WordPress as a CMS

Could you run a website using WordPress?

I’ve been thinking about that and a few weeks ago I got a chance to put that thought into practice when Pia launched the beta of FanAdmin Plus

With a bit of organization, customization and add-ons it’s easy to turn a blog tool into a content management system.

Organizing Content
This was the first thing I had to consider: what will I need the site to do? what type of content will I have? Basically I want the FanAdmin Plus site to :

  • document the script with explainations and how-tos;
  • provide screenshots;
  • track problems and feature requests;
  • let people keep in touch with Pia and me;
  • allow people to download the script (eventually)

Main MenuA great thing about WordPress is the ability to organize content by entries and pages. This way I can mix up my content – general information, bug tracking, feature requests while using the entries for the actual documentation and site updates. So now, each link in the main menu is a link to a WordPress page.

A powerful feature of WordPress is that you can easily set up plugins to extend the functionality of your blog.

We wanted to have a gallery of screenshots of the script so visitors can get a feel for what to expect. I’m using Hivework’s Gallery Manager plugin to organize screen shots.

In Series Plugin Even though posts are organized by categories I wanted link together a particular set of tutorials. For that I used In Series which bills itself as “easy, future-proof way to connect a series of posts”. As the figure shows, I can group together posts under different headings even if they are in the same category.

By default, WordPress displays the most recent entries from all categories on the main page. I only want to show posts from the “Site Updates” category so I used Front Page Categories

And for a contact form I used In Touch plugin. What I like about this plugin is that I can put a contact form anywhere I want, on a page or in a post!

Later on I’m going to put in download monitor plugin to keep track of the number of times the script is being downloaded. But that’s for the future, once we work out all the kinks and bugs in the script.

Customizing Layouts
This is another thing I love about WordPress, the themes! Setting up a theme simply involves uploading the necessary files and activating the theme.

But since we didn’t want a canned look for the site, I customized the Kubrick theme to match the look of the FanAdmin Plus script.

9 thoughts on “WordPress as a CMS”

  1. Nice work adapting the tool to your needs. I may actually be looking at a layout and function set something like that for my own topical blog at some point in the future, I’ll be sure to check back and see what you’ve done by then!

  2. I’ve successfully used WP as a CMS a couple times, with differing results. Some people want a blog, but not on the front page, so you can use Static Front Page plugin for that. I also use Intouch; it’s great.

    The more familiar you get with The Loop, Template Tags, and CSS, the more cool stuff you can do.

  3. Sorry about that Patrick. I put in the wrong link. This is the right link http://scripts.dementedstudios.org/fanadminplus/. It’s been updated now.

    Michael, I totally agree, the more familiar you are with WordPress the easier it becomes to take it to that next level but even as a newbie, the wealth of plugins that are available can give you a headstart in customizing WordPress.

  4. I hope to try out your scripts in the near future, I just found this from Problog’s 31 Days Article, I know this is quite an old post – but still very relevant.

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