How To Use WordPress as a CMS featured image - laptop monitor with WP lettering

No matter if you operate a small business or a large enterprise, a custom website made with WordPress can help you showcase your products and services while keeping all your website files in a single place — and without any knowledge of web frameworks or special technical skills. A content management system (CMS) like a WordPress website lets you create an easy-to-navigate user interface for website visitors that precisely suits the needs of your online store and presents information in a logical, cohesive fashion. So how does a WordPress CMS work and why is it the right CMS for your business? Keep reading this ultimate guide to find out, then call WP SitePlan at (866) 956-2330 to discover how we can help you set up your own site with a WordPress CMS.

Using a WordPress Website as a Content Management System: An Ultimate Guide

One of the main reasons to use this popular content management system is its popularity itself and the open source nature of its build. With its 43% market share as of 2022, this popular CMS simplifies setup of a static or splash page for your website with just a couple of clicks and utilizes a template system for quick, simple page creation. A WYSIWYG editor lets you make small changes on the fly, and you can use it from your desktop or laptop computer or from mobile devices with ease.

CMS Options for Fuss-Free Web Design

CMS options like drag-and-drop functionality let you quickly create navigation menus and add images to posts, and you can even post via email when you need to add content while you’re out and about. Enable comments with a click if you want a handy way to interact with website visitors, and add custom fields to change how your website gathers information from them. These handy features are just some of the reasons WordPress continues to lead CMS options in market share.

Headless WordPress vs Legacy WordPress

Headless WordPress doesn’t mean websites don’t use headers; it simply means websites using this technology work on virtually any browser and all devices, regardless of whether the front end was built for stationary computers or mobile devices. Likewise, a legacy WordPress website works only on devices for which it was designed. A headless CMS works via a plug-in called WordPress Rest API, which when paired with custom post types enables further personalization of how visitors see your content. While this functionality might not be that useful for beginners, experienced WordPress CMS users may find the Rest API a convenient addition to their website.

CMS lettering on a notebook

How To Use WordPress as a CMS

Whether you need blogging software, as a headless CMS or legacy content management system, installing WordPress for your custom website provides an elegant solution for your web design needs. The steps below outline the process required to turn WordPress into a CMS well-suited to your online store.

Get Web Hosting for Your Own Domain

The first thing your own website needs is a place for it to live on the internet, and that includes web hosting and acquiring your own domain. Keep in mind, however, that all providers hosting WordPress sites aren’t created equal. While you can install WordPress yourself from a freely available zip file, a good web hosting company typically offers one-click install for the CMS. Even better, though, is a managed service provider like WP SitePlan. Depending on your needs, we have a few options for your company and can quickly upgrade your service should you outgrow your previous plan.

Choose a WordPress Theme

Once you have a home for your legacy or headless WordPress site, it’s time to decide how you want it to look and function. Though WordPress comes with a default theme, you probably prefer something personalized. Fortunately, themes are simple to find and install, with options ranging from free themes to premium themes that cost a little or a lot. No matter what you pay for your theme, though, most are simple to customize by using WordPress tools in the admin area. If you’re unsure how to do this or prefer someone with more technical skill to handle it for you, WP SitePlan can help with uploading and updating the theme you choose for your site. A template system within most themes, whether they be the default theme, a free theme or a premium theme, allow quick page creation as well and aid with creating custom post types.

Add Functionality with Plug-Ins

Third party applications called plug-ins extend the functionality of your website by adding new features. With the right plug-ins installed, you can improve your SEO, track website visits via Google Analytics, perform manual backups in the admin area and connect your site with social media platforms. Other plug-ins help you build websites with galleries, add calendars that note important business events, create a custom post type or serve pop-ups advertising special sales and deals. WP SitePlan understands the ins and outs of plug-in architecture and that many plug-ins need frequent updates, so choosing us as a managed provider ensures smooth installation and updates.

Considerations When Using a WordPress Site as a CMS

Using WordPress as the content management system for your site provides many advantages, but it can also mean a lot of responsibility. Since it’s such a popular CMS, it’s also a big target for intruders, which means you have to stay on top of site security. This also means that certain plug-ins may require frequent updates to fix security issues, and when WordPress itself updates, it may hamper the functionality of third-party applications used by your website. Also, changing web hosts can be tricky as site migration requires a bit of technical skill. Lastly, since the WordPress CMS is free, you don’t have the benefit of support.

Fortunately, that’s where WP SitePlan comes in handy by balancing out all the potential problems with solutions. Our managed service plans not only help you with installing and updating core WordPress files, troubleshooting plug-in issues and adding custom themes, but they also help keep your site secure with daily backups and malware scans. Real uptime monitoring ensures easy access by website visitors, and plans with WooCommerce support even help you set up an online store seamlessly. To find out how WP SitePlan can help your business grow and thrive on the internet, contact us today at (866) 956-2330.