Using Wordpress as a CMS works like a charm

This week i worked on a site development project for one of our clients. Basically the idea was to pimp their current site by implementing a Content Management system (CMS) on the back end. Because I was very familiar with the WordPress system I knew it would be the perfect solution for this case.  The WordPress Administration environment is so basic and straight forward that it becomes ideal to use it as a CMS tool for clients who don’t have that much (online) knowledge.

Before I began I started drawing a hierarchal structure of the available content. So I could get a clear view on how to reuse the available WordPress functionalities. Here is what i found out:

  • There are a few (approx. 10) static pages, obviously I will use the WordPress Pages to create and manage these static pages.
  • There is one static page that needs to display a list of services the company offers. Every service comes with one or more sample projects.
  • Every service the company offers will be managed through the WordPress Categories function. Where one category represents one service.
  • The WordPress posts functionality will be used to create projects within each service (read: category).
  • Then there is a list of partners and a list of press releases (short articles). I will use the Links functionality of WordPress to manage these two lists. 

After copying all the content from the old site in to WordPress (new site) I had to look at the current design and reuse it within my (yet to build) custom created WordPress Theme.

Getting a user account at wordpress codex and searching a lot with google helped me with finding all the available template tags, functions and parameters to get the output I wanted, all within the powerful WordPress engine.

These articles on the web helped me during my development:

Plugins I used

And my number 1 tip is when you develop your custom templates and building a whole team. Make sure you use css, xhtml and javascript correctly. Test your whole site regularly against the XHTML validator and CSS validator from W3C. Because I develop on a Mac in Safari, making sure everything I do is conform the W3C standards I wont get very much surprised when I open the page on a Windows computer in IE.