Posts by Tim Barrett

About Tim Barrett

I am a frontend developer for Devon County Council. I work mainly on Wordpress and PHP.

WordPress – Custom post types and taxonomies

We have just completed a project which redesigned the democracy pages on our website – it is only a version 1 as some of the ideas we wished to implement weren’t manageable in the timescale.

Also with Elections just around the corner we felt it was better to work with a new administration on some of the changes. Like the rest of our public website content will be, the democracy pages have been developed in WordPress.

The previous councillor profile pages were a hybrid of database and manageable content which made it awkward to edit so we made a decision to move the whole lot into wordpress as custom post types and a set of taxonomies.… Read the rest

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What do we do with email?

Email is an interesting channel and is often widely promoted as a choice of communications. On council websites you will see a variety of approaches which essentially trigger emails – individual emails, team emails, forms etc.

As we work on redeveloping the councils website we have started to think more and more about how we manage email on our site and how we make it accessible and usable across all size browsers.

One of the current challenges is that the mailto: attribute doesn’t work if someone uses a web based mail client such as gmail, yahoo mail, hotmail etc and would essentially have to copy and paste the email address into the “to” box.… Read the rest

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Building a WordPress Multisite

We have started a project to create a wordpress multisite environment so that we can better manage the sites we create for the council, whether they are traditional microsites (for example www.devonsendpathfinder.info, www.toughchoices.co.uk)

or core parts of the council’s website (for example www.devonnewscentre.info, www.devonstrategicplan.info).

One possible scenario might be that the councils website is powered

entirely by WordPress, although we are still likely to commission some sites externally, so that might not be the whole site. However we are planning on moving the majority of our site across to wordpress as we go through a huge content review.… Read the rest

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it’s got a widget

As part of our content strategy we have to deliver and syndicate our content in a number of different ways as well as consume and represent other peoples content. Most good content management systems create RSS feeds, we use WordPress for a number of our sites and RSS feeds are created by default, however sometimes you need or may want to offer more than a simple feed, in this scenario some people offer “widgets”.

I have now been on both sides of this process, as a consumer of feeds and widgets and now as a developer. I have already used other website widgets for example YouTube, Vimeo and Google Maps to enhance our News centre website, as well as a school website.  … Read the rest

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