wordpress: building a "topics" site

Adding Stories to a Topic

Now that your Topic has been created, it's time to associate stories with it. When users view any story that belongs to a topic, they'll have easy access to both the parent Topic page and to all of the other stories in that topic.

Click the New Post icon at the top right of the screen:

Before you do anything else, associate your new story with the Topic it belongs to by finding the "Categories" section at the right side of the screen and checking the box for your Topic.

While it's possible to associate a story with multiple Topics/Categories, try to avoid doing so, as it creates ambiguities in the system (for example, when viewing that story's page, which topic banner should it display? Our system will simply use the first one encountered in that circumstance, which may not be what you want).

The rest of the story entry process is straightforward WordPress (again, see our Using WordPress tutorial), with two exceptions:

  1. The rich text editor can work in either "HTML" or "Visual" mode. Switch between them by using the tabs at the top of the editor (see image below). We recommend staying in Visual mode unless you need to embed code from other web sites (as when embedding YouTube video or Google Maps). In those cases you'll need to switch to HTML mode.
  2. Use the "More" icon (circled below) to insert a break after the lede. This will cause only the first paragraph (or first sentence, or whatever you choose) to appear on the home page and Topic pages, and the full story to appear only when a user clicks through to read it.

Extra-wide content

As noted above, the width of the main content area in story bodies is 640px. This should accommodate most multimedia elements. However, if you want to embed HD video or a really wide map or data visualization, our Topics system gives you the option to drop the sidebar and use the entire 900px canvas.

Scroll down to the Custom Fields section and select "full_width" from the picklist. Enter the number "1" in the Value field. Click the "Add Custom Field" button and Update your post.

The rest of the Topics system is "standard WordPress" in all other respects. Again, see our Using WordPress tutorial for more information.

Authors and editors can stop reading here. The rest of this tutorial is written for people who want to implement a Topics site of their own.