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Would wordpress be suitable as a CMS platform for them? My concerns are:
- easy for the client to maintain on their own
- ability to overlay a custom template
- definable URL's/page addresses so we don't have to change page names/url's.
We really need a CMS more so than a blogging platform, in fact we don't really need the blogging aspect for the site. It's a fixed structure without the need for regular posts.
I looked at phpwebsite from appalachian state university but I had issues installing it, and found the current control panel non-intuitive.
Is wordpress the way to go?
Is WordPress the way to go?
I have a similar question. I'm considering building something on the WordPress platform. My understanding is that it has unlimited potential no matter who is using it? The number of WordPress plugins, themes, apps, etc. makes it a strong contender for this type of application, yes?
For the CMS part, there are a couple of plugins in Semiologic that really make this work: Static Front Page, and Silo Site that arranges your Pages (not Posts) into a SEO friendly structure. Add this to the Widgets and you can completely control the menu (disallowing certain pages, etc.), what appears in the side bar(s), etc. There's also a top nav and footer nav that are configurable (as to which links get placed there).
URL's - you can specify the name per page, with mod_rewrite you can make them the same as what you have now (adding .html or whatever)
Editing is WYSIWYG, even images can be uploaded from there. You don't have to use the blog part, although you could use it as a news page.
There are a number of layouts available within Semiologic - then you use one of the skins within the Semiologic theme to set your look and feel, then you modify from there with a custom.php and custom.css. You can override certain things on your Pages using custom.php (like the comments, trackback stuff that doesn't really need to be there). You can even integrate other stuff into your own templates if you need to extend the functionality. It sounds complicated, but it's not really.
Another plugin I use is Adspaces, which let's you configure a default set of ads (adsense, or whatever) and apply that to pages on the site - makes it easy to manage. (your client may not use this, but could use it to promote other areas of their site, since it accepts html) You can specify it on a page level, too.
It's pretty flexible and there's more to it, but these are the basics for CMS. Hope this gives you some idea. :)
Wordpress choked when I tried to organize the site as 2000 pages. I tried various "folding page" plugins and it didn't help. I just don't think wordpress is optimized to handle so many pages.
I then based the site on posts rather than pages. Wordpress also choked with 2000+ categories.
I was able to get thing snappy by having 26 categories A-Z. I modded the template to show only titles for the category pages and I also modded "the loop" to show all posts in the category sorted alphabetically. It looks like a directory/sitemap for each letter now and the blog is fast now.
The bottom line is with some careful planning and lots of tweaks to a template you can get wordpress to work as a CMS for a large site.