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Patrick Johanneson: Brandon University (Case Study)

November 03, 2012

Patrick Johanneson: Brandon University (Case Study)

A study of some of the challenges encountered, and solutions discovered, in moving the Brandon University websites from IIS/ASP to WordPress. Presented by Patrick Johanneson at WordCamp Toronto: Developers 2012.


November 03, 2012

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  1. Patrick Johanneson • 1st dynamic webpage: a Perl script to

    select a restaurant for lunch • 1st WordPress experience: moving my blog from Blogger to self-hosted WP • B. Sc. 1994, Computer Science major • Worked in IT at BU since Jan. 1994 • Involved with 1st web server at BU in 1996(ish)
  2. Some of the plugins we use • Gravity Forms •

    page fold list (forked because project was no longer updated) • Quick Page/Post Redirect • Role Scoper • Tribe Events (on test) • Email Address Encoder • Post Expirator
  3. Navigation: Old vs new • “Phone-book” navigation evolved organically, as

    a result of internal pressures and HIPPOs • Sample URL: /academic/arts/departments /anthropology • Goal-based navigation developed with prospective students in mind • Sample URL: /anthropology
  4. Navigation Every site has a simple URL /science, /physics, /itservices,

    /helpdesk, /alumni Some sites have “parents” eg: /physics has /science as its parent site This is accomplished using the WP options table, and maintained with a custom plugin
  5. BU-Nav plugin – Site Parent component • PLUGINS/bu-nav/parent.php contains the

    code that sets the site parent; let's have a look at that now
  6. Contact info • Contact information is set site-by-site • If

    a site doesn't have contact info set, then its parent's contact info is set • If the parent[s] don't have any contact info, then the overall BU information is used • If that isn't set, then a default is used • This is handled by PLUGINS/bu- nav/contactinfo.php
  7. Homepages – News and Events • News and Event listings

    on homepages are handled by THEMES/brandonu/bu_customizations/news- events.php (which is include()d in functions.php)
  8. On the horizon • Switch option code to use Options

    API (get_option(), set_option(), etc) • Moving events to Tribe events system • New Prospective Students site