wordpress: building a "topics" site
Managing Your Topic
Before getting into the specifics of the Topics CMS, you'll want to familiarize yourself with using WordPress in general. If you've never used WordPress before, please see our Using WordPress tutorial.
A Topic page provides more than just a place to aggregate the stories, mashups, data visualizations and videos you'll be producing. It's also a place to provide a running summary of content in your Topic Section. Your topic should be "curated" to provide maximum usefulness to readers. Our system modifies the way the WordPress "categories" system works, adding a rich text editor for convenient editing, and a custom banner image that will be displayed on each story that belongs to the topic. Therefore, you'll be spending a lot of time managing your WordPress "category."
You'll find the Categories link on the left side, under the Posts section.
KDMC staff should have created a Category (Topic) for you. If not, click Add Category, give it a name, and a nice short slug. For example, if your Topic Section is called "Healthcare Reform," then "healthcare" would be a good slug (the slug will become part of the URL, and URLs should be as short as possible, while still remaining meaningful).
After saving, click your category name to edit it and you'll see an editing pane that looks something like this:
You'll probably want to make the editing field much larger than it is by default. To do this, drag the "grippy bars" at the lower right corner of the field and drag.
Enter a summary of your Topic here. While you'll be entering your topical stories elsewhere in the system, you can return here at any time to update your summary, or to add media.
Your Topic Section page, and all stories that live within it, will be topped by a banner image that connects them visually. Create an image in Photoshop at 900x140px, save it as a web-ready JPG, and upload it here.
If you want to add images to the text portion of your Topic page, note that you won't find the usual "Add Media" buttons seen elsewhere in WordPress. This is a bit of an inconvenience, and is due to the fact that WordPress categories were never meant to be used in quite this way. There is, however, still a small "Photo" icon on the toolbar, which can take any existing image URL. So to get images into your Topic page, follow these steps to get the URL to a previously uploaded or new image:
Note: These are not the instructions for adding images to general stories - the extra steps are required only for adding images to Topic pages.
Go to one of the Posts associated with your Topic (via Posts | Edit)
Click the small Add Image icon:
If you want to re-use an image that was previously uploaded into a story, click the Gallery tab in the popup window:
Click the "Show" link and find the "Link URL" field.
Click the "File URL" button to make sure the correct URL is displayed, then triple-click in that field to select it. Press Cmd-C to copy that URL to the clipboard.
If you want to upload a new image, the process is similar, except that you'll need to upload the image normally, then find its Link URL field after uploading. Either way, you now have the image URL on your clipboard. You can close the Media panel and return to your Category editing page.
Once there, click the small "tree" button in the toolbar.
Paste the image URL from the clipboard. Optionally set the image to Align Left (or right), or change its dimensions.
After clicking Insert, your image will appear in the Topic section.
Adding External Links
Internal links, i.e. links between the stories in your Topic section, are created automatically and appear under the Related Stories section of the sidebar.
Your readers may also appreciate useful external links pointing to sites or stories elsewhere on the web on the same topic. WordPress provides a Links manager, which you can use for this purpose. The idea is to put your links in "Categories" that match your Story categories. Locate the Links Manager in the left rail:
Visit the "Link Categories" section and ensure that there is a link category with a slug field that exactly matches the slug of your main Topic category. Now click Add New and create a link in that category.
That's all there is to it. Every story in your Topic will get a Links element in the sidebar that includes only the links in your category.