Making WordPress into a CMS

As I mentioned earlier, I am going to be running some workshops at the Social Media Exchange, organised by Sound Delivery next month on the topic of ‘WordPress for good’.

The aim of the sessions will be to demonstrate how you can develop a really strong web presence quickly and cheaply using WP – not just as a blog but also as a CMS, to run a small but more traditional looking website.

This is possible due to WordPress’ ability to have static pages as well as blog posts, but more importantly in its amazing flexibility in terms of themes and plugins.

To try and be as helpful as possible, I am building a site to provide some resources for anyone wanting to build a site for their organisation using WordPress – it’s at but there isn’t much there at the moment.

I’d like to make sure that I get as much material up there as I can before the event, so that those attending who get suitably enthused have something to get their teeth into straight away.

I’d really like to know what your favourite WordPress-as-a-CMS themes and plugins are so that I can add them to the site – and give you credit too, of course! There are a number of ways you could do this:

Thanks in advance for any pointers you can provide!

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About Dave

Dave Briggs runs Kind of Digital, an online innovation agency helping organisations make themselves more interesting using the web. He's been writing this blog since 2004 and still isn't bored.


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7 Responses to Making WordPress into a CMS

  1. Pete Ashton December 23, 2008 at 11:31 am #

    Summat is up with the comments on wordpressforgood so here’s what I was trying to post:

    I’ll kick things off with the obligatory which I used to build

    It costs some $$s and took an evening of figuring out how it all slotted together but was worth it.

  2. Steph Gray December 23, 2008 at 11:34 am #

    Well, there’s Exec-PHP, which (as you know) lets you execute PHP within content, rather than just templates:

    One of the key benefits of WordPress for me is that it’s built with news-style features in mind, like RSS feeds for posts, comments, tags, categories and so on, and that there are plugins like Subscribe2 or Subscribe-to-comments which help visitors to follow the conversation even if they aren’t RSS users.

    But fundamentally, the main strengths are the simplicity and community around WordPress: simple in that anyone with a bit of PHP can fiddle around with page templates and apply them easily to different parts of the site; community which is always a Google away when you run into quirks or need to check how the WordPress template tags work.

    I’d also like your site to include examples of projects WordPress isn’t so good for: sites with lots and lots of pages which need complex nested hierarchies can’t be much fun to work with in WP. There’s workflow, but it’s fairly basic. And I’m sure there are other limitations but I can’t think of them right now… :)

  3. simon wakeman December 23, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    Hi Dave – have tagged a load of my favourite resources in delicious with WP4G – hope you find them useful

    Happy Christmas!

  4. Dave December 23, 2008 at 11:53 am #

    Thanks for the contributions, guys!

    @Pete – yeah, I use WPRemix here but haven’t done much to configure it. I found it pretty complex for a WP theme, which are usually so simple!

    @Steph You mean WordPress can’t do *everything*? ;-) I know what you mean though – anything over maybe 25-30 pages and things get really messy. There are some nice plugins to help with workflow though…

    @Simon – you are a lovely man. Merry Xmas to you, too.

  5. Richard December 23, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    Here are a few links for plugins:

    Backup WordPress
    WordPress Automatic Upgrade
    All In One SEO Pack
    Ping Optimizer

    Of course, incompatibility may abound, and checks should always be made to ascertain suitability. :)

    Good luck with the project.

  6. Gavin Wray December 23, 2008 at 12:53 pm #

    I’ve tagged some of my favourite plugins and WordPress theme collections from design mags with WP4G in delicious. Good luck with the project.

  7. Pete Ashton December 24, 2008 at 9:49 am #

    @dave wpremix is a bit of a weird one. Once I figured out you’re not supposed to use it all but just pick the bits that work for you it made a lot more sense. It’s like one of those massive toolkits you see at B&Q which you buy even though you only need a couple of spanners and a number 12 socket.

    I think there is rule, though, that a theme which extends WP into non-traditonal bloggery is going to be a bit complex. I’ve been trying to hack the Grain photoblog theme recently and it’s a bitch to modify if you’re not so hot on the php.

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