Does it seem strange to you that pages have a nice, intuitive way to apply various themes to them and categories don’t? Would you like to have a way for posts to be styled based on their category? I did on more than a couple of occasions. So for my entry into this contest I decided to make a plugin that would solve these two problems. All plugin details are available at the Idealien Category Enhancements (ICE) home page.

The first place I tried the plugin out was to create a set of AJAX-based category / post views for a client project (blacksmith artist photo gallery). The code for that is not yet “clean enough” that I feel comfortable sharing it, but looking at that site might give you a hint of the potential that this plugin offers. As I was creating that fast loading photo gallery, I realized that I may have unlocked another small piece of the ‘Can WordPress become a fully-featured CMS?’. This plugin could allow one installation of WordPress to be any / all of the following:

  • An event calendar and each category is a different calendar type.
    Each post takes you to a detailed view of the date with event details.
  • Photo Gallery
  • Multi-level / genre portfolio with extensive use of custom fields.
  • Contact list
  • Product database
  • etc

Looking at some of the other plugins that are part of the contest, at first glance my plugin might not seem that incredible. But I’d ask that the judges consider what a theme designer with bold vision could design as a result of using this plugin which could not be done as easily without. By integrating the template into the manage > categories menu, it brings consistency to the template process of categories, posts and pages.