I’ve been contemplating for some time on becoming a WordPress site developer, focusing on WP being a Content Management System (CMS). With a clearly thought-out web site structure in mind, my experience so far tells me that WordPress can go further than even other CMS like Joomla! and Mambo could, thanks to a reasonably low learning curve, and the ease of developing plugins and widgets under WP. No less important is the fact that a majority of WP plugin developers are very generous, and provide their plugins for free, and who doesn’t like free?
I googled my way through various articles by bloggers and web site owners who agree about the potential of WordPress as a CMS. I even found one fine article in WordPress.org that discusses the elements and views that can make WordPress an effective CMS.
Now, with all the ideas that I get from reading these information, it’s no less important for me to look at WordPress-powered CMS sites for inspiration, and I am more than a little impressed at what I’ve seen so far.
- “News, analysis and opinion about the digital revolution.” I wouldn’t have guessed that All Things Digital (now part of Wall Street Journal’s Technology news) was powered by a blogging software until I saw the footer. I LOVE this site. Wall Street Journal has its site architecture well-defined and has its editorial content beautifully laid out, yet the site uses components that most of us bloggers are already using — tags, excerpts, customized headers, pages, and others, that I doubt the site developers did any custom coding of their own at all. I also love how the multimedia and text posts are meshed together in the Updates section, with small icons identifying each post by type. I think all newsletter-type sites with multiple editors should inspire to appear like this. By the way, oh my Lord, who knew that Steve Jobs was once such a hunk?! Good-looking AND geeky!!
- “The good life in the beautiful island.” I’m not sure if you can categorize Cebu Living (now defunct) as a CMS since the only customization was done on the first page to show the latest post excerpt on top, and 3-column layout beneath it; the rest of the site maintains a blog feeling, which I’m guessing is what the site owner wanted anyways. The site even has problems loading up the images in its post, which could be a frustrating issue for its site visitors. One part I particularly like about the site is its horizontal category menu, although I first thought that the subtext below each category name were sub-categories. Now if they WERE sub-categories and are individually linked, that would be cool. Leon Kilat described how he built this site as a magazine CMS.
- “Quality loves company.” Let me go old-school here and call 9rules a “directory of topics” rather than a standard CMS site. I’m sure they’d rather be called a community site though, which sounds way more cool and Web 2.0. It’s basically a collection of posts made within or outside of the site by its members, but most importantly its content is powered by its members and grouped by topics and tags you can search and filter. This concept is almost like what I’m envisioning my next money-making site to be, sans the community feel.
- “From PowerPoint to Flash, with video and sound.” Although Speechi looks like your traditional commercial web site, you’d be surprise how much of the WordPress elements are incorporated into it. I am thinking that the developers use a lot of Pages in creating their content, and I especially like the idea of using posts to build the customers testimonial section. I also see some familiar WP e-commerce plugins used and can be found in WordPress Codex. You can read this post describing how they went about designing Speechi. I love this CMS concept.
- “Better meetings and events.” The content of Plan Your Meetings web site is very well-thought of, and it shows through a very well-defined and comprehensive set of categories, with posts displayed in numerous ways depending on how the content is meant to be viewed. Nevertheless, I am almost sure that the web site require more customized components than what WordPress has by default, which makes this site more complicated programmatically than it feels. Have you seen any WP plugin that can generate information such as those found in the site’s Sitemap and Resource Directory?
Do you have or have you seen any WordPress-powered sites you would like to share with me? Comment away — I’m eager to know and see for myself. I’ll be using my comments form to bookmark other WP-CMS sites as I go along.