WordPress as a CMS


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Briefly explains how and where WordPress can be used as a content management system (CMS), and how it is used at the University of Mary Washington.

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WordPress as a CMS

  1. 1. WHAT IS WORDPRESS• Began in 2003 as a blogging platform• Began to be used heavily as a CMS in 2010 (version 3.0)• WordPress 3.5 has been downloaded more than 11 million times• WordPress is used on over 16% of all websites throughout the Web• WordPress is used on over 50% of websites that use a CMS
  2. 2. WHO USES WORDPRESS?• Many small business and hobby sites• CNN, the New York Times and many other major news outlets• GM, UPS and Sony• TechCrunch, Mashable, TheNextWeb and most major tech blogs
  3. 3. WHO USES WORDPRESS IN HIGHER ED?• UMW was 1 of the first to use WordPress as a blogging platform, and 1of the first to use WordPress as its website CMS• Other institutions currently using WordPress as a CMS include:• University of Florida (http://ufl.edu/)• Boise State University (http://www.boisestate.edu/)• Southern Arkansas University (http://web.saumag.edu/)• University of Arkansas at Little Rock (http://ualr.edu/)• Lafayette College (http://www.lafayette.edu/) – the first known to go full-WordPress• University of Central Arkansas (http://uca.edu/)• Maryville University (http://www.maryville.edu/)• …and many, many more (http://wordpress.org/showcase/tag/education/)
  4. 4. MAIN CONTENT TYPESTwo main content types:• Posts – used for blogging, news, etc.• Time-sensitive• Once posted, they don’t need to remain at the forefront• Pages – used for static content• More permanent• Remains in the same location• Can be organized hierarchically
  5. 5. TANGENTIAL CONTENT TYPESMany items that aren’t necessarily considered “content” are actuallyspecial “content types”• Media (images, documents, etc.) – Can set a caption (excerpt),description (content), title, etc.• Menu Items – Can also set a description (not used in the UMW theme)• Revisions – Tied to specific posts and pages; previous versions of theparent item
  6. 6. CUSTOM CONTENT TYPESWe use a few different custom content types at UMW, as well• Forms and Entries - all forms and their entries are “content”• Advisories – important announcements to be broadcast acrossindividual site• Opportunities – on some sites, job/internship opportunities are set up• Documents – on the Documents site, all documents are pieces ofcontent• …and many more throughout
  7. 7. HOW ARE CUSTOM TYPES IMPLEMENTED?• Automatically through plugins• GravityForms adds multiple custom types• Events Calendar Pro adds an Event content type• Manually through code• Edit your theme to register new post type• Create a new plugin/mu-plugin to register new post type• Through admin interface with plugins like Types or PODS• No coding required, just fill out a few forms
  8. 8. HOW ARE CUSTOM TYPES USED?• Infinite possibilities• Display of single content piece• Display archive/list of content pieces• Associate related content pieces• Include one content type inside of other content types
  9. 9. USER PERMISSIONSOut-of-the-box roles are blog-basedNeed custom roles to add granular page-level permissionsPlugins don’t always use logical permissions for management• Many plugins simply use “manage_options” as test capability,regardless of functionality
  10. 10. PARADOX OF CHOICEFull admins get a lot of optionsMight need custom functionality to remove some menu itemsNO WORKFLOWWordPress has no workflow built inOnce content is published, all changes are live immediatelyNo automated change notificationsMedia/asset management is poor
  11. 11. PLUGINS TO IMPROVE INTERFACE• EditFlow – Implements some workflow capabilities• CMS Tree Page View – Allows drag-and-drop re-order of pages• RoleScoper – allows granular permission management• WhiteLabel CMS – rearranges admin area, customizes login screen• Types and WPToolset – implements custom content types, customtaxonomies, custom fields and template manipulation• Document repository – manage all documents in single library, acrossmultisite, with persistent links to latest version• JetPack – adds multiple new features, including spelling/grammarcheck, image carousels, ability to post via email, custom CSS, etc.These are not the only plugins that do this, just some examples
  12. 12. CORE INTERFACE IMPROVEMENTSWordPress is constantly being updatedWorkFlow is one of the top priorities for an upcoming versionCore has already implemented some great improvements in the last fewyears:• Multisite merged into core• Custom content types and taxonomies• New media library• Custom navigation menus• Improved oEmbed support• Full-screen (“distraction-free”) editor
  13. 13. OTHER RECOMMENDED PLUGINS• GravityForms – allows easy creation and management of forms, includingintegration with Akismet, PayPal, MailChimp and more• TablePress – allows easy creation and management of data tables, includingJavaScript features to allow table sorting on front-end• TubePress Pro – implements ability to include dynamic video galleries frommultiple sources (Vimeo, YouTube, etc.)• BackupBuddy – allows backup, export and import of full WordPress sites• Regenerate Thumbnails – recreates all WordPress image sizes after settingschanges• W3 Total Cache – implements multiple layers of caching and performanceoptimization• Page Links To – allows easy redirects• …and more at http://j.mp/17XzSw0
  14. 14. QUESTIONS? COMMENTS?Twitter: @cgrymalaWebsite(s): http://umw.edu/ (Multi-Network Setup)http://ten-321.com/http://svn.ten-321.com/ (SVN Repo)Email: cgrymala@umw.educurtiss@ten-321.comSpeakerRate: http://spkr8.com/s/10608http://about.me/cgrymala