Since the introduction of Custom Post Types, Custom Taxonomies, and MultiSite in WordPress 3.0, the customization described below is no longer necessary to utilize WordPress's content management system (CMS) capabilities.
For examples of how others are using WordPress, take a look at the WordPress CMS showcase.
This page describes WordPress some five major versions ago, and has been nominated for deletion.
Ever since the very early releases of WordPress, users have been eager to customize the software to suit their own needs. Indeed one of the more prevalent needs in today's context is the need for content management, or more specifically, a Content Management System (CMS). With its flexibility and power, WordPress can be customized into a full fledged CMS, and many people are already doing just that.
In computing, a content management system (CMS) is a document centric collaborative application for managing documents and other content. A CMS is often a web application and often it is used as a method of managing web sites and web content.
In plain English, CMS is basically a blog on steroids. It's also more formal and usually used on bigger websites. There are a few semantic differences as well. For example, in a CMS posts are not called posts but articles. There are so many such variations and variants thereof that it's impossible to cite them all. Nevertheless, here are a few to get you going.
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Let's begin by defining the differences and what aspects of the WordPress default functions need to be changed in order to turn WordPress into a CMS.
WordPress Pages are pseudo-static pages that work outside of the WordPress Loop. They are used to create web pages for non-changing information like contact, about, events, schedules, history, and more.
There is often a lot of confusion about these and some people believe that a CMS should use only Pages and not posts to populate the website. Posts are merely web pages that can be controlled in various ways.
On single post pages, a web page is created with a single post or article. On multi-post pages such as categories and archives, many posts or articles may be displayed. The Pages are displayed like a single post page but they do not belong to categories and remain "static" within the process of generating a page. While posts or articles may drop down the list as new information is added to a site, Pages remain accessible. In other words, they don't age.
Post summaries or excerpts and links are displayed using the WordPress Loop, but Pages links can be displayed using template tags specifically designed for them. The wp_list_pages() tags allow Pages to be displayed in the header, sidebar or footer to showcase critical informational pages on a site without creating the links manually.
By allowing the majority of the articles on a site to be used as posts and not Pages, control over what is displayed where, when, and how increases. Here are some examples:
These are just a few of the ways WordPress can be customized right out of the box to become a CMS. Let's look at some examples of exactly how to go about doing these.
Changing WordPress into a CMS involves customizing the Theme and possibly the Administration Panels through the use of coding and WordPress Plugins. While you don't have to be an expert in XHTML, CSS, or PHP, it does help. All of the following are optional and you can use one or any combination to change WordPress into a CMS.
The front page of a WordPress sites features a listing of most recent posts in chronological order. Most CMS sites need to control what articles and information appears on the front page of the site.
This is possible by hacking The_Loop in the following manner.
1. Create a template file with the name home.php (copy page.php and rename) 2. Just before the loop insert the line: query_posts(’pagename=home’) 3. Create a page with title 'home'. This is your new frontpage.
However, there are also many plugins that can make this easier for you.
Podcasting, mobloggings (in work right now), vblogging (video blogging), and adding music and images to a CMS site.
There are a variety of elements you can add to your WordPress CMS site to enhance interactivity and functions.
Signing up for mailing lists, newsletters, and information to be sent out with updates or information about the site, products, or services....suggestions, ideas.
You can set up shops in your WordPress CMS site.....
Adding ads to your WordPress site maybe as simple as dropping the ad link or information into the appropriate template file or more sophisticated, like adding ads between posts or blending them into the look of your site. We will delve deep in to the intricacies of inserting ads here however, as they have been covered extensively Adding Ads to Wordpress.
Adding interactivity through the use of forums or bulletin boards is one great way to foster inter-community communication. Of course, integrating them with WordPress is the best way to go, and we encourage you to use bbPress, WordPress' sister project forum software.
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One thing you'll need to control in a CMS are your user's Roles. Multiple authors, multiple users, and multiple accounts, are just some of the things you will have to deal with in running a CMS. When securing your CMS, a great place to get started is the Restriction Plugins section. The ViewLevel2 plugin is particularly useful if you're trying to limit and control the flow of certain content.
Freedom of speech is great, as long it can be monitored. There is no such thing as a total democracy, and this, if you have not already learnt it, is something you will learn before long on the web. Before long, you'll need to use at least a few Anti Spam and Comment Moderation plugins.
Part of the fun of operating a website is getting to know your users. Although comments and discussion forums will help you get to know your more vocal readers, they will do little to tell you about the likes and dislikes of the introverts, the readers who say nothing at all.
One great way to find out more about this silent part of your readership is statistics programs. If you're hosting with any reasonable web hosting company, the chances are that you already have a statistics package. Of course, many of these packages are standalone and will not tie well in to your WordPress install.
There are however a few remedies for this. You can use Statistics Plugins to render stat tracking abilities to WordPress. The WP-ShortStat Plugin even goes all the way, encapsulating all the functionality of the fantastic ShortStat stats package in to a handy WordPress plugin.
They say that the greatest invention of the last decade is the hyperlink. Indeed, your CMS site won't be complete without a way to handle and organize external and internal links. There are a number of WordPress Plugins that can be used for this purpose.