I want to use WordPress as a CMS for a reasonably basic site rather than a blog. I have several pages and at the moment, I don’t intend to have a “news” page.
While there are ways to make this work, the focus in the wp-admin console is clearly on new posts, and creating pages with custom content like maps and galleries feels like I’m working around the system rather than with it.
Do you have any suggestions as to using WordPress as a CMS?
- Are there any good boilerplate themes that are designed around a CMS rather than a blog?
- Are there any good plugins to help with treating WordPress as a CMS?
Alternatively, should I be using WordPress at all?
The killer feature that caused WordPress 3.0 to cross over from an extensible blogging tool to the CMS for 8 out of 10 needs is Custom Post Types (with the addition of Custom Taxonomies from v2.9) with an honorable mention going to the new Menu system in 3.0.
So if you want to learn WordPress as a CMS then study Custom Post Types. Here’s a few articles to get you started:
- Custom post types in WordPress
- Rock-Solid WordPress 3.0 Themes using Custom Post Types
- Everything You Need to Know About WordPress Custom Post Types
- Custom Post Types in WordPress 3.0
- The WordPress Codex on Custom Post Types
- Adding Custom Field GUI to Custom Post Types in WordPress 3.0
- Explore the Power of Custom Post Types to Maximize WordPress as a CMS
- Smarter Custom Post Types
There are also several plugins to make Custom Post Types easier in no particular order and albeit all of them are still a long way from being fully mature so Caveat Emptor!:
As for Themes, that’s a different subject. While blog themes all implemented the same use-case pattern, each person’s CMS needs are likely to be different because each business is different (a restaurant needs different layouts than a yoga studio than an movie theatre than a fabric store.) At least early on I think you’ll be hard-pressed to find the perfect ready-made “off-the-shelf” theme for your business; best to find one that’s generally good and plan on modifying it or get a WordPress designer to build you a custom one. Having them layer on top of themes like the Genesis Framework from StudioPress can be a good option.
Best I can suggest is to look for ones that support the WordPress 3.0 menu system and then make your decisions from there. You can google for that and look for articles like this one:
P.S. If you are asking about streamlining the admin user interface so that the Posts and Pages and other blogging tools take a back seat and your specific CMS content is featured in the admin instead then that’s a different subject; can I suggest you ask another question for that one?
UPDATE: Here are some screen shots from some projects I’m working on to give you an idea of what can be done: