Using WordPress as a Content Management System

This article shows new WordPress users how to create and maintain a website by using it as a Content Management System rather than a blog publishing software. It doesn’t show you how to install WordPress but instead demonstrates its features and advantages. However if you are looking for comprehensive instructions on installing WordPress then you are in luck because I have already written a guide which covers all the details required for installing it on a website. It was written for the MadMouse blog and a link to it can be found on the following post.

Most people tend to think of WordPress as a software used only by blogs. That is far, far from the actual truth. WordPress per se is a very powerful Content Management System and not just a blogging software. If you want to create a site and you are looking for a Content Management System then its very likely WordPress will meet all your requirements. It’s well suited for most kinds of sites. Having being a WordPress developer from the past 3 years I have seen various websites of businesses and organizations being powered by it.

The main advantage of using WordPress is that it’s free to use and is released under the GPL so that means you can modify it to suit your needs. Other than that there are over 3,500 plugins available which can be used to extend its functionality. Examples of such plugins include Photo Gallery plugins, plugins to integrate a forum right into the website, Search Engine Optimization packs and more. And if you cannot find a plugin you are looking for or the ones you have found aren’t exactly what you are looking for, you still have an option of hiring a plugin developer to modify an existing plugin or create a new one from scratch. Another key factor of WordPress is its ease of use and the amount of documentation available for it. It offers superior built in features like a WYSIWYG editor, ability to upload and manage various types of media like Images, Video and Audio, assign multiple tags and categories to posts, widgetized sidebars, a plugin loader which lets you install any number of plugins, let’s your create users and assign permissions, let’s you automatically upgrade the version of the script you are currently using and many more. Also there are many companies and individuals who specialize in WordPress development.

Turning WordPress into a CMS

To make WordPress look like a CMS instead of a blog publishing software, the idea would be to remove the blog-related features of WordPress. This is not done by modifying the core files of WordPress. You will never find the need to modify any of WordPress core files even to extend its functionality. WordPress is an advanced system and lets its users extend its functionality using plugins. A plugin is independent of the core files used by WordPress. The look and feel of a WordPress site revolves a lot around the theme it uses. So basically to achieve what you want, you will need a theme created which changes the look of WordPress by removing elements like posts, comments etc. If your site will be publishing news then you can use the posts feature to maintain the news section and organize the posts into relevant categories.

By default WordPress displays your posts on the homepage but this can easily be changed from the administration panel. You can assign a static page as the Front page and if you want the posts to be shown on a different section, say under a page named Latest News, you can set the posts page to Latest News. This is done from Settings -> Reading. You’ll first need to select the radio button labeled “A static page” and then choose a page as the Front page and Posts page.

Conclusion

If you are considering about using a Content Management System for your website then it’s safe to consider WordPress as an excellent choice. There is no reason for you to spend hundreds of dollars getting a custom CMS developed. Using WordPress will save you a lot of money. All you need is a qualified professional who specializes in WordPress development so that he can create a theme for you which will transform WordPress into a CMS.

Links to pages of interest

http://wordpress.org – Home to WordPress
http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/ – The official WordPress plugin repository
http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ – The official WordPress theme repository. Let’s you preview and see a demo of a theme so that you can decide which one you like before downloading it
http://codex.wordpress.org/Theme_Development – Instructions on developing a WordPress theme. The best resource for those of you looking to develop a custom theme

Posted on: 8th January 2009 |
Under: Wordpress | Tags: , ,

4 responses to “Using WordPress as a Content Management System”

  1. Sai Seemac says:

    You have introduced a great benefit of using a word press as a content management system. I am firmly impressed with this advantage and thinking to implement on our web design.

  2. Timur I. says:

    Good work! Thank you!
    I always wanted to write in my blog something like that. Can I take part of your post to my site?
    Of course, I will add backlink?

    Regards, Timur Alhimenkov

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