Wednesday, we pointed the last of our traffic to our WordPress servers.
We started planning the transition soon after I started at the BDN in July, and started beta testing the system in late August with our Sports section.
Stories are penned first in Google Docs, then brought over to WordPress via XML-RPC and pushed to InDesign via tagged text. It’s a unique system we built, for the most part, from the ground up, and we believe we’re the largest newspaper running entirely on WordPress.
Over the next few months we’ll be extensively sharing how we did it and open-sourcing much of the project. Our goal is to help other newspapers set up an easy-to-use, low-cost content management system. The setup is actually quite simple and easy to implement.
For the time being, feel free to leave comments with questions or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get everyone started, I would recommend a few plugins that I think are must-haves for any news org on WordPress. The first, which the BDN commissioned from Mo Jangda, is The Zoninator, which allows you to order content by hand instead of chronologically.
Another is Edit Flow, which is an important tool for managing workflow through WordPress.
Co-Authors Plus, also by Mo, allows you to set multiple authors per post.
And CP Redirect is a good example plugin for how you might remap links from your old site. We used it as a template to avoid dropping links.
You might also wish to check out the Ben Franklin Project, from the Journal Register Company, CoPress, which, although not operating anymore, contains a trove of useful tips for converting, and a post I did in 2009 after converting my college newspaper to WordPress.