I’m having a bit of a time trying to wrap my head around a request I’ve received for functionality in WordPress. I even asked the WP community to no avail.

It seems that after finally convincing my superiors that WordPress is the way to go for our corporate website, they’ve asked for something that WordPress is going to have a hard time delivering on.

The problem is that the people requesting things are looking at websites designed in Flash, my arch-nemesis. In Flash you can obviously make a little Flash object do whatever you want if you hard code it’s behavior. The trouble is that in the real world, content is dynamic and fluid, a principal that WordPress opperates under, and that creating things with equal intricate relationships is a bit harder.

Essentially, I’m looking for a way to display related material to the page I’m on, at the bottom of the page, with excerpts and images, in some sort of navigational slideshow/widget/slider thingy. Basically, at the bottom of the page, instead of a list of related pages (determined either by the author or by variables such as keywords or hierarchy relationship) they want a little interactive thingy where you can see a bunch of related material, just one at a time in some sort of slideshow fashion (not automated). I honestly don’t see what’s wrong with a list, but this is my dilemma.

Here’s my problem. I can do bits and pieces of this as a solution but I can’t seem to figure out a way to combine them. I can list related pages, that’s a built in function of WordPress. Downside is that you have to create a loop (ie: code) and use it in the page template itself. I can’t use ‘shortcode’ to put it into a single particular page. I also create and use excerpts from pages/posts, but with the same problem, no shortcode. You have to use the “the_excerpt()” tag in the code. I can create images of the related materials and use some sort of slideshow, but this is neither dynamic nor search engine friendly. Also, most slideshow widgets are designed for sidebar use and the only a few can be used in pages. The most obvious one to use is NextGen Gallery, but it doesn’t have any navigational features outside the lightbox AND uses the JWPlayer as a slideshow component and it embeds it’s logo, bigger than snot, in the middle of the images. You also can’t link images in the slideshow. Not cool.

So, that’s where I am. I need something, widget, plugin or otherwise, to display changing information on a PAGE. It can’t be embedded in the template, because I only need it on 2 or 3 pages.

Any ideas from anyone?