Making custom pages (with an example to explain the goal)

A while back I posted a question here, What are the options for running custom css and javascript files on a page?

The question is old and perhaps not specific enough to what I have in mind and what I hope to accomplish.

The best way to explain what I hope to do is by giving an example from an existing WordPress site: http://flowingdata.com/

Now, the flowingdata blog can includes a couple of types of blog posts. Sometimes, a blog post will be a simple screenshot of another website’s interesting visualization along with a description of the contents.

Here is a “normal” post:

http://flowingdata.com/2018/03/26/altair-for-visualization-in-python/

When you examine the source for these “normal” posts, you can see all the wordpress-related baggage one expects to see in a normal wordpress blog post.

And then there can be a different, more specialized type of blog post(?) / article(?) / page(?), found often in the “Projects” section of the blog. (Important: not every “Project” post has the same custom format; e.g., some “Project” posts retain the blog’s main navigation elements, and some “Project” posts eliminate the blog’s main navigation.)

Custom “Project” post:

https://flowingdata.com/projects/2018/occ-age/

What is unique about the “custom” post is most of the wordpress baggage is removed, yet a few pieces seem to remain, and there are custom javascript files included that pertain to the interactive visualization the author created. It’s as if the author is removing as much as possible of the wordpress baggage, leaving a few pieces in there so the page still feels like part of the overall site, and then including custom CSS and JS files to give the author complete control of the visualization on this specific page. So the visualization post is almost like a stand-alone page, even though it is still part of the blog.

So my question is: if you were creating a WordPress blog using an existing theme, what is the best, easiest, and most maintainable way to make custom pages similar to the ones one finds in the flowingdata blog?

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