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Over the years we've looked after a few Wordpress sites but never anything more than a bit of maintenance. We've never started from scratch in Wordpress or converted an existing site over to Wordpress.

But our occasional brush with Wordpress has always been positive. So now we are thinking of converting an existing site to WP.

One concern, as a relative beginner, is how will it do structured data? For example, we have a site where the site owner puts in her own product inventory, price, dimensions, description etc. Plus three images down the side.

Simplified mockup:
enter image description here
I am sure WP can do this structured stuff but what is the way forward? I'm assuming the possibilities are:

  1. Make each product a "post" and the site owner herself has to lay out the dimensions, price, images etc free style. ie. Not structured at all. Not really what we are looking for.

  2. Search for a "Inventory" or "Product Info" plug in. I am sure such things exist but is it likely to do exactly what we want? e.g. will it force the user to put in 3 images exactly and then lay them out exactly per the existing site, down the side etc. Plus what if we have some very domain-specific product fields (not just colour, price). Will those be allowed?

  3. Get down and dirty with PHP and script a structured page in the theme. Not sure if that's the right terminology, also this would be a not insignificant learning curve for a PHP novice

Are those three ideas correct and which is the way forward?

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Structured, as you named it, data in WordPress is combination of following features:

  • [custom] post type - more accurately described as content type, you can register custom instead of bending generic "post" post type;
  • taxonomies - for organizing posts into groups (native "category" and "tag" are taxonomies);
  • custom fields - for storing bits of data with posts.

After you determine how you requirements are best mapped to these you will need to:

  1. Register CPTs / Taxonomies.
  2. Come up with appropriate interface for them in admin (scale is wide from basic native bits to very elaborate and specialized interfaces there).
  3. Implement display of these in theme.
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thanks Rarst, so it's closest to number 3 in my list? –  hawbsl Mar 14 '12 at 11:59
    
can i define unlimited taxonomies of my own? –  hawbsl Mar 14 '12 at 12:00
    
Yes, although you might find some closely fitting plugin or theme. Yes, you can define as many as you need. Only note that too many might be performance-heavy for complex queries. –  Rarst Mar 14 '12 at 12:14
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