The reason many people use the popular platform is to use WordPress as a CMS. Though it’s a powerful way to build and customise sites, it also makes it incredible simple for users to upload and manage all their content. You can do far more than just upload text though.
A full content management system provides a wide variety of options for customising text, images and pages. The basics are mostly intuitive, but there are a few things you should know to make the most out of using WordPress as a CMS. After all, once the site’s up and running, you’ll want to fully understand how to manage your content.
Using Post Types
You might think a post is just a blog post, so why would you need a “type”? WordPress has five post types by default, but themes and plugins usually add in more. The two most common are Post and Page, which are the two you’ll likely use most often. Things such as attachments, media and even menus are considered post types as well. You can have your own custom post types created, depending on your site’s needs.
Creating Blog Posts
The Post post type is what you’ll use to create blog posts and articles. When writing a post, you have numerous options such as:
- Setting categories
- Choosing tags
- Selecting images
- Formatting content
If you have plugins installed, such as an SEO plugin, you’ll also have options to optimise the content with keywords, a meta description and more. You can also choose how the permalink is formatted. All of these options give you full control over how your posts look and how search engines view them.
You’ll also notice in WordPress and many themes that you have post formats to choose from. These formats are optimised for specific posts objects, such as videos, galleries and chat transcripts.
When using WordPress as a CMS, you’re not just creating blog posts. What if you have a new service and want it to have its own dedicated page? Create the Page post type and you’ll have a static page to add to your site. While the content can change, pages are reserved for content that changes less often, such as an About Us page.
When creating pages, you can alter the hierarchy and create parent or child pages to better organise your site. Every page can use a template. You can create your own or use templates provided with your theme.
Organise By Category
Having all your content mixed together isn’t going to help you manage it very well or help visitors find what they’re looking for. This is where categories come into play. You’ll notice when creating posts that you can choose categories to place them in. Create categories to group topics together. For instance, we have categories such as Business and Design to divide out the two topics.
Ideally, posts shouldn’t belong to more than a few categories. When visitors click to view posts under a specific category, they’ll see a list of all posts belonging to that category. It’s important to note that you can have parent and child categories as well.
Organize By Tag
Tags aren’t quite as strict as a category. You can set numerous tags and you don’t have parent or child tags. Think of these as a list of keywords that describe your topic. For instance, this post would have tags such as “wordpress,” “content management system” and “website content.” Most experts agree to limit tags to 10 or fewer.
Most posts you create are listed based on date. WordPress’s default homepage is your blog, but creating a static page for your homepage allows you to over-ride the defaults. If you have an important blog post you want to stay at the top of the list at all times, create a Sticky Post. Until you change the setting, this post stays at the top, no matter what its date.
Experiment With Your Options
Using WordPress as a CMS, which powers 38% of websites, gives you the ability to fully customise your site’s content. Experiment with all the various options to create the right post types and formats. Sit down and figure out the best categories for your content. If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your developer and they’ll help get you started.
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Image: Erik (HASH) Hersman