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How to Create a Simple CMS Website Using WordPress

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This member is developing a CMS site for his company. He wants to know the best way to organize the site. We discuss the different types of content that he has and the various ways of organizing it. I suggest a scheme of posts and pages that takes full advantage of WordPress native CMS ability.

Video Transcript

He has a really interesting problem that he asked me to discuss tonight. I guess I’ll just send him the video.

What he’s doing is he’s creating this website for his company and the website has… it’s a place for people to get access to technical documents that help them do their job. And so, he imagines a menu across the top here that has you know, these drop down menus, giving you access to different places on the site. So for example, technical, the drop down is reports and so then technical, if you click on the technical, you get to this page which is you know, essentially a menu page very much like the way I do it actually, where… let’s see, so very much like you know, Video Lessons. Oh actually, we’re looking from the members’ direction so it’s a little different.

But say for example, Basic Tutorials where this is essentially a menu page, right? I mean, you get a little bit more information about each thing but really, this page just gives you access to other pages. And then, if you click on one of these other pages, it takes you this list of documents, right? So technical reports are the… and these are the documents inside that technical reports section or applications, these are the documents inside that application section and so on and so forth.

And you know, what I would suggest in a situation like this, I would suggest that what you really have then is posts and category archives for these things. So for example, if you click on a technical page, this is a page and it’s hard coded. You know, in the content section, you’ve got a section for reports and a section for applications and a section for BSFNs and this doesn’t automatically update. You have to get in and muck about in it if you want to change or add something to that.

But then if you click off to reports, technical reports is actually a category archive. And so, technical would be a category and then reports would be a subcategory of technical. And so what you would have is this would be the introductory content for this category, for the reports category. And then each of these would be posts but they aren’t in the form of a teaser, really. They are very much like a Thesis teaser you know, without the image. And so, this automatically updates as you add new reports, as you add new technical reports,the list gets longer and longer so you know, very similar to the Live Answers page here which has gotten to be so long, I need to cull it back because now I think I must have 350 videos showing up on this one page. It’s not a good idea.

The reason why I did it is because I was trying to make it easier for my transcriptionist to find the videos but now that there are so many of them… but the way it works obviously is every time you add one you know, it pops up to the top. And so we don’t automatically update this page. What happens is you know, we add a new Live Answer and it automatically gets added to this page and that’s what makes it an archive page.

And so we would… let’s see, it looks like Vanna was back. Is that right? I’m going to turn your microphone on here for a second. Oh I guess I can’t. It’s not letting me. Okay well anyway, so I’ll just keep on talking.

And so each of these reports, instead of being pages themselves would be posts and this would be an archive page with posts that are under the category of reports, of technical reports. And that way, this can be automatically updated. If this was a page and these were… then you would have to hard code each one of these things every time you added a new page to it. But if it’s an archive page, you don’t have to.

And the same exists for the applications, right? So Technical Applications is another category and so this is your category description and then these are the posts that are inside of that category Applications.

And so if you look over at… for a moment, we’ll just look at categories here. Actually, I’m going to look at them on my site because I’ve got lots of categories on my site. So if we look at categories and you know, say we look at okay, Customize Thesis Like a Pro Managing the File Structure as a category. If we look at that category you know, we’ve got a name, we’ve got a slug, we’ve got a parent but we could have a description, we could have a title tag, we could have a meta description. We could have an introductory headline and we could have introductory content. And that introductory headline content could stand in for or could do the job of this right here. So there is your introductory headline and this is your introductory content. And so, that’s the heading part of your archive page and then you would have each one of these as posts again, categorized under the subcategory Applications which is a subcategory of a category technical.

So that’s how I would organize those and I’m assuming that you know, BSFN behaves the same way and so does functional finance supply and sales orders. I’m assuming that you know, each of these has articles within them. If finance doesn’t have any articles and is not going to have ongoing growing numbers of articles then you know, finance and supply and sales order could just be its own page. But if you have sort of a growing body of information that neatly divides itself up like this then it makes the most sense I think to make those posts as well to make functional a category, finance a subcategory, and then categorize those posts as in the category of finance. And the same thing is true with CNC and anything else for that matter.

Now you can mix and match this stuff. It doesn’t have to all be you know, categories and category archives. It could be pages as well but it seems like if this is the model here then this model is best accomplished by keeping these as posts. Obviously, this is not a blog site so in this case, post is just a kind of content that can be categorized which is really the thing that distinguishes posts from pages. Pages can’t be categorized. Pages get their hierarchy from being subpages of another page whereas posts can be categorized by using categories and they get their hierarchy from the category hierarchy.

And then you have a forum and a members’ contact information. I know Vanna you’re watching our Monday morning sessions and here, I don’t know, 3 weeks I think or so from now, we’re going to be installing a forum. And in that members’ site where you know, certain kinds of members’ are going to be able to have access to certain parts of the forum. And you can do the same thing, right? You can easily take that lesson, I think it was Lesson 2 where we talked about user roles. Maybe it was Lesson 3 where we talked about user roles and create different user roles for your different user groups and then those user roles would have access to certain places in the forum. Unless you want everybody to have complete access to the forum and then it’s not a problem.

And then you have a choice of either using the forums system for doing this member contact information because the forum has something like this or you also have WP eMember system. I know you’re using WP eMember to essentially protect the site. And so the WP eMember system does have a… I’m going to spit this out. It does have essentially, a directory of numbers. Now, you can see what the directory o members looks like on my site by going over to forum and then selecting members and everybody who said they want their information displayed publicly you know, shows up in the forum and does so in alphabetical order.

And so you know, in this case, what the catch is the last time they were on the site and you know, their rank and then some information about them which may make this not the most useful method for organizing people. You know, it might be that there are other ways of doing this. Well, it might be that the forums member list is not the best way to accomplish what you want and it could be that the WP eMember system is more suited for it.

If you use the WP eMember system, go to You can use… that isn’t what we’re going to use here. I think it’s next week actually, I think next week is when we’re doing the member directory and if not next week, it’s the week after. But wp-admin… you can use the custom fields section in WP eMember to create things like company technology you know, fields for people who register with the site. If you come over here to custom fields, you can add a custom field to give it a field name, give it a field type. You can make it required or not. You can give a little bit of descriptive information and you can give it an order. And if you add that custom field, it shows up in the registration and it will show up in the part of the site where you can update your profile.

So it’s also another way in which you can add customized data. And this is probably easier than it would be inside of the forum to add custom information here. It is, I believe, possible to in fact, add some custom information to this list but I’ve never done that before so I’m not sure that it is possible but having said that, it is quite easy to do it over here in WP eMember. So I’m going to try one more time, see if I can turn your microphone on. I guess I can’t.

So hopefully, that gave you something to think about here and if you have any other questions, please feel free to follow up. I think it’s a cool looking project and it really gives you an opportunity to work with and showcase the content management facility of WordPress. So I hope this helps and that it works for you.

And having said that…

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