10 great things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system

Wednesday, October 30th 2013

(This is a companion piece to another post, 10 terrible things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system)

Now that I’ve spent some time on a team administering WordPress on a large scale, I can point to ten things I really like about using this CMS in our environment:

1. Plugins

WordPress has a mind-bogglingly large repository of plugins available. If there’s a feature you wish WordPress had, 99.99% of the time you can find a plugin to do it.

2. Responsive Themes

Do yourself a favor and pick a responsive theme. It’ll reorganize your pages to display in a much more usable fashion on mobile devices and other unforeseen oddball screen sizes.

3. Granular User Permissions

WordPress’ built-in user role management functions leave a little bit to be desired, but (see above) there’s a plugin for that! Press Permit took a bit of time to figure out, but now lets us make sure users only have access to the pages they need to maintain. This cuts down on accidental edits or deletions, and provides a less cluttered interface to our staff.

4. Formidable Plugin to Manage Forms

Formidable is an amazingly flexible plugin for adding forms to your site. It’s got power on the back end too: We use hidden fields to turn it into a rudimentary ticketing system for website support requests.

5. Extensibility

WordPress’ custom types make it possible to add your own arbitrary data types to the system. Through types we were able to add our study spaces as items in WordPress.

6. Shortcodes

Shortcodes should be the #1 feature marketed by WordPress! They’re simply reusable blocks of text. For example, we have building policies that are consistent across branches. Instead of having a half dozen copies of that text to maintain on the site, we just have to update it once. The shortcode then pushes the content automatically to each required page. Shordcodes: Putting the Content Management back in CMS.

7. Sort pages by date last modified

The Sort by Last Modified plugin does one simple thing, and does it well. With it installed, you can sort all your pages by the date they were last updated. I can see at a glance if something has gone ages without an update. I don’t know why this feature isn’t included in WordPress, but at least it’s easy to add!

8. Revisions

Made a mistake? WordPress keeps all the old versions of your page, and it’s easy to roll back to any of them. Just like Wikipedia. You might need to enable Revisions under your Screen Options section to see them, but WordPress keeps track of your changes all along automatically.

9. Checking Broken Links

The broken link checker plugin provides simple reports pointing out broken links on your site. Getting data like this on our pre-CMS site was a nightmare, and I still can’t believe it’s so easy now.

10. Avoid Conflicting Page-Edits

If you try to edit a page while someone else is working on it, WordPress makes sure you know that’s the case. No more overwriting simultaneous edits!

So that’s the good stuff! Come back tomorrow for another post, this time covering pieces of WordPress that drive me insane.

(This is a companion piece to another post, 10 terrible things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system)

30. October 2013 by Chad Haefele
Categories: General, Ramblings, Reviews, Tech | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. Pingback: 10 terrible things about using WordPress as a large scale content management system | Hidden Peanuts

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