Using WordPress as a CMS

This article is currently on the WordPress admin dashboard, so people who obsessively check their WordPress admin page will have seen it already. But, it’s worth pointing to the article again as it outlines some things to consider when using WordPress as a CMS. I’m still a pretty hardcore Drupal guy – I use it for dozens of website projects, and it’s the Officially Supported Web Content Management System on campus (YAY!) – but there’s just something so nice, clean, and elegant about the WordPress UI.

And since we’re at a point now where the exact technology chosen really Does Not Matter Anymore (you can get pretty much any web software to do pretty much anything with proper prodding and understanding – and they pretty much all now properly grok RSS and tags, so it’s easy to reuse and republish what you get out there in multiple other formats and locations), it’s good to keep an open mind. Especially when getting ready to start rolling out a campus blogging system based on WPMU

Update: almost forgot. I probably should have linked to the resource website I put together with the Amazing Reverend Jim for our Out of Print session at Open Education 2007… There are a LOT of cool things you can do with WordPress, even if ignoring the blogging functionality entirely…

And I would have used a photo of me in my awesome WordPress hoodie, ala Jim Groom and/or Alan Levine, but alas mine never showed up. *sniff* I’ll just have to use the photo of me in my red WordPress shirt, taken by The Reverend Jim Himself at Open Ed 2007.

wordpress shaka

13 thoughts on “Using WordPress as a CMS”

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with your assertion that we’ve reached the point where the specific technology “Does Not Matter Anymore.” In fact, I think we’ve been there awhile now. We’re now able to publish learning content online, conduct assessment online, facilitate discussion and collaboration online, etc. with an increasingly broad and robust set of tools. What continues to matter is implementation fidelity. Does the technology work (almost) flawlessly? And even more importantly, are teachers and learners able to focus more on learning than on the technology itself?

    If we can answer these two questions “yes,” then we’re getting somewhere. Facsinating that a growing number of instructors are finding that a move to WordPress and Drupal (and away from monolithic CMSs) helps with the latter.

  2. D\’Arcy,

    Let\’s be honest, you;re the awesome one here, I just have been aping your blog style for the last two and a half years. That said, I am more thn eager to take credit for yur hardwork and present on something crazy again soon. I have a couple of ideas given the recent directions of your blog. And I want to start thinking specifically about the idea of openness, community and the \”nature\” of these applications. Sounds vague and trite, and it probably is, but it is the idea of community I really want to focus on, the idea of real spaces of hope and passion. That is the key to openness, not some god damned license. I think the qestions around copyright, and legitimizing what we do with the culture we have inherited, been fed, or have been forced to understand as property is in many ways what we need to unlearn, rather than relearning a new approach to licensing. Community as cultural re-appropriation.

  3. D’Arcy-
    Congrats on hitting the bigtime with the nod from Matt off the WP admin panel.
    Always wondered how much traffic that would bring.
    We’ve never gotten a huge surge on any of our sites- and don’t have answers on what would happen if we did.
    Our latest find for cool plugins is CyStats which helps you figure out almost everything about what’s hitting your site.

  4. @Jim – absolutely! that sounds exactly like where I want to head with this. so… where to from here? 🙂

    @David – the article linked by Matt wasn’t mine – I was just reposting a link to it and adding some commentary. I’m pretty sure I’m safe from being Matted or WordPressed (or whatever the equivalent of a slashdotting is) because I mostly seem to write off-the-cuff rants here 🙂

  5. “I’m still a pretty hardcore Drupal guy – I use it for dozens of website projects”
    If you had never used Drupal, knowing what you know now, would you use still it for a CMS (or use WordPress) – or does it depend on the site you want to build?

    I’ve only used WordPress as a CMS, and as time permits I want to try some other CMS software, but not if it would be time I do not need to spending learning it.

  6. It depends. For a simple job, I’d recommend WordPress in a heartbeat. But for anything that requires heavy lifting, Drupal is the only way to go. For me, at least…

  7. I agree with dnorman, I think WordPress could just used to be a blog, Drupal is the best to be a CMS.

  8. WP gets better and better; and the themes and plugins equally impressive.

    We are using mimbo for a magazine style site at

  9. of course wordpress is just blog but i think mby making some differances with using php we can make nice site…

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