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WordPress as CMS

  • I’m trying to set up WordPress as an online version for an academic journal that I work for. I need some advice. I’d like to include the author name with each article; however, eventually the site will have 20 years of back content added to it. With an academic journal, that will mean hundreds of different authors. That’s a lot of authors to create and manage. Would it be better to create categories for the author names instead? The whole goal is to be able to search the archive by author name, among other things.

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  • I think you’d be replacing one management headache with another by going with categories for each author.

    You may be better off going ahead and setting up each as an author/user in the system. If you can get them in a sql query format for import to the database, creating them then wouldn’t be much of an issue. Managing…well, I can’t help you with that one, but a search facility made up around the author profile shouldn’t be too difficult, and it lends itself to author pages and the like, if such is needed.

    But good luck whatever you choose to do. Sounds interesting.

    I think WP can handle it, but it might be an enormous amount of work. It sounds like a huge project

    i think Lodel is perfect for your academic journal: http://www.lodel.org

    Since I don’t speak the language that lodel.org is published in, and Google translate makes it sound like a two year old, I have no idea what it does. Now back to WordPress.

    If I were to create the number of necessary users, would that require me to log in as each different user in order to publish the article they have written? Is there any way to edit the author of a published article?

    Also, is it possible to have multiple authors for a single post? Perhaps a special field or a plug-in might be better?

    You might take a look at the Campsite software at http://www.campware.org
    It says: “Campsite is a Unicode-based, mulitlingual web-content-management system designed for medium-to-large-size news publications. Issues, copy flow, back archives, as well as subscription management are fully implemented features…”

    Unfortunately, Campsite requires Apache and a slew of other things that I don’t have. I am working with mysql 4.0, php, and a microsoft IIS server. I have wordpress up and running, but now I’m trying to figure out how to make it my bitch. I think WordPress is almost perfect for what I want to do. Easy to customize, easy to post, easy to teach others how to use it. Not to mention my editor loves the idea of being able to comment on articles. The real benefit that I can see is putting all of the articles from the past 20 years (which is two issues per year with about 10 articles per issue) or roughly 400 articles into a database that can be searched and updated easily. This author thing is my first trip-up. Any ideas?

    I’d have to agree with what Kafkaesqui and Jinsan have said. It’s possible to add the authors, but it’d take a lot of work and time to add and manage the authors. I’m not sure about having double authors per post, but maybe you could use the excerpt box to add author names in there and find a way to display the excerpt along with the content.

    You won’t need to login each author to post an article under that author’s name, so long as you login as the admin and have advanced editing turned on. There should be a box on the advanced edit form that lets you choose from a drop-down menu who you want to attribute a post to. You can change the author there.

    I don’t think it’s possible to have multiple authors for a post with just the basic WordPress code. I’m sure that there’s some way to do it, I just don’t know it.

    Doing the authors as categories makes some sense, especially if you want more than one… However, your category list in the Write form will become simply HUGE. Not sure you can do anything about that, since you want them available…

    The alternate approach is to use a META field, say ‘original_authors’, with a particular character to separate each author (semicolon might work, comma definitely wouldn’t…). That way, you simply type in the author name(s) as needed. It’s a bit more typing after the first time (where the categories approach would then just be scroll-and-click), but it allows you to use the categories for what they were designed for, and have customized code for searching through authors, etc.


    I like David’s idea of using custom fields. You wouldn’t even need to worry over authors in how WordPress considers them (and could remove it’s use from your template), while you’d be able to assign as many *authors* to a post as you like. And as David noted, a search utility could be built especially for it.

    A big list of categories is not that bad, I have 251 (at http://investmentideas.co.uk/), expect 300+ eventually and there are no real problems. Although I only migrated the site from flat files on Sunday so we have not exactly had a long time to find issues.

    The only issue so far is that with a large list, not all of which is visible, it can be difficult to remember to untick the default category.

    Of course if your “hundreds” is going to grow and run into thousands in the foreseeable future it may get rather clumsy.

    If I were to use a custom field, is there anyway I could display that as part of the post? Also, I’m a PHP novice, so how difficult would it be to build a function that would allow the user to search by author name, or access a list of authors to choose from?

    That’s awesome if I decide to end up using the author list method. However, is there a way to do something similar if I use a custom field to add the author’s name to each article? The point being many articles have multiple authors.


    There’s also plugins built for more control over custom field display:


    As for rolling your own functions in PHP, it’s as simple or as difficult as one wants to make it. On the simple side, one possibility is a search form passing a custom GET query that is captured and used to pull up information from the database. As a novice you’re going to run into problems no matter what road you take by choosing to use WordPress for something it wasn’t intended. It can certainly be made to do it, but not without a bit of work, and some knowledge of the tool it’s built with.

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