Story Bible Website Development Project: 2

Last week, I wrote about a project I’m working on for myself. Since then, I got answers back to some of my questions, so I eliminated the USP plugin. The $40 pro version would let me submit multiple posts from the same form, but it would not reload the form without completely reloading the full page. That’d be annoying for what I’m working on.

While doing my research, I got a tip about Caldera Form. It would give me these abilities:

  • Create a custom form with ease
  • Submit the new content as the content type (page, post, custom) that I wanted
  • Would reload the form without reloading the entire page
  • Accepts multiple submissions from the same form

I’m happily testing it out though I did find some limitations:

  • Has limited support for taxonomies and categories (which is important so the post goes to the right place)
  • Support is going to cost you 
  • When I hit submit, the success message comes back with some odd gibberish and the form’s fields still have the content in them. When I checked, I can see that the post did in fact publish

Now it’s back to submitting a ticket to their WordPress.org forum and hoping for a response. Other forms I considered but avoided are Ninja Forms and Gravity Forms.  I chose not to go down that road since it cost money.  Things I read while evaluating Caldera Forms: 

Final thing I started looking into last week: using Encyclopedia/Glossary/Wiki plugin instead of Knowledge Base CPT. I’m checking out this plugin since it will auto-link text in other pages/posts/custom which include a word in the lexicon to the lexicon page.

This is where I’m leaving off this week. I hope you find some value in learning this background knowledge of how I’m developing this WordPress site.

Story Bible Website Development Project

For my WordPress eCourse students, I’m giving them a bonus behind-the-scenes look at how I evaluate plugins and try to find solutions for a personal website project. Since I’ve already got the text written up, I thought I’d share what I’m posting for them.

Site Purpose: Story Bible to keep track of all the details for this narrative.

Requirements:

Link pages to each other like a Wiki and show those relationships
Be nice if it was easy to link pages to each other using Wiki markup
Add paragraph-level annotations
Easy to create new posts without going to the backend

Plugins Currently Installed: (Not all of these are being used at the moment. I may have them installed to test later)

Advanced Custom Fields
Aesop Story Engine — for more of a Medium/longform writing experience. I like the timeline navigation abilities
Chat for Aesop Story Engine — don’t like this much
Contact Form 7 — theme wanted this plugin
Contextual Related Posts
Contextual Related Posts Taxonomy Tools so the above plugin is restricted to showing related posts of the same category or tag
Digress.it — love the idea of this plugin, but it no longer works with the latest versions of WP. It adds paragraph-level annotations
Featured Image Widget — so I can get the image in the sidebar as you see in the screenshot. This particular theme doesn’t allow it, so I lazily used a plugin for this feature instead of coding it myself.
Knowledge Base CPT — this is part of the wiki setup
Olympus Shortcodes — makes it easier to add features/functions. Part of the requirements for the theme
Paragraph Commenting — not visually attractive, but gives me the paragraph-level annotations
User Submitted Posts — allows me to put “create a new post” from the sidebar which works for my purposes. I need more features, but those are in a premium version. I’ll need to make that decision before deciding to invest in that.
WP What Links Here — need for the Wiki like function I wanted to add. I don’t have much control over it out of the box. It doesn’t recognize/see annotations which link to a certain page. I’d like to add this feature.
Theme: Apollo — not free, but I got it as a freebie

Anyways, this site isn’t complete yet and I’ve done a lot of experimentation so far with dozens of different plugins, Google searches, posting on the WP forums, and reviewing plugins in my pursuit of this project.

Degas Poster

Courtesy of Darien Library

Courtesy of Darien Library

The work in the latest MoMA exhibit is beautiful and intimate. I enjoyed looking at it very much. However, not much of it is a showstopper to catch your eye. Fortunately, there was this piece. I consulted with our head of Adult Programming on what to do. We decided to make his name HUGE. The design of this one is very simple, but I like it. My colleague who printed it came back and said it looked like something you’d hang in your college dorm room.