Generally, Marketing are the people who understand what they need to sell to their clients. And Informa’s IBI division has a lot of product offerings which they need to market. Their marketing people needed something flexible yet structured which allowed for the creation of multiple sites without the expense of constant development.
Consequently, they asked us, as one of their long-term suppliers, to supply to them with a WordPress a theme which followed their designer’s style and yet came with easy work-flow to allow them to easily build multiple sites with different branding and content but otherwise similar structures.Key requirements were:
- WordPress Multisites based.
- Fully content managed (no hardcoding*).
- Widget powered home page.
- Colour controls for branding control.
- Flexible header controls.
- Many other enhancements.
The front-end design was supplied to us by Informa’s internal design team. We then took this, the requirements, and developed the workflow, plugin suite and theme that now allows the firm to quickly and efficiently create marketing sites for a wide range of products. At launch the platform runs the IFW Advertising Marketing site.
One of the key things that interconnect/it prides itself on is to always deliver flexible, powerful WordPress code with an eye on future requirements. This platform was no exception, and will allow the marketing team to maintain online marketing sites quickly and cheaply for their various publications.
One important thing in branding, is colour coding. Quickly the client can change the look and feel of the site using the colour wheel controls provided in the theme’s back-end.
WordPress Multi-Sites Compatibility
You’d be amazed how few plugins fully support WordPress’s multisites functionality. Everything we write at interconnect/it is fully standards compliant and, consequently, works well in a multisite environment.
One Button Site Copies
You’ve created one site, you often wish to build another with a similar structure, content and settings. Rather than rebuilding, we use a plugin developed with Mike Little, which allows for the very quick and simple reproduction of WordPress sites.
Rich Text Widgets
If you’ve ever tried using the standard text widgets available you’ll know that they’re limited in power. Our rich text widget allows for easy editing of rich content in a sidebar location without needing to have a working knowledge of HTML. Not only that, but the widget fully renders shortcodes, galleries and videos, meaning that you can create far more sophisticated content in places you’d never expect.
Relatively simple code in this case – we use the Featured Image functionality against pages to show different headers as appropriate.
Most of the other enhancements were able to be delivered using off-the-shelf WordPress plugins for form management, domain management and SEO functionality.
* Hard coding is a short cut taken by many developers that allows them to deliver quickly at a cost of future flexibility and ease of use. We don’t like hard coding here – it makes our work a little more expensive, but it makes our code easier to live with and reduces support costs dramatically.