I am working on a project that requires a CNN like article structure, where there are main articles (published in a magazine 'volume/issue') and authors' blogs separate. The idea is to have official articles (gone through a rigorous editorial process) while allowing each individual author to make shorter, less significant blog posts. Both the main articles and the blog posts need to be associated with the author who wrote it.

EDIT: So imagine a menu that looked something like the following...

  • Home
  • Categories (for the main articles)
    • Cat one
    • Cat two
    • Cat n+1
  • Archives (for the main articles)
    • Volume n
      • Issue n
      • Issue n+1
    • Volume n+1
      • ...
  • Blogs
    • Author one
    • Author two
    • Author n+1
  • About

I've been working with Wordpress for a few years now, and I would love to adapt it to this model.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Would the solution be in custom taxonomies? Custom post types?

Summary of Requirements:

  • Individual Author Blogs
  • Main Published Articles

That is the perfect use case for a multi-site setup. Users are shared, so your authors don’t need more than one account, and you can activate plugins on a per site basis.

An example: For the main blog you’ll need something like Edit Flow. On the author blogs this would just get in their way. It is also easier to handle theme variations with child themes for each blog in multi-site.
However, a shared media library for all blogs will be rather difficult.

Taxonomies (like categories) are not made for your case: Each post may be associated with multiple terms, and it is rather difficult to force authors to use just one. Setting up proper permalinks requires some tricky extra work too.

  • Why multi site? It seems like a custom post type for the main "official" articles and just normal posts for other stuff would work well. Then just beef up author pages to make them look more like "blogs". Jun 2 '12 at 4:30
  • 1
    @ChristopherDavis True, you can use custom post types too. But if you need something the main blog needs too – tags for example – you either have to copy it for the CPT or someone has to to do extra work to make sure the author’s tagging schema doesn’t get in conflict with that of the main blog. It depends on how tight the integration should be. When I did such sites, authors wanted custom headers, footer text, widgets … this is just easier to implement with multi-site.
    – fuxia
    Jun 2 '12 at 4:35
  • I also thought of some sort of multi-site structure. That would definitely allow for the Edit Flow plugin you've suggested. Having the editorial flow in WP itself wasn't the original plan...but definitely worth checking out. When it comes to the site theme, I don't expect this to require more than one. In other words, since this is a professional online periodical, it's likely that the blogs and the main articles will use the same thing, save probably different sidebars or something. With this in mind, is multi-site still the best way to go? What are the cons?
    – Will M
    Jun 2 '12 at 6:08
  • On second thought, there might be some but minor variation between the "main articles" and the "author blogs"...but it wouldn't be per author. All author blogs will look the same. So no need to plan for different headers, footers, etc.
    – Will M
    Jun 2 '12 at 6:19

There's several ways to do this. One would be using multisite and giving each author their own site. Then feature articles on the main site.

Another would be to use categories or tags. You could assign a "featured" tag to articles you want to showcase, then build custom page templates to display only articles with those tags.

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