from chris benfield, ex Yorkshire Post, now at PL20 7SZ, Devon
Good day to all.
The Horrabridge Times, at www.horrabridgetimes.net/ started off as an online news service for the printed parish magazine's website but is now an independent online-only weekly. At one point, publishing five days a week and pushing for circulation, I got up to 12,000 readers over a month, with stories bouncing round the area and one or two going national.
The evening paper style caused a bit of consternation here and there and after a pause for thought, I relaunched as a less ambitous weekly, which seems to be still getting 700 or 800 readers a week after the first couple of months of new format (village population about 3,000). Various options in mind for going forward but first of all I need to tidy up what I have.
I set it all up in a hurry and did not fully understand – still don't – the difference in function between pages and posts. Kept getting lost in the Wordpress guidance.
In the end, I have just one page, the home page, titled About, which more or less duplicates a single post in the "Category" About & Contacts.
I have three other Categories in my front page menu but Classified and What's On are basically on tickover, which means News is the most important category and almost all posts are in it. I want to keep the link to that archive throughout any reorganisation. All the News posts are well tagged but otherwise they are only ordered according to date of posting, with latest at the top.
I would like a new front page, featuring links to latest posts. I can weed out some old posts but would like to keep most in a new news archive. I still want Classified and What's On sections somewhere easily found.
In Wordpress admin, I go to Reading Settings and I would like to choose "homepage displays my latest posts", although actually I woud like some static content too. I have to name a Homepage and a Posts Page, which cannot be the same, and the only option I have in the choices box is the existing page titled About. Clearly (?) I need to create a new page or several but I need to work out what to call them and what to put in them and where my Categories menu then comes in and how to get the posts moved to pages and keep old links working, etcetera.
Is there anyone who has started from this position and can offer an action plan?
Matt Abbott of ICNN has kindly referred me to an add-on – the community and hyperlocal Wordpress theme – which was developed in consultation with members and it looks useful. But before I start playing with it, I want a clear idea where I am going with it.
Regards, respects, to everyone in a similar position.
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