One of the most powerful aspects of Wordpress is that anybody can create themes and plugins for it. This means that there are a large number of themes and plugins already available both free and for purchase. Although these solutions work for general needs, often a specific situation will require a custom solution. Such was the case with the Community Impact Directory, where the client wanted a highly specific user experience.
A number of free plugins and themes were used for various component elements of the site, but the core of the directory was a custom plugin created by Sam Diamond Design. This allowed for a specific set of features for each directory listing including an audio visualizer to provide a graphical element to the audio snippets. Further customization was required to ensure proper interaction between the directory plugin and other plugins on the site, such as the improved search capability. The site theme and plugins were then styled to fit the client’s vision.
Additional functionality was built into the plugin on the administration side, allowing easy creation and maintenance of the directory’s listings. This functionality made heavy use of the native functions within Wordpress to easily upload and select media and to create custom meta-information fields.