WordPress: Rich Man’s Blog, Poor Man’s CMS

samplepreviewI’m a big fan of WordPress. I use it here, at plip, I use it work, and most of my friends use it, leave one. The other day, while commuting over the bay bridge, my co-worker and I were singing the praise of how easy WordPress is to use not only as a blogging platform, but also as a poor mans CMS. I’m very partial to Xaraya as an awesome, full featured, unstoppable CMS. However, what about when you have just 3 or 5 pages on your entire site? You wanna help out grandma/great uncle/distant niece with their new web site, but you want to let them edit at their whim. WordPress it!

To prove that this would be easy, I timed myself to download, configure and create a fully WordPress powered site. I didn’t do a dry run or prep any downloads or .htaccess rules. My MySQL user didn’t exist. From scratch I:

  • Downloaded WordPress
    wget http://wordpress.org/latest.zip
  • Unzipped it
  • Created the directory structure
  • Made an exception in my mod_rewrite so that you could browse a sub-directory. Otherwise I have WordPress on greedy mode:
            RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !(/blog/simple-wp) [NC]
            RewriteRule   ^/blog(.*) /core/blog$1  [PT]
  • Surfed around and found some random theme to use
  • Spent a sec hacking the header, footer, page and sidebar templates to have the right DOM elements
  • Whipped up 3 pages and set one to be the default home page of the site
  • Spot checked the new site in IE, FF3 and Safari

Total time according to Toggl was 40 minutes. 40 minutes to have your own rounded corner, fully dynamic navigation (1 page = top navigation), no blog in site, site. Awesome!

Click the image to see the site created in this post. Also you can download the modified theme to see how implemented it.

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