Creating featured box areas

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  • #10763
    Simon Duncan
    Participant

    I’m developing a site for a client and I would like to create 3 featured box areas on the Home page. I’ve done this in an unsatisfactory manner using banners. This is no good though because it isn’t easy enough for the client to change themselves without getting in a muddle. I don’t want to use the Magazine template from Canvas and I would like suggestions as to the best way to achieve what I am after.

    You can see what I want it to look like here though with different images, header and action button for each. http://rachel.successability.co.uk/

    I’ve looked at custom post types for this, but am unsure if this would be suitable. The main thing is that it must be foolproof and easy for the client with each featured box linking to a page or post, and having the design which is shown.

    All and any suggestions welcomed.
    Thanks
    Simon

    #10780
    Nick Burne
    Participant

    Hi Simon,

    This is Nick from PootlePress.

    I totally understand what you mean about wanting it foolproof for the end user.

    Normally we would create blocks like this using column layout shortcodes that come with Canvas. Would this create too much of a problem for your client?

    Let me know as I have a few other suggestions…

    Nick

    #10819
    Simon Duncan
    Participant

    Hi Nick,
    I have done that in the past, and it’s ok for those clients who can get their head around it, but really I’m looking for a robust system whereby the client can’t go wrong. Any thoughts?

    #10822
    Nick Burne
    Participant

    My thoughts were maybe using the widgitised homepage feature Canvas now offers? Had you thought of that?

    #10823
    Simon Duncan
    Participant

    I hadn’t thought of that. Interesting. However my main challenge is not how to get the featured areas in and in the right place, but how to construct them in such a way that the client can easily change the image, the title and the link text without getting confused. I’ve not really learnt to do custom post types yet (I know I’ll have to). Would a custom post type be suitable in this instance?

    #10825
    Nick Burne
    Participant

    Custom post types would be a great solution for your client, however it requires coding in PHP. If you have the skills, then why not? If you can’t code, then it’s a dev job (albeit a small one)

    You could also hunt around for tutorials and even plugins/generators that can make this kind of thing easier. As ever though, you will need to know some simple PHP to make it do what you want.

    It’s worth mentioning that PootlePress is going to be launching some extensions to Canvas soon and we are definitely looking into how we can make more user-friendly content blocks for Canvas. However, this particular is at least a few weeks away…

    Let us know how you get on.

    #10826
    Simon Duncan
    Participant

    Thanks Nick,
    I think it’s time to bite the bullet and get myself sorted with custom posts. There’s plenty of tutorials out there and as I improve my skills and knowledge it is the obvious next step.
    I’ll look out for those user-friendly content blocks. Very interesting.
    Cheers
    Simon

    #10837
    Nick Burne
    Participant

    Hi Simon,

    I woke up this morning and thought of something that would do this. Can’t believe I missed it.

    You could use the free Features plugin from WooThemes which essentially gives you a custom post type called Features. Your client could add these like a post and then you could easily use either widgets, (or if you want more control) the features plugin shortcode with options to implement it on the site.

    Hope this helps!!

    Nick

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