Wordpress as a CMS?
December 27, 2008 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Where do I start to use Wordpress as a CMS? Plugins, designing for wordpress, etc...
posted by BoldStepDesign to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

Sorry, I jumped the gun without considering that some may not see Wordpress as a CMS right out of the box.
posted by furtive at 9:04 PM on December 27, 2008

Response by poster: @furtive umm duh on the googling. I haven't found much info. Mostly old info (version 2.1-2.4) looking for current (2.7).
posted by BoldStepDesign at 9:12 PM on December 27, 2008

I use AStickyPostOrderer and My Category Order to make a photography portfolio (link in my profile) work the way I want it to. The most important thing for me using Wordpress as a CMS was to be able to get away from default date or alphabet sorting of various things on the site. Those two plugins fixed that.

When I was designing the site, I was actually surprised by how little of wordpress's default functionality was useless to me. It takes some work and some thought to figure out what you need and how it should be organized, but comments/sidebars/tags/headers/footers/etc. all can be stripped away from the site or creatively repurposed to get what you want. Getting at some of the data in your wordpress database can be a bit difficult, though (photo captions, thumbnails, and the like, in my case) and require some work to get at programmatically.
posted by msbrauer at 9:36 PM on December 27, 2008

I think what furtive is getting at is that WordPress is pretty good at being a CMS right out of the box. You can subvert the blog by choosing Settings > Reading and making one of your static pages ("Front page displays: Home") your front page. If you can describe your particular goals or situation with a little more detail, perhaps we can offer advice on plugins, themes, etc. I have lots of experience setting up WordPress as a CMS for clients and users with no interest or experience blogging and use a bunch of different plugins to "dumb down" the interface for them. Is this the type of approach you're looking for?
posted by maniactown at 9:37 PM on December 27, 2008

BoldStepDesign, most of the tutorials written for 2.x versions of wordpress will still be valid for the current one, 2.7. The biggest differences between the 2.x versions are in the template tags, which are listed here, and some under-the-hood things that aren't necessarily so important to theming.

Custom loops are important to doing the fun stuff. So is understanding the template hierarchy. Right out of the box, with no special tricks, you can use a different template depending on the category a post is in, whether it is a single post or a list of posts, or you can even create a unique look for a specific individual post. 90% of what you probably want to do can be done with clever use of the template hierarchy.

Another way to implement different options for different pages is to use the conditional tags to create PHP if statements. If you don't know how to use PHP if statements, google up a quick tutorial. They're all over the place, and simple to learn.

To extend the functionality even further, use Wordpress's Plugin API to create plugins.

For all of these--custom loops, the template hierarchy, conditional tags, and plugins--simply google when you need more information or examples. It really is all out there, and relatively simple to find.

Remember that 2.x tutorials will generally still work, or be so close to working that you can fix them yourself. Furtive's answer was pretty accurate, I think.
posted by Nonce at 9:40 PM on December 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @ maniactown

two things I want to do.
1. Control permissions of a user, limiting them to only certain plugins and creating pages.
2. Create all my pages and main page under "/", and my blog go to "/blog/"
posted by BoldStepDesign at 9:58 PM on December 27, 2008

1: The built-in user permission levels (i.e., Editor, Author, Contributor, etc.) may do what you want, but the great Role Manager plugin will help you fine tune your users' access to admin functionality.

2: This is achieved under Settings > Reading, as I mentioned in my first response. You'll need to create a static front page (i.e., "Home") and a "blog" page and specify them under "Front Page" and "Posts Page". You'll need to have permalinks turned on for your indicated /blog URI to work, though.
posted by maniactown at 10:12 PM on December 27, 2008

Hi, we're using WP as a CMS for a couple clients and find it more than adequate. If you're trying to do anything other than use a third party template/skin as-is -- meaning you want to customize page functionality or design -- and you aren't adept with CSS or WP, it may pay to hire a WP pro for a few hours to get you setup. We're software company and that's what we did. Depending on how you're using it, WP can wind up having too many, or to few, features that you need. Add-ons can bridge that gap, but often we find there's just a lot of CSS and PHP tweaking needed to get what we want. That's where someone intimately familiar with WP is going to save you lots of time figuring things out. Let me know if you need help or clarification, and good luck!
posted by pallen123 at 10:08 AM on December 28, 2008

You can also try the theme from this site.

I'm not a programmer, but was able to use it to create a couple of WP-based websites.
posted by quidividi at 5:56 AM on December 29, 2008

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