Creating A Digital Publication In WordPress With The IssueM Plugin

Issue M LogoBuilt by LewAyotte, Peter Ericson, and Glenn Ansley the recently released open-source plugin known as IssueM provides publishers the opportunity to harness the ease of WordPress to turn their site into an Issue based publication. After taking a look at their showcase, I decided to try out the plugin for myself.

I installed the plugin on my demo test site and had a hard time maneuvering around and getting things setup the way they were supposed to. Out of the box, it’s difficult to know how things are supposed to be setup. I hope in the future, these guys take full advantage of Pointers that were added to the core of WordPress 3.3. I tried reading through their user guide but it only provided slight relief from the head-ache I was getting. I don’t know what it is about this plugin but I found it difficult to use and setup. After watching the following video, it makes a little more sense but not much.

I’m sharing this plugin so you could at least take it for a test drive yourself and report back with your experience. I’d like to know if I’m the only one having trouble getting to grips with this plugin or if others are as well.


6 responses to “Creating A Digital Publication In WordPress With The IssueM Plugin”

  1. We used IssueM to create an online magazine site for an association magazine that didn’t have one yet. You are right, it takes a bit to get to know how things are supposed to work, and our final site doesn’t quite have the interface I would like (which to be fair is probably as much about my talent as it is anything to do with IssueM). One thing we did appreciate was how it let you have PDF only issues in their system – our client had a large archive of issues, but didn’t want to pay to have each article put into the system. So, we have the newest issues online in full, with their archives added as only PDFs. Client happy, and not facing a huge bill.

  2. @Peter Ericson – Hey Peter. I checked out the user videos, the getting started video and the 12 minute video and although they showcased how cool the plugin was, I still couldn’t wrap my head around the proper workflow method of using the plugin. I probably spent about an hour and a half messing around with the plugin last night but never did feel comfortable using the plugin. Perhaps we could chat on skype sometime soon so I could discuss my experience and maybe you could clear my head of a few things.

    @Scott Rarden – I too liked the feature of linking to PDFs of the current issues or past issues. That was set up fairly well. Mind passing on a link to check out the site using IssueM?

  3. Jeffro, I set up a test site using WP 3.6 and Twenty-Twelve theme. I installed the IssueM plugin and watched the videos and read the user guide. I can see why you say you had some problems. It seemed to me that the videos didn’t sync with latest version of the plugin. That happens. I did figure out the concept and got everything set up. (On some of my projects keeping the help file updated to software changes is a balancing act.)

    Other than some css everything seemed to be as advertised. Spacing seemed to be a little off, but I can correct that with css.

    The look and feel of my test site wasn’t like the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine but then everything was in the right place. It looked best using the Twenty-Eleven theme. The Twenty-Thirteen theme doesn’t seem to work with anything yet. I didn’t try their IssueM theme.

    Bottomline is that I liked what I saw. I think they have a good concept and it wouldn’t take that long for anyone to set up a news magazine site. I would advise others to use a test site until they have a good feel for things before they go live with it.


  4. I too am trying to get my head around IssueM. I’m finding it quite restrictive and there is little in the way of documentation to help those who want to customise the code. The shortcodes are limited and it doesn’t look too easy to style them.

    I’d like to make my own templates but there is no useful documentation on taxonomy. I can’t work out if this is done on purpose or if they simply don’t have time to put anything useful together. The videos, although a good idea, only cover the basics.

    I keep giving up, moving to other options, coming back to it, giving it another go, and then leaving it again. I’ll continue to explore other options as I battle through this but I’m guessing I’m going to end up looking elsewhere.


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