On my hobby blog PortlandBrewpubs.com I have a listing of all the brewpubs in the Portland area. The list is pretty long (yes, its Beervana!) and quickly became a management headache to keep everything looking uniform. I was looking around for way to standardize all my posts and ended up fixing up my own solution that was both free, and supportable as near as I can tell.
I started using Custom Fields in WordPress for all of the interesting bits of information in my posts to keep it standard. I have one for all the useful Pub stats. Street address, website, phone number, hours, etc. This way I can fill in a value for each field and know I’m not missing anything. I then use the very handy plugin Get Custom Field Values to display the fields in my Post. In the beginning I had all the formatting for every post right in the post body. This worked pretty well until I wanted to change the layout, at which time I realized it was a pain to update my site. I would then have to go to every post and replace the body of the post content. With over 40 pubs in town I didn’t want to have to do that every time. I had to strategize a way to avoid this moving forward.