• Creating my first WordPress API

    I recently started a website project to encourage the communities of Devon to be more involved in the services that we deliver in their community. We have four schemes that in principle help communities to help themselves. These schemes include Snow Wardens, Road Warden, Community self help and Parish Path Partnership (P3). We want to get more residents of Devon involved in these schemes.

    One way of doing this is a postcode search of their area and a query returning which schemes are running in the area and how to get involved.

    I started this by bring a number of sources of data together.… Read the rest

  • WordPress REST API – developing a precautionary

    Back over a year ago now the WordPress team at Devon County Council started exploring a RESTful API. In WordPress 4.4 they introduced an embed extension to embed content into other website. This was the start of the API.

    WordPress 4.7 has just landed and now it has a full RESTful API built right into the core. It is now possible to display all your content by using the new endpoint routes, posts, pages, etc. This is really great, we can now do cross website querying for content using the API. This is just the tip of the iceberg of things that the API can be used for.… Read the rest

  • Building the Homepage

    Building websites has now after quite few years become second nature to me, but building a homepage, well that is a bit different.

    There are a number of things to bear in mind, for example, traffic, performance and design.

    I didn’t need to worry too much about design as that was taken care of by our web designer, agreed on within the team and then signed off by senior management.

    Firstly I needed to look at Foundation, the new framework we have adopted for our mobile first responsive design. Matt had done this and built a flat HTML layout using Foundation.… Read the rest

  • WordPress – Custom post types and taxonomies

    We have just completed a project which redesigned the democracy pages on our website – it is only a version 1 as some of the ideas we wished to implement weren’t manageable in the timescale.

    Also with Elections just around the corner we felt it was better to work with a new administration on some of the changes. Like the rest of our public website content will be, the democracy pages have been developed in WordPress.

    The previous councillor profile pages were a hybrid of database and manageable content which made it awkward to edit so we made a decision to move the whole lot into wordpress as custom post types and a set of taxonomies.… Read the rest

  • What do we do with email?

    Email is an interesting channel and is often widely promoted as a choice of communications. On council websites you will see a variety of approaches which essentially trigger emails – individual emails, team emails, forms etc.

    As we work on redeveloping the councils website we have started to think more and more about how we manage email on our site and how we make it accessible and usable across all size browsers.

    One of the current challenges is that the mailto: attribute doesn’t work if someone uses a web based mail client such as gmail, yahoo mail, hotmail etc and would essentially have to copy and paste the email address into the “to” box.… Read the rest