WordPress as a CMS (short version)

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Using WordPress as a content management system in higher education, as shown at the CASE District IV conference in Austin, Texas on March 29, 2010. Be sure to grab the associated handouts:

http://sillybean.net/downloads/case/plugin-handout.pdf
http://sillybean.net/downloads/case/profile-handout.pdf
http://sillybean.net/downloads/case/feed-handout.pdf

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  • With plugins, pages can do all these things too.
  • Sky is green, up is down, and we have always been at war with Eurasia.

    Posts and pages share the same database table; they have all the same fields.
  • So what are all the things you can store in the WordPress database?


  • * - unless you are a traveling circus or a Kogi taco truck













  • About ten new plugins are added every day.



  • We accomplished all this with a few plugins and some creative categories. Plugins are: Subscribe to Comments; Podcasting, Podcast Channels (separate podcasts from categories), Contact Form 7, and my own Private Suite with Peter’s Login Redirects.
  • Here’s a screenshot of our Posts. As you can see, things are jumbled up: courses, announcements, the faculty blog posts, and two videos for students. Not shown: podcasts, handouts, and our own course syllabi, which are all posts as well. We’re going to break out some of these things into custom content types over the summer.

  • You can change user contact fields using just a little bit of code. Adding a whole new set of fields is also possible, but a little trickier. The code for both these things is in your handout.




  • This is the Members plugin. Among other things, you can choose which roles can edit or read private posts and pages -- or you can create a whole new role for that purpose.








  • WordPress as a CMS (short version)

    1. 1. WordPress U Stephanie Leary Texas A&M University
    2. 2. Why WordPress?
    3. 3. Blogging vs. Content Management
    4. 4. CMS capabilities • posts vs. pages • scheduled publishing • basic workflow • easy media embedding • excellent SEO • ubiquitous feeds
    5. 5. Feeds for... • Recent posts • categories • tags • tag combinations • search results • custom taxonomies & types
    6. 6. Killer Feature
    7. 7. Posts • included in feeds • categories • tags • excerpts • comments and trackbacks • custom fields
    8. 8. Pages • not included in feeds • page parent • template • menu order • comments and trackbacks • custom fields
    9. 9. Pages * • included in feeds • categories • tags • excerpts
    10. 10. Dirty little secret: Posts are pages. Pages are posts.
    11. 11. Things that are posts • blogs • newsletters • news archives • magazines • press releases • journals • podcasts • ...
    12. 12. Things that are posts • anything you want in a feed • anything that should be organized by date
    13. 13. Things that are pages • About Us • Our Mission • Hours and Locations *
    14. 14. Things that are pages • anything that does not often change • anything that is not organized by date
    15. 15. Custom content types • Post-like: non-hierarchical • Page-like: hierarchical • Support... • title • page attributes • author • comments • content • trackbacks • thumbnails • excerpts • revisions • taxonomies
    16. 16. Theme files • posts • authors • pages • content types • date archives • individual... • categories • IDs • tags • slugs • taxonomies • author names
    17. 17. Theme/plugin hybrid can be defined in functions.php or installed as part of a plugin
    18. 18. Built-in widgets • Archives • Meta • Categories • log in/out • feed • Calendar • Recent posts • Links • Tag cloud • RSS • Text • Pages
    19. 19. Creating your own
    20. 20. 8,862* official plugins * at last count
    21. 21. Plugins can... • add widgets • provide custom fields • create template tags • create content types • modify loops • add taxonomies • create shortcodes • ... • alter user roles
    22. 22. Useful plugins
    23. 23. We wanted... • pages • a blog • subscribe to comments • a podcast • a contact form w/spam guard • a private area • users to be redirected on login
    24. 24. Users • username • IM info • name • Gravatar • email • bio • URL
    25. 25. Roles • Admin • Editor • Author • Contributor • Subscriber
    26. 26. Publish settings • Public • Password-protected • Private
    27. 27. Problems with “private” • visibility: menus • granularity: groups • privileges: roles
    28. 28. 3.0 Features • custom post types • taxonomies • page-like • category-like • post-like • backgrounds • single-type.php • new tags • author templates • the_shortlink • author-nick.php • comment_form • author-ID.php • get_template_part http://codex.wordpress.org/Version_3.0
    29. 29. What’s different in multisite mode? • You can create sub-sites • Each site gets a set of db tables, its own options, etc. • Site-wide plugins and themes installed for all • Site Admin screen (and role)
    30. 30. Network Users • Can register or be invited • Can create their own sites • Can invite users to their sites • Can be assigned to existing sites without creating their own
    31. 31. Thank you. Stephanie Leary Texas A&M University uwc.tamu.edu sillybean.net

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