I am implementing WP as a CMS for my church's website. This is the first WP install where I'm doing a lot of the custom coding myself instead of just finding plugins and a stock theme. As I am a bit unfamiliar with the new menu system, I have hit one snag that I cannot figure out. We have divided our site into "sections" via a customized top navigation (consisting of things like "About", "Religious Education", "Media", "Pastor's Blog", etc. We are creating custom menus in the admin for each of these sections. What I would like to is to have a left nav that "follows" the user through the sections.
Section1 -> Page1-> Link to CategoryList1 -> Post23
Section2 -> Page4-> Link to CategoryList1 -> Post23
In both of these cases, I can get to CategoryList1 which would be the looper for all of the posts in a certain category. I could then get to Post23 from there. What I need, however, is for the left nav to still reflect what "section" (or top-level nav) I was in when I got to this list. I've thought of managing everything in pages and each page just containing shortcode to display what I want so that I could use custom page templates to always disply the proper menu, and that works fairly well (in my head) until I get to the actual post level. At some point, I always hit the "where did I come from?" wall at the category and post level. I know there are good plugins for breadcrumb management in this arena, but I've not found a plugin that allows me do this with menus. I know that WP does not natively support sessions, so I'm trying to figure out how this might be possible without enabling sessions, but that almost seems like the only option?
With sessions, I could just get my theme to read a session variable and grab the custom menu based off the session value. No session value means you're on the home page or came directly to a category, archive, or post from the home page, so no menu would be necessary. If you went to a section, you would hit a page template from somewhere, and that page template would be "section-aware" and write the session variable.
Are there any other ideas that anyone might have or any plugins I've missed that might cover this functionality?
Thanks so much!