Continuing to improve the structure of the Extended Collection.
Something that has been on my mind for a while now is devising a way to remove items from the collection without deleting or unpublishing them. Doing so would result in broken links and missing data.
To solve this, I revisited how I think about Categories. I use WordPress Categories to organize the site into two (for now) main types of content: VR and AR. I’ve expanded that to four Categories.
- VR Collection: The heart and soul of the Extended Collection. My current selection of apps, games, and experiences that are made for Virtual Reality.
- VR Archive: Virtual Reality items that have been removed from the Collection.
- AR Collection: We are living through the prelude§ to Augmented Reality. A few experiences that point to the future.
- AR Archive: Augmented Reality items that have been removed from the Collection.
I added the new categories for the archives and modified the display names of the AR/VR categories.
Once the categories were set up and I had a chance to update some of the collection items, I needed a way to exclude the archived items from the main site content. The homepage for the site is set to “Your latest posts” instead of using a static page. I needed a way to exclude posts in the new archive categories from this page. I settled on Ultimate Category Excluder, a plugin that adds a few options to customize where categorized posts appear.
I selected the options to exclude the archive categories from the Front Page (app posts query) and from RSS feeds, while keeping they available in archives (list views) and search results. Now, these posts won’t show up when visitors are browsing through the collections, but they haven’t been completely removed. Links will keep working and folks can still find these items by searching for them. I also added links to the AR and VR Archives to the footer of the site.
§ Most of AR content that we are seeing now is made for hand-held AR. Personally, I’m not excited about this type of content. Hopefully in the coming months and years we will have access to head-mounted AR devices so we can really start to push the medium forward.