Considering converting my site to Wordpress (about halfway through development)

First of all, I apologize for the wall of text.

This is the first site I’ve made in a few years, and the only one I’ve really been satisfied with. It’s been in constant development for the past month or so. I posted in in the critiques form awhile back, and got a lot of useful criticism that I’ve applied, so I think it’s looking pretty good for a work in progress.

The only pages that are done right now are the index and portfolio pages. The work page will just be static text, but the blog page will be powered by Wordpress. And since I’ve been reading a lot on the subject, I’ve been considering just using Wordpress for the whole site.

My site isn’t completely static as is. I’m using php includes for the header, sidebar, and footer areas, which should translate easily to the way Wordpress handles things. However, on the portfolio page, things get a little tricky.

I have some simple php scripts that I use to automatically generate pages and thumbnails for each portfolio entry. Basically, inside the portfolio directory is a file called info.php, and a directory called ‘projects’. Each project has a directory within ‘projects’ that contains ANOTHER directory called ‘images’, and a file called variables.php that defines the title, client, and description. Info.php is used to display the variables for each project on the left side, and the images from the project’s ‘images’ folder in a slider on the right. For the images, there’s a script that searches the ‘images’ folder for each project and creates a slide for each of them.

Back on portfolio/index.php, there’s another script that searches for directories within the ‘projects’ folder, and creates a thumbnail link for each using the first image (0) in the images directory. Click the thumbnail, and it opens ‘info.php?p=(project directory name)’ in a fancybox ajax popup. I don’t know very much php at all, but I’ve done the best I can to make this simple…all I have to do is make a folder, define some variables and add some images, and the scripts take care of the rest.

I have NO idea how this will work with Wordpress…and if there’s an easier way to do it using Wordpress (which there probably is), I’m willing to use that instead. Ideally, I think it would be neat to treat portfolio entries like posts in a “portfolio” category, and allow them to be commented, searched, etc (I’d probably put a search bar somewhere in the footer, so users can search both blog posts and portfolio entries from anywhere on the site). It just seems like this would unite the site a little more. Aesthetically, I want the same idea. Grid of thumbnails that you click, opening a fancybox popup with the title, client, description, and image slider. I love how it looks right now and I’m not looking to change that. However, maybe the permalink could lead to a page more consistent with the layout of the main site, just featuring that project. I don’t know, I’m sure it’s possible.

I think this would be nice because rather than manually creating a directory for each project, I could just add a post in Wordpress and be done with it. It’s all about simplicity.

So yeah, I basically want to use Wordpress as a CMS without removing any current functionality, and I’d like whatever tips I can get. One thing I’ve learned is that there’s a plugin for EVERYTHING in Wordpress, so the whole “portfolio entries as wordpress posts” thing is probably doable, but I don’t have a clue where to start. If someone could take a look at my site and give me a good course of action for converting it to a wordpress site, I’d appreciate it.

I really hope the way I’ve explained everything makes at least a slight bit of sense :stuck_out_tongue:

well foollow this:

Edit by TechnoBear: The original article can be found here.