Drama Society Archive

The brief

Development, design and maintenance.

The website was built from scratch to form an online catalogue showcasing nearly a century of drama. Rather than a static site, a database-driven model was adopted to allow visitors to find plays, people and pictures as easily as possible whilst making the site easy to update.

The site

How do you build a site to handle nearly 100 years of data? I used the database capabilities of WordPress to create a site that allows data to be entered on a production-by-production basis, then extracted and displayed in different ways across the site.
A custom post type contains dedicated fields for things like posters, programmes, cast and crew lists and photographs for galleries. These data are saved into the WordPress database, and extracted by custom queries across the site.
Each production’s data is displayed on its own page, and the details from each production are used to compile hypertext lists such as the actors and the roles they have played, playwrights whose work we have performed and awards that have been won, and galleries such as a display of our past posters.
By using custom code rather than a lot of plugins, the site is kept stable and fast to load. It has been very successful, both as a reference tool for the society to have quick access to information such as if or when they have produced a particular play thanks to an A-Z list. Society members past and present like being able to look back at their past productions by finding their names in the cast lists, and the site even has custom code to handle name changes and aliases among the cast.