In our latest project we’ve overhauled http://www.coloradorespectbb.com from Joomla to Wordpress.¬† For this site in particuliar Wordpress just seemed like the simpler way to go, there will be 1 or 2 content editors, it requires only simple navigation and its got great built in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) features, or does after we’ve added a plugin or two.¬† Sure Joomla has the same great features but it actually has too much functionality for this site and we wanted to keep things simple and easy to manage for the site owners.¬† The conversion took about a day or two, with¬†most of the time being spent on the images and layout and experimenting with the template features.
The Template Base is Mystique by digitalnature with a few stylesheet adjustments and obviously some grapics changes.¬† The Mystique template has some nice features and a built in Admin for adjusting various settings and making some customizations without modifying the actual theme files directly.¬† This is a nice feature for retaining customizations if a new version of the template comes out.
The Active Plugins we’ve installed and are using are:
All in One SEO Pack, which enables the author to quickly add keywords and othe meta tags such as title, description etc.¬† Now were not totally sure if the keyword helps with search (read this), its more about the actual content of the site, but its still an easy way to customize the page title’s and descriptions.
Google XML Sitemaps – This plugin will generate a special XML sitemap which will help search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask.com to better index your blog.
NextGEN Gallery – A nice photo gallery tool with loads of options.
RSS Include Pages – This plugin places the pages you create into the RSS feeds.¬† By default only the posts are put into the RSS feed, so for those people that use Wordpress as a CMS this is a great thing to have.
The Events Calendar – By far one of the nices calendars for handling future events and scheduling that we’ve used within Wordpress.¬† Once the pluggin is installed you can actually add and edit events through the existing posts editor.¬† For events that include and address it has a Google Maps built in.¬† We’re still playing around with this one in order to improve the look/feel of the calendar and events, but like I said, one of the nicest we’ve used.
WordPress Mobile Pack – This is a new addition and still being tested.¬† This plugin automatically detects if the end user is on a mobile device and will change the template to a mobile version to one that is a little more “Mobile Friendly”.
WP Google Analytics - For anyone that hasn’t used Google Analytics, WHY NOT?¬† What are you waiting for?¬† Its free and a great way to track visitors stats, browser types, keywords, referrers etc.
Overall for the time and effort put into the site, it didn’t turn out half bad, let us know what you think.