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Site advice

  • # May 22, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Hi everyone,

    I was hoping to get a little site advice on how best to handle a client request for a website setup.

    The basic premise is a medical clinic that has practices in 6 states. What they want is the ability to have general content about the practice itself and services, but much more state specific information within the interior of the site.

    So for instance, the "Home | About | Services" pages would all be the same content, and then the "Staff | Insurance Coverage | Contact" pages would be state specific.

    To add a little more complexity to it, they want a backend for staff to log into that would contain links not available to the public. I already have this part handled with a few plugins, but what may end up being an issue is how this all comes together.

    So, I’m not entirely sure how I would tie this whole thing together. So far my ideas are:

    - Setup a separate WP site for each state that just matches the theme. You could choose a location (similar to UPS.com) before you enter the site, which would direct you to which one (possibly using sub-domains for each state).

    My main concern with this solution is Google not being too happy about having several states that have nearly the same content on the first few pages. The other issue is how to manuver between the sites. They want staff driven articles and forums, so would you only enable those on the main website and then redirect? I see that becoming very complex. However, if they ever expand to a new state, I see the benefit of simply adding another WP site for that state.

    - Create a myriad of if statements, such as "if the website is using http://california.website.com, then include x menu. If the website is using http://arizona.website.com, then include y menu" and then you are working off of one site.

    - Try to sell the client on making page specific location selections that the user would click on and then bring in content through jQuery or ajax that was location specific. No location splash page would be necessary on this.

    So what do you guys think? Is there a solution that is easier? It seems to me like this would be possibly similar to having multiple languages on a site, but instead of actually using different languages you made it locations.

    Thanks in advance!

    # May 22, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    I’m also just thinking that I might be able to just simply create a custom page template for each of the locations. So the main location selector would route the user to one of these custom pages. Then instead of putting the menu in the header.php, I would simply put the menu in the custompage.php file. The first 3 links would be the same, but the last 3-4 would lead to specific to that location.

    Does that pose any problems that I’m not seeing?

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