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WordPress theme with web directory and photo gallery

Once I started to make a WordPress theme that would satisfy my needs, one of the things I’ve come to discover and like is how WordPress is so flexible. It’s not just a mere blogging tool and mind you it’s great as a personal publishing tool. But it’s also so flexible that I’d consider it to be more of a framework for doing lots of other things.

When I got started with my own blog, it didn’t take me long to realize that I need to have some other stuff on my blog. A couple of those things are a Web Directory and a Photo Gallery. Also depending on the topic of the blog, it would be nice to have a job board or classified ads with it.

For now, I decided to go with at least a web directory and a photo gallery. I wanted a theme that would be easy to change and has it’s own web directory and photo gallery. I am not about to reinvent existing wheels so I took a look at what’s available.

Photo Gallery

WordPress has some support for photos and media files. The structure is fairly new with not much framework to build a photo gallery without having to put in a lot of coding. Then I found the NextGen plugin by Alex Rabe. This is probably the best Photo Gallery plugin around for WordPress. This is also one proof of how flexible WordPress is. Alex reused code from WordPress to make the plugin. The result? A pretty great Photo Gallery plugin that is flexible enough to make it do almost anything. And it integrates well with WordPress.

So instead of coding my own photo gallery, I just did some hacking to put in extra code for my WordPress theme. I had to delve into some of Alex’s code for lack of documentation (maybe I’ll start documenting some of it here).

Web Directory

I didn’t have to look very far to find the code for a web directory — it’s already inside WordPress. Everything is already there and all I needed was a couple of functions to glue things together to make a simple Web Directory. The structure in WordPress can do so much more. For instance with a little coding the Directory can support child categories without any changes to the database structure. I was suprised that a Web Directory plugin for WordPress had to create their own tables when in fact WordPress already has them and more.

Later, maybe I’ll add some code to my theme to support child categories, link submission, ratings and other stuff. For now I just needed a simple web directory within my blog.

The Result

After several days of coding, the result was an initial version of the WordPress theme which has a Web Directory and Photo Gallery. I’ve installed it on a site that I started at http://connectedphone.com if you want to take a look at it. A screenshot of the Web Directory and Photo Gallery can be found below. During the next days, I’ll be using it in some other sites that I will be setting up.

connectedphone-directory
connectedphone-photo-gallery

More about the WordPress theme next time.

Gerry Ilagan

Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.

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