Firstly apologies for the long post.
I have a project in the works to transfer a static html new site into a cms. I've chosen wordpress, because it seems to be the easiest to maintain and manage from a editor point of view.
I'm looking for some advice on how I should go about executing this transfer.
I've begun building my theme and I'm basing it on twentytwelve.
I'm wondering how I should set up the site structure in Wordpress and how to alter the pagination.
The current site structure follows this list structure
Home - custom page template, only shows recent posts
What's New - this is a listing of ALL articles/posts
News 1 - this is a listing of News 1 articles/posts
News 2 - this is a listing of News 2 articles/posts
News 3 - this is a listing of News 3 articles/posts
Letters - this is a listing of Letters articles/posts
Experts - this is a listing of Experts articles/posts
Soapbox - this is a listing of Soapbox articles/posts
Each top level menu item shows only the posts that sit with in that item, so I figure using the category system would be the easiest way to construct the menu items and at the same time populate a page with only posts in that category.
The only page that doesn't fit in to that model is the What's New page. My default category is What's New, so I could just include that category in the menu structure, but I think I may run into some issues late on with pagination by category.
The other way I've thought about putting the What's new page together is to create a page 'What's New', set that page as the blog roll, and to avoid a slug conflict rename the 'What' New' category to something else.
For the time being though I have left that menu item as a category.
Is there a better way to build my site structure, for example; should I be using pages and then restricting each page to only show posts with in that category? Should I be using categories to define my structure, could it lead to problems in the future?
Pagination and Navigation
The current static site is set up to paginate through it's articles by months where articles are available in a month. Wordpress doesn't list posts in that order, rather listing them by most recent and limiting the number to show per page by a number set in the reading admin panel, such as 25 posts.
Ideally I'd like to be able to adapt the Wordpress pagination so a page displays the posts for a month within the current category. The month should only look for months where there are posts.
This is kind of hooking in to the archive function, but adjusting it and the navigation so the archive system functions from within what ever category you are in.
Category pagination follows this url pattern: http://www.wordpresssite.com/category/paged/2
The archive pagination follows this pattern: wordpresssite.com/2014/04/
So i'd like to combine these two url patterns swapping out the paged navigation with a year/month navigation as the archives do: wordpresssite.com/category/2014/04/
Would it then be possible to modify the previous/next pagination, both for the article/post listings and the single articles/posts views so that they navigate to the previous/next available post/month within that category. I realise that this could lead to some issues if I posts has more than one category set, which Is why I thought about adjusting the 'What's New' menu item from a category to a page.
Is this actually possible to achieve in Wordpress? I've seen several posts on how to achieve something like this, but I can never get it to work correctly, it just ends up breaking the site. Maybe I don't understand Wordpress enough to achieve this effectively, if that's the case, I'd like to understand it better.
Thanks in advanced for any tips or advice.