Using Wordpress as a CMS
What CMS to use for my website? The answer is unexpected but it is a fact that the easiest way is in Wordpress. This software designed for creating blogs has grown especially with static pages and has enough power to design most sites, from e-commerce sites to online encyclopedia.
Wordpress can be used as a CMS for a portal site or a specialized magazine,
thanks to the choice of options and extending the code with plug-ins, or globally
by installing a theme.
With the version 3.0 it is possible to create customized pages with extra fields beside title, post, keywords, date.
The choice of options
Indeed Wordpress supports two types of content: static pages and posts where
each new article drops another from the home, the oldest.
Thus we can create pages beside posts to provide visitors with durable information, but we can also do the opposite, creating a site of static pages (the content of which may change but remain directly accessible through links on the home page) accompanied by posts in a "news" category.
Creating a home page
This is explained in the documentation of Wordpress (see below). You can
create a special homepage. In the "reading" tab in options, it is proposed
to save a page as a static home page.
Comments may be removed from the home page with the option menu at right in edit mode. But to remove any reference to the comments, you have to edit the code of the theme.
The side panel
It contains widgets as categories, links, etc... You can select and classify them in the appropriate order. The content of the "text" widget can be created by the user.
To insert ads such as Adsense in the body of an article to the best placement and be able to edit it in the future, it is necessary to disable the internal reformatting and visual edit mode.
Modify the code
The code is changed in the template. If you have choosen the Classic theme, for example, changing the file index.php which displays articles:
The conditional functions will be very useful to customize the pages according to their type:
is_page() // static page? is_category() is_archive() is_search() is_404() // error page?
The test for conditions are placed in the main loop.
For example, to remove the text of a comment on static pages including the home page, you write in index.php:
<?php if (!is_page()) comments_template(); // Get wp-comments.php template ?>
For pagination without specialized plug-in, you can add a break in the main loop after the display of the first post.
Many plug-ins are dedicated to the presentation, or indirectly they alter the code to allow the construction of more elaborate pages.
Text Control. Lets you disable the internal reformatting of the text for a particular post. You can also choose another internal format, but the important thing is to create an HTML page with the desired code without it being reformatted by Wordpress.
Postlist. Create lists of pages and put them anywhere.
Post information. Enables removal of information on the articles, at user choice.
Inline PHP. To run PHP code inserted into pages.
Page Link To. Make a page of links.
TinyMCE Advanced. More sophisticated version of the editor to help building pages.
e-Commerce. To transform Wordpress in online shop.
cforms. Creating forms to users.
The final step is to install a new theme that is designed from the outset
to use the site as a portal, as a webzine or any other application.
Some examples of freely usable themes:
Grid Focus. Theme in two columns, categories placed in the banner at the top of the site.
Mimbo 2. Theme in three columns to achieve an on-line magazine. See the live demo.
Simplicity. Look refined into two broad columns.
Cryonie (on this site). Classical and SEO-friendly design, easy to modify.
Wordpress is a CMS. The use of software for offline editing as Live Writer also facilitates the creation of more sophisticated pages with tables, video and image galleries.
- The Wordpress documentation itself gives some guidance - but insufficient - on its use as a CMS.
- Examples of use as a CMS.
- Turning Wordpress in a Wiki, digg-like or forum.
- Turning Wordpress in a directory tool.
- Building large scale website with Wordpress. An experience.