in Design & Dev & Themes

Using WordPress for microsites, small projects

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette PipelineWordPress is not a catch-all solution for news organization’s websites, but it is an excellent candidate to power small projects or microsites dedicated to big stories.

For an example of an excellent news microsite, one needs not look any further than the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Pipeline, which was profiled by Justin Ellis over on Nieman Lab. Pipeline is powered by Joomla, but could have just as easily (or easier) have been powered by WP.

The microsite format allows the Post-Gazette to gain an intensely interested audience like a blog does. The content is more engaging than typical stories, and because the focus on Marcellus Shale developments is pure throughout, readers are less likely to be deterred by other content they find irrelevant. The format also encourages contributions from collaborating hyperlocal publications and readers themselves.

WordPress offers the ability to build a network of these sites simply and quickly, with plugins contributing added extra functionality when necessary.

Design Presenter DemoThough not news oriented, my WordPress theme Design Presenter is an example of using WP on a project/web app basis. The end result displays web design image drafts like they would appear in a browser fully developed. When I started the project, I didn’t know I would use WordPress, but did know that it fit some of my technical requirements. WP also met my general requirements:

  • Rapid design and development
  • A solid framework to build on top of
  • Reliable updates and documentation
  • No cost besides my time
  • A community that might appreciate the project

These aren’t exactly rare general requirements. Have you used WordPress for a unique project or microsite?

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