Setting up WordPress as a CMS – part 1

WordPress is best known as the leading (free) blogging software on the web. But it can also be used as a full-fledged CMS if you know how to take advantage of its flexibility. However, WordPress comes with a host of features which you probably won’t need if you’re using it as a CMS rather than a blogg – such as Comments, Links, and even Posts. So you might want to remove these, especially if you’re setting up a CMS for someone who’s inexperienced and/or have never used WordPress before. Cleaning up the Dashbaord and Editor by removing sections the users don’t need, users who are new to WordPress won’t be distracted by menu items and editor sections they’ll never need to use.

Basically, by removing the excess funtions the users never need, WordPress feels more complete and functional as a CMS. This might make the learning curve a little less steep.

Here’s a few things you might want to do:

Hide Admin Panels

It’s a good idea to clean up the Dashboard, and hide admin panels the users don’t need. For this I use Hide Admin Panels, a plugin that let’s you do just what the name implies; hide panels from the Dashboard main menu, on a per-user-basis. If your users don’t use Links or Comments, they don’t need to see them in the Dashboard. Likewise, if your users only use Pages, hide the Post panel, et cetera.

(This, of course, has more potenial uses. For example, if the site you’re setting up has several users, where only some (or one) of them should have access to publish news, you simply hide the Post panel for those who shouldn’t have access.)

… and rename the rest

If you’re using WordPress as a CMS, some of the admin panels have names that average users don’t necessarily relate to. Maybe you want to change Posts to News, Pages to Content, and Media to Files? This is easily done. All you have to do is download the latest language file (or the latest one in your language, if you’re using a translation), open it in a POT-editor, for example POEdit, and change all instances of “Posts” to “News”, or whatever you like. This is a tedious and time-consuming task, but the good news is, once you’re done you can reuse your new language file on all your WordPress-sites.

Read more about editing language files on Translating WordPress.

Hide Editor Sections

It’s also a good idea to clean up the Editor (for Pages and Posts), by removing sections the users don’t need to see or use. For this I use More Fields, a plugin with many uses (I’ll get back to some of them later), among them the opportunity to remove sections from the Editor. If your users don’t need Comments/Pingback, you hide that section. Likewise with Custom Fields, especially if you use them for certain functions you don’t want or need the users to see. Your users don’t need Excerpt? Remove it! You get the picture …

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