublish a story, it will change the permalink IF your permalink structure is based on date. If not, I think it's the perfect tool for you.

    With would you not use custom fields ? It would be a little bit hassle at the beginning, changing all the posts to add a custom field, but then you are able to run queries based on the value of this custom field

    Marie-Aude thanks for this info, I took a look at the plugin and didn't quite understand how it worked but this is on my to-do list to work through after Christmas. Adding a custom field to each post sucks but I would totally do it if it gave me the ability to do what I want with already published posts. Thanks again and I'll update in here if I find this does what I need.

    You know, my first thought was "Gee, is there *any* CMS that could do this out of the box?"

    I know, I've looked (not too too deeply) at other CMS options and I can't make heads or tails out of drupal (I really, really tried). Joomla too. If I spent the time learning everything I could about other software to see if I could make it work, maybe I could find something in other CMS options. But like I said, I'm a wp superfan ;). Plus I'd rather see wordpress sing with this because it is a phenomenal option that a "true" CMS should have (IMO).

    As it is, creating new content on wp has options and features that make publishing easy. But if you want to manipulate already published content, you have to do it manually and with limited results (no alerting rss readers for example). I think all the CMS software out there has been utilized and grown up enough to evolve into something better for content management.

  9. gazouteast
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Have you thought about WP conditional tag is_sticky() ?

    Having a post for each season that is a mini site map subsection for each seasons posts, which you then set or unset as sticky so it pops to the top of the site, is a quick and easy solution for visitors but wouldn't help your email and feed subscribers.

    But there was a plugin a while ago "one year ago today" or something like that, which surfaced posts based on a set period in the past. Again, great for visitors, but not for subscribers.

    In WP 2.9, you've got the new taxonomy and date based conditional tags for pages, and if you examine their coding in wp-includes, you might be able to figure out a way to code custom functions for posts.

    I suspect you'll have to roll up your sleeves and do some custom coding though ... maybe something on this structure (obviously this is not the code itself)

    get date
    find posts with date(M)
    while have posts with date (M) create $seasonals=array(the title, the excerpt, the date, the tags)
    create post(title="Seasonal posts for month" date(M), content=$seasonals)

    That's VERY rough but it gives a frame to start from. You might even have to drag in functions from the RSS side of WordPress or from PressThis to get it to grab data / create the post. You'd likely want to run it from a cron job too to automate it, leaving you to get on with writing new content, and letting the system throw up the seasonal post lists.

    Alternatively - and this is a bit of a hack - using WP 2.9 create a dozen pages in the format page-january.php page-february.php etc
    Set them with the basic template content of index.php but for each month filter the posts returned by date to only show past mosts from the same month.
    Then, run a home.php to override index.php and in header.php set an "if / elseif" sequence to call the relevant page-month.php template page based on current date.
    Using this method, you could seasonalise the appearance of each page too, with varied graphics etc.

    Hope some of those ideas work for you to find a solution.

    Gaz

  10. Sapphire
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Oh, I didn't realize RSS readers don't get updated when we republish stuff - that's very frustrating! I don't understand a lot of the solutions in this thread (not techie enough), but I'll try out Gerbilk's and keep checking the thread for other suggestions.

  11. This depends on how you define "republish".

    If you want to repost something and bring it to the top and such, my advice would be to copy the content, paste it into a new post, and make the post as a new one.

    Merely changing the date/time of a post doesn't magically make it "new". RSS readers will very likely ignore your re-published posts, as well they should. The whole point of a subscription system is to subscribe to a continuous stream of new content. You're not publishing new content, you're changing timestamps on old content.

    If you want to do new content, then do new content. Copy and pasting works better and is more correct for what you're wanting to do.

  12. Terry
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    Having a post for each season that is a mini site map subsection for each seasons posts, which you then set or unset as sticky so it pops to the top of the site, is a quick and easy solution for visitors but wouldn't help your email and feed subscribers.

    Yes I have played with the sticky feature but it doesn't serve the needs of my subscribers (as you mentioned).

    But there was a plugin a while ago "one year ago today" or something like that, which surfaced posts based on a set period in the past. Again, great for visitors, but not for subscribers.

    If it's the one I'm thinking of, you couldn't determine particular posts, it was random. I need something that I can cherry-pick posts.

    I suspect you'll have to roll up your sleeves and do some custom coding though ... maybe something on this structure (obviously this is not the code itself)

    Thanks for the suggestions gazouteast :), I'll work through them and see if I can get something working.

    If you want to repost something and bring it to the top and such, my advice would be to copy the content, paste it into a new post, and make the post as a new one.

    This doesn't keep the same url structure (which I need). I explained in the opening post why this didn't work.

    Merely changing the date/time of a post doesn't magically make it "new". RSS readers will very likely ignore your re-published posts, as well they should. The whole point of a subscription system is to subscribe to a continuous stream of new content. You're not publishing new content, you're changing timestamps on old content.

    That's very restrictive for the web IMO. To say to subscribers: Sorry, you'll have to remember seasonal content from last year, two years ago, five years ago, and bookmark it and then remember to go through your bookmarks to review it at that particular time of year. And new subscribers (since that time), you'll have to pick through hundreds/thousands posts to do the same because this website can't "remind" you of needed or beneficial information since subscribers should only be alerted to new content. For journals and diaries, I see your point. For large content websites managing hundreds/thousands of pages (with a fair bit of seasonal content), it serves the needs of readers/subscribers to be able to bring up old content for them. And in a way that they're not dodging through clutter (new post updates for the purpose of pointing to old posts).

  13. Terry: Keeping the same URL is specifically *why* RSS readers ignore your content.

    This isn't a WordPress thing, it's a reader thing. RSS readers remember what posts they have already viewed using a unique ID attached to each post. In almost all cases, that unique ID is the URL of the post (the permalink). Thus, even changing timestamps won't make readers redisplay your content.

    Again, the whole point of a subscription is that you're subscribed to a continuous stream of new content. That's not restrictive, that's what the whole purpose of a subscription is. Heck, that's what the word "subscription" means. If you subscribe to a magazine, you don't get the same Xmas issue every year, do you?

    If you want some form of reminder system, then you should use a system designed to be a reminder system. Feeds were not designed for that purpose. WordPress was not designed for that purpose.

    Hey, I can make WordPress work like a wiki, but that doesn't make it a good idea to do that. Use the right system for the right task. It is entirely possible that WordPress may not be suited for your particular task.

  14. Sapphire
    Member
    Posted 5 years ago #

    I see what Otto is saying here, and it definitely makes sense. But because WordPress is so awesome and flexible, it's used to run sites other than blogs, and the plugin-developing community is incredible at making it do stuff most users would never want (I see plugins that do stuff I would never want, myself).

    Otto, yes, RSS readers were designed with the assumption that blogs were all about publishing the latest news every day to a group of readers with no concern for people who find us via search engines. But I often republish a post because I have added new content to it. If I write a new post that's basically an addendum to an old one, people who came there from search engines will be confused and frustrated at having to click another link to get to the rest of the info. But if I keep the old permalink, my devoted readers won't get to see the new info unless they visit my site.

    I believe my readers would like to see the updated post in their feeds (based on the response whenever I republish to a NEW permalink which shows in the feed readers).

    Maybe another option here would be a plugin that enables you to forward an old post to a new URL with a 301 redirect. I know there are posts that do similar things (like Permalink Redirect). Seems like there could be a way to make a plugin that interpreted changing the timestamp and URL as a trigger to set up a redirect? Doesn't solve Terry's initial problem (automatically republishing seasonal posts), but it could solve the other issue she's having.

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