WordPress as a Tumblelog, CMS: Advanced Uses of WordPress

Kicking off this month’s series [ad], today we’ll be looking at WordPress as an advanced blogging platform and a Tumblelog.
  1. Day 1: WordPress as a Tumblelog
  2. Day 2: WordPress as a Review Site and Podcasting Site
  3. Day 3: WordPress as a Social Network and Twitter clone

You should never say “oh, you can’t do that in WordPress”. Because you probably can. That’s the beauty of the platform – at face value, yes, it is a blogging platform, but be a bit creative and you’ve got yourself a full blown CMS.

WordPress as an advanced blogging platform

The image above is a screen of BinaryMoon.co.uk, Ben Gillbanks’ blog. It’s powered by WordPress and look at it! Popular posts on a scrolling, jQuerified block, recent posts from various categories down the sidebar, with one post only having an excerpt. It’s a brilliant example of how you can use WordPress as an advanced blogging platform; a good knowledge of the template hierarchy, the basics of WordPress development and some design skills and you’re effectively there. Sites such as Ben’s prove just how versatile WordPress is as a blogging platform. Speaking of which…

WordPress as a Tumblelog

Microblogging is yet another thing that WordPress is brilliantly suited to. To prove the point, I’ve just very quickly created a [b] child theme which acts as a Tumblelog: using custom fields and custom write panels I’ve been able to set up a homepage where the latest posts get displayed, in Tumblelog form. However, there’s a bonus – again, using  just custom fields, you can post links! It’s all very clever – the image above is the actual theme – I just took [b], created a child theme of it, got rid of the sidebar and made it single column and I was left with a decent Tumble-like design. Taking it further though, the first post – WPShout – is actually a link to [wp]. How? Using [b]’s custom write meta box thingys (I still don’t know the technical term!) I can create a new post which contains the link and then under ‘title’ type in the link URL:

And to integrate that onto the homepage, I can use the following:

$Post = get_post_custom_values("Title");
if ( is_array($Post) ) { ?>
<h2 class="posttitle"><?php echo get_post_meta($post->ID, "Title", true); ?></h2>
<?php }	else { ?>
<h2 class="posttitle"><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><?php the_title();?></a></h2>
<?php }	?>

The clever bit here is that for normal blog posts, just leave the field blank and the title gets displayed. It’s really easy to create something like this so go on! Do it!


Throughout this week I’m going to bang on about custom fields, which I make no apology for; they’re a brilliant way of storing extra information about posts and you can’t ignore them! Join us on Wednesday to find out how to use WordPress as a social network with Twitter-like functionality.