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I need WordPress plugins that functions like this for uploading PDF files for public viewing -->

Posted on 2014-11-03
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Last Modified: 2014-11-04
I am thinking about revamping my engineering company's website in my free time.  It was designed years ago & is in need of updating - not only from a SEO and a visual point of view, but also so that I can give rights to certain people here to upload content.  I am familiar with WordPress and am pretty sure that I will be going that route.

Our current site is pretty much static - with one exception. We update information (Advertisements for Bids, Bid Holder Lists, Addenda, Bid Tabulations) for our engineering projects so that Contractors and potential bidders can view this information.  Them viewing the information online saves us the time and cost of answering their requests for this information over the phone or by fax.

Our current website is www.dsaengineering.com.  And although you can navigate to the page that I am talking about from our home page (by clicking Projects -> Bid Information), the direct link to the page that I am talking about is here - http://www.dsaengineering.com/projects/jobinfo/index.htm

The way that our page is designed requires a knowledge of some HTML and FTP to update and upload whenever we need to post a new project or update project information, and I would like a way to train an employee to use WordPress as an editor to update this information herself, so that I am freed up from this task.

I found a website that looks VERY MUCH like what I would want for us, and am looking for WordPress plug-ins that would make it easy for our receptionist to update the Project information pages.  I am not sure if the website I like is a WordPress site or not.  Its URL is http://www.spicergroup.com/index.php and it has different pages for Advertisements, Bidding Documents, Planholders Lists, and Bid Tabulations that you can look at here - http://bidding.spicergroup.com/ (Our current website has all these files linked from ONE page, but I like the other website better - it looks easier to maintain.)

So.....  I would like to have some help tracking down the BEST WordPress tools to host our current website content and functionality, with the goals being:

1. Receptionist can upload the PDF files easily through a WP plug-in for Advertisements, Addenda, PlanHolders Lists, Bid Tabulations, etc. for each project that we post online, and
2. The public can easily navigate to and download these files.
3. (Optional) Ease of getting our current content into the new format.

AND....  We would probably like the WP theme to be one that could easily add photos, etc to highlight our latest engineering projects with photos, etc.

Thanks everyone.
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Question by:Kevin
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Expert Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40420927
I am not sure if the website I like is a WordPress site or not.  Its URL is http://www.spicergroup.com/index.php

Not. It's Joomla, which is WordPress's older, uglier, and slightly dumber cousin. Same basic concept, though (CMS).

1. Receptionist can upload the Images/PDF files easily through a WP plug-in for Advertisements, Addenda, PlanHolders Lists, Bid Tabulations, etc. for each project that we post online, and

What about this function is different from the basic Media Upload capability in WordPress?  Just make each project a post (or custom post object), teach receptionist how to use the Editor and the Add Media button there.

2. The public can easily navigate to and download these files.

See above.

3. (Optional) Ease of getting our current content into the new format.

Meh.  Your current site is Web 1.0 (individual files for each page of content) so there really isn't any automated way to go from that to a database-driven site without some manual work.  Not a big deal.  Just add new pages in WordPress, copy/paste your current content from a different browser (two-monitor setups rock for this).  You should be able to convert an old page every 30 seconds to a minute doing this...

AND....  We would probably like the WP theme to be one that could easily add photos, etc to highlight our latest engineering projects with photos, etc.

That's most themes.  First off, adding photos is a WordPress core function (I'm thinking featured images on posts or custom post type) and almost wholly independent of any theme.  What you are really after is a layout that has a good-sized area for featured content and I would look at themes meant for photo galleries and/or a clean business theme with room for a slider.  Set the slider to display the last X projects and transition every 5-10 seconds and you're done.

So overall you are not asking for very much and what you are asking for barely rises to the level of needing a plugin.  If I were you (or, more accurately, if you were me) I would do the following:

1) Identify your preferred theme or theme style first.  I would go with a nice, clean business-style or magazine-style theme with enough space for a slider and multiple content widget areas on the home page and a two-column layout for interior pages.  I work with the Genesis framework and so I usually start with one of their child themes.  For you, I'm thinking Metro: http://my.studiopress.com/themes/metro/#demo-full but you should look at all of the styles: http://my.studiopress.com/themes/  

2) Convert your old site's content into WordPress pages.

3) Create a new custom post type for projects and begin importing those.  Use the Featured Image to upload an image sized for a slider.  In the featured image template (project-single.php), display a slightly reduced-in-size version of the featured image at the top of the custom post.

4) For PDF upload, either teach your team to add media to WordPress via the visual editor or you can add a plugin like Advanced Custom Fields and set up an upload field in a new metabox and have your staff use that.  It's really six of one, half dozen of the other though.

If you want me to elaborate on any of this, just ask.
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Author Comment

by:Kevin
ID: 40421435
Thanks very much for the helpful & thorough reply.  Some of the files that that we upload (such as the list of Bidders who have purchased plans) change once we post the job advertisement.  How would we edit the post/page of a job so that the PDF file that the "Planholder's List" link can updated easily every time a bidder checks out a set of plans & we need to update?  Right now we just FTP the new file to replace the old one & all the links stay the same.

Is there an easy way to "replace" media linked in a post to the newer media (PDF) file?

Thanks again.
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Accepted Solution

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Jason C. Levine earned 500 total points
ID: 40421689
Okay, so NOW you need a plugin :)

https://wordpress.org/plugins/enable-media-replace/

Works through the media library listing.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Kevin
ID: 40421821
I think that was the only thing that seemed like an issue once I digested your original response.  It seems like this will be perfect.  Thanks very much for your help.
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