.NET to WordPress: Document Libraries and Photo Galleries

We continue with our .NET to WordPress series on migrating a .NET client site to WordPress and replicating its original features. This post covers replicating the original site’s Document Library and Photo Galleries.

Before continuing I have to warn you that you’ll probably be disappointed with the comparable WordPress implementations. Here are the points that guided the migration choices:

  1. Deliver current content that is actively maintained or don’t deliver any at all
  2. The less overhead, the better
  3. Invest in content management functionality based on the site content management processes

First we’ll look at the original site’s Photo Gallery. It used the media galleries application of the Sueetie .NET Online Community Framework using Gallery Server Pro.  Fully self-maintaining with drag and drop for file uploads and a slew of features.

Here’s where the first design point comes to play. Deliver current content that is actively maintained or don’t deliver any at all.

While visitors may have enjoyed viewing photos of workshops, travels and quilts, the photo gallery wasn’t updated for over a year, and doing so wasn’t a business priority going forward.  So we cut it from the new WordPress site. Visitors need to know that the photo gallery is cared for. A neglected feature with out-dated content makes users think you don’t care, so why should they?

If we DID want to actively maintain a photo gallery, what approach would we take? Enter The Less Overhead, The Better. There are some excellent media gallery plugins available for WordPress that would house photos locally, but I would advocate leveraging Flickr, Pinterest or some other photo service and using a plugin to display that media on the site. This would keep overhead low, add the full management functionality of the photo service for free, and expose the client to a new community of users on the hosted service.

Document Libraries

The original .NET site also used Sueetie’s Gallery Server Pro application. Same drag and drop support, album display, searchable, other good stuff. Here’s the original.

Here is a Document Library display on the new site.

Like the Photo Gallery, the Document Library on the original site was fully self-maintainable by the client, who could add documents at any time without calling up their Web Guy to do it for them.  We as Web Guys love that, and so does the client. The thing here was that the client was happy to have the Web Guy add documents for them, as it was an inexpensive part of regular site updates. So what did we do to replicate the Document Library on the new site?

Enter Point #3: Invest in content management functionality based on the site content management processes. Since the site documents are managed by Web Guy and not the client, we went with straight HTML. FTP the PDF, wrap some HTML around it and add it to the page. 10 minutes tops. A few minutes more than using the dedicated Document Library application on the original site, but not worth the overhead or development time to add a comparable Media Library for WordPress. If the client were maintaining the documents we would have gone another direction, but we reduced costs by building a document library as managed by Web Guy.

There it is. Replicating (or not) Document Libraries and Media Galleries from .NET to WordPress.