The Institute for Infectious Animal Diseases, a part of Texas A&M’s AgriLife division, is a research center focusing on animal disease. In addition to the usual news and informational pages, the site needed to showcase the Center’s research projects, tools (the finished results of past research projects, like diagnostic tests or software packages), and the people involved in them. These used to be listed by hand on standard WordPress pages, but the group wanted a more interconnected site, with links added between projects and people automatically.
The content model for this site is more complex than most, involving three custom post types — research projects, tools, people — each with a set of custom fields. People are connected to their research projects and tools via the Posts 2 Posts plugin.
There are several custom taxonomies shared across the post types, including topics, diseases, and institutions. Institutions partnering with IIAD on a research project are added to the project when a user tags them in the Edit Project screen.
The institutions taxonomy is also used for People, to indicate which one a person works for. An individual’s bio page shows their connected institutions as well as a list of the research projects they’re working on.
The staff directory lists the people associated with IIAD using custom fields for the contact information. This table has microformats built in, allowing modern browsers and other tools to convert this data to a downloadable vCard. On mobile phone browsers, the phone numbers become clickable links. The order of people in the directory is controlled using WordPress’s built-in page ordering system.
The site design is very closely based on the Genesis Education theme, which was so similar to the ideal site described and sketched in our kickoff meeting that we used it almost as-is, aside from gutting the archive templates to handle the site’s complex post types and taxonomy system.
(IIAD was formerly known as FAZD: National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense.)