Wordpress as Content Management System

by Michey

Wordpress is not only for Blogging, it really is a CMS, and the diversity of functionality is impressive. You will find out what you can do with WP in addition of creating Blogs.

What is a CMS?

CMS for BusinessWordpress is a Content Management System (CMS), but what is a CMS?

The best definition of CMS is the one from Wikipedia which is more business oriented but it is applying to any environment or purpose or level of your sites and skills:

"A content management system (CMS) is the collection of procedures used to manage work flow in a collaborative environment...

The procedures are designed to do the following:

  • Allow for a large number of people to contribute to and share stored data
  • Control access to data, based on user roles
  • Aid in easy storage and retrieval of data
  • Reduce repetitive duplicate input
  • Improve the ease of report writing
  • Improve communication between users

In a CMS, data can be defined as nearly anything: documents, movies, pictures, phone numbers, scientific data, and so forth. CMSes are frequently used for storing, controlling, revising, semantically enriching, and publishing documentation."

It is also a well defined Enterprise Content Management System (ECM) with main purpose being:

  • to streamline access
  • eliminate bottlenecks
  • optimize security and
  • maintain integrity 

Those definitions are created on purpose to cover a big area, but I am a believer on understanding the big picture so  I'll continue to elaborate on this direction.

More About CMS Platforms

So, using a more popular definition, CMS is a system used to manage the content of a Website.

Typically a CMS consists of 3 major elements:

  • The Content Management Application - it is a mechanism which allows the administrator of website to manage the creation, update, delete content. The features can vary from a platform to another but in general include:
    • Publishing
    • Format Management
    • Information Retrieval
    • Search
    • Indexing
    • Update Control
  • The Content Delivery Application - it uses and compiles information to update the Website
  • Sometime provide tools for one-on-one marketing strategy - it is the ability of a Website to develop the contain and advertizing to a user's specific characteristics

Choosing the Right CMS for You

Choose CMS

A Website Content Management  System is design to run in the background of a public Site.

It allows administrators to edit content through an admin panel, and manage work flow.

In general all content in the CMS is stored in an SQL database system which allows for quick and easy access by all applications, enforce strong security, allow backups, and version control of your Website.
So to have a host with cPanel is a must.

Do you need a CMS?

There are a lot of CMS Platform to choose from, and my best advice is to do research and test to be able to choose the best platform which is good for the purpose of your Website.

This is a short list:

  • Wordpress - this is the most used and my favorite, it is free to download and use, it allows you to do a large varieties of sites: Blogs, non-blog sites, eCommercial, memberships and so on
  • Joomla - it is not recommended for beginners, it has a hard bumpy learning curve as it is not easy and friendly to use, but it is cover a lot of functionality
  • Drupal - it is a great free platform to use. It is user friendly but to some degree harder to learn vs. Wordpress
  • ExpressionEngine - it is a paid CMS, I never try this one, so I don't want to jump to any conclusion
  • Mambo - It is a rich CMS which is an award winning, again I don't use it
  • Ez Publish - it is a typical CMS for Enterprise CMS and is also an Open Source and Open Source Framework
  • PHP Nuke - it is an CMS with typical functionality and a great portal solution

Do you need a light weight CMS alternative?

For a small business you can use:

In general they are paid, hosted or self-hosted with less functionality vs. the first list I present above

Do you need  a specific eCommerce CMS?

shop cartSome people like to create their own CMS software, it is possible, but you must have great skills as a programmer, it will take a long time to develop your own CMS, and must be well maintain in time.

I prefer the solution of using an existing eCommerce CMS if you want to set up an on-line stores.
You don't need to upload a plug-in, the needed functionality is embedded in the software.

You can use Wordpress for eCommerce, but you need to load a specific plug-in, there are plenty of them but not all are easy to use.

The specific eCommerce Platforms that come with  CMS are:

 In summary: there are a lot of platforms, functionality to choose from and some search up front will pay in time for you.

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Wordpress as an CMS

wwwNow down the earth - Yes, Wordpress is a CMS, a central repository we are using to organize, optimize and even monetize our sites.

Reading the about considerations about CMS, I hope it is clear why Wordpress is a Content Management System, but it is more attached to this platform.

Wordpress can offer more then the unique purpose it has been created for.

In general Wordpress was created as a Blogging platform, but being an open source ended up being a flexible platform on which we can create a large variety of  sites:

  • Blogs
  • eCommerce Stores
  • Membership couching Websites, or any type of membership Websites
  • Local Business Directories
  • Branded personal or business Websites

The main core of functionality is coming from plug-ins, we have already 2 posts about them but we are still too far away of covering the beauty and benefits of using the plug-ins:

Wordpress Plugin Part 01
Wordpress Plugin Part 02

We also can migrate a static Website to a Website on Wordpress platform, which helps you keep abreast with the new technologies, and make old sites look as the new ones.

Updated: 08/20/2011, Michey
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Which CMS is good for you?

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Harry on 01/30/2017

Nice Presentation. Very well described difference between the wordpress and Joomla. Joomla is in trending these days. If you really think to start a new small business then Joomla is a best and quicker platform to create any website. Here is a site which must be helpful to create your website with Joomla http://comdev.eu/jomestate

Auto Parts Warehouse Coupons on 08/22/2011

word press is my favorite.

Michey on 08/21/2011

samsons1 Thanks, yes if you look it over in my last module you have a list of all types of sites we can create with Wordpress. it is not a complete list it is just about the main use of it but you can have the idea of the variety.
There is a great book which show how to create each type from that list.

samsons1 on 08/21/2011

tremendous article! I've been caught napping, had no idea one could do all this through WordPress. This might just change the way I do a lot of things...

Michey on 08/21/2011

Joan you have a great point, yes, we keep going learning because WP is Open Source and when thousands of people keep adding staff to it (plug-ins, themes.. ) it becomes a dynamic environment... we will spend the rest of our life learning it... LOL
BUT, we have to do it, and keep abreast with new staff... or we will be out of the look soon.
NOTE: I want to point out that we as a group, and individuals... we did a tremendous progress and shift in mentality in just one year or so.
With all the bumps on the road, hard work paid off... we are different persons today, more knowledgeable, more open minded, and more willing to jump and try... Am I right?

Michey on 08/21/2011

You are right, and we cannot recognize that the side is done with WP because it is a CMS and we can create all types of sites I enumerate in last module. More... we can migrate old sited in WP, so it really is a beauty.
Thanks for reading

Holistic_Health on 08/21/2011

Wordpress has come a long way in the last few years. Sometimes I don't even recognize that it's a WP site I'm on. Another informative article.

barbarab on 08/21/2011

Excellent article on Content Management...I learned a lot!

petunia on 08/21/2011

Certainly wordpress for me. I am still learning wordpress but I am enjoying it more every day!

BarbRad on 08/21/2011

I still have not totally switched to doing anything but blogs with this, but I'm considering doing a site from scratch with it one of these days when I have more time.

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