WordPress is a CMS. And it holds lots of content.

wordpress cms

Many users, however, continue to believe that WordPress is merely a blog system and thus not suitable for larger projects. That is something that Thomas Herzog, Senior Developer at Inpsyde GmbH, refuses to accept. Here he weighs in on the debate of “WordPress as a CMS”.

Only in the most seldom cases are Content Management Systems fire-and-forget systems. You always have to make adjustments so that everything is secure and everything functions smoothly. Independent of the selected system, you have to run updates, plugins have to be installed and tested. It is important to monitor the developers of plugins like these: Are the installed plugins actively enhanced? Are support queries answered? The list goes on and on …

That does sound like a lot of work, but that’s the laborious task you have with every CMS. You have to ensure that each installation is running properly. Or you have to hire someone to take care of it. Either way. You have to put in the time with your own product. What’s under the surface basically doesn’t matter initially.

If you really want to pay someone for maintenance, development and operations, it’s sound advice to consult with many different agencies or – depending upon the scope – to speak to freelancers. This gives you a sharper perspective. Gradually you’ll realize what you really seek to accomplish and, above all, what is required.

With this knowledge in the back of your mind, you can then set out to find a CMS. And then you have a tough choice to make. In our agency, we chose WordPress for historical reasons. With the following arguments, we surely would have reached the same decision even without this background.

It’s all a question of definition.

The assertion that WordPress is only suitable for smaller sites is something we hear often in the Inpsyde team. It’s supposedly not the right platform for larger projects. The question that arises is this: What actually constitutes a large website? Is it a portal with a multitude of functions? One with lots of entries or pages? With lots of effects? A project that offers superb performance even in case of higher visitor traffic?

We say yes, all of the above are possible with WordPress. We say yes to the vast number of functions, to the millions of blog entries and pages. We say yes to the many effects, and we also say yes to the performance even in cases involved high visitor traffic. In a word: We say yes to all these things.

With WordPress, it is possible to build up a vast community-driven shop with thousands of products. It’s possible to generate a basic company website. It’s even possible to recreate YouTube or Twitter. With enough time and resources, you could map the entire Web with WordPress.

Massive scope of functions

The proof of this massive scope of functions is seen on a daily basis: At WordPress.org. This hub boasts an enormous library of plugins and themes, handles its own administration, offers support forums, enables reviews and is linked to other systems through various API interfaces – and all that is accomplished from only a single installation.

BBC WordPress
Not only the BBC relies on WordPress – Sony Music, Ford, the Stones etc. do as well.

The next case study is this site – MarketPress. Here we have built up a very comprehensive helpdesk which is linked to GitHub. What’s more, there is a shop system for software and naturally the profile options as well.

Out there in the web, there is so many wonderful large and diverse WordPress projects that were implemented with more or less effort. For example, with the plugins BuddyPress and bbPress alone, you can build up a totally functional community linked to a forum.

Content galore

But no website can survive without content Through the various so-called Post types, WordPress offers the option of flexibly providing content. This enables you to not only create articles for the blog and basic pages for the legal notice, etc. With just a few lines of code, you can also generate entire content structures for real estate, garden plants, cars, or even patterns of ingrain wallpaper. Naturally, all these content elements can be linked to one another through so-called taxonomies, such as categories or tags. These are available in WordPress as individual Custom Taxonomies.

One could go so far as to say that any random data structure can be rendered in WordPress. In one of our projects, we are having a database with more than 150 tables, more than 1000 fields and more than one million entries directly filled, administered and synchronized by WordPress.

In another project, by means of various automation routines, we have managed to publish and administer more than 40,000 articles within a MultiSite with 2000 blogs – per day.

Parléz-vouz anglais?

For companies active on the international scene, it is incredibly vital to offer various language versions of their own website. As a general rule, this is very straightforward. WordPress offers various options for this.

One option is to utilize the multisite characteristic of WordPress. This means that several sites can exist within one installation:

  • * mydomain.tld/de/
  • * mydomain.tld/en/
  • * mydomain.tld/fr/

Now individual languages and options can be configured without conflicting with any of the other sites. Our plugins MultilingualPress and MultilingualPress Pro support this by establishing the required relationships between the various language versions of content.

I’d like this, and give me that, and one of those …

More and more people want to sell something over the web. There is a wide variety of solutions for this. It is also possible to set up a shop using WordPress. The free plugin WooCommerce offers everything you need for a basic shop. For Germany and Austria, you can also install our plugin WooCommerce German Market – for greater legal certainty.

Quagga Shop
The Quagga Illustrations Online Shop is perfect proof: Designed on the basis of WordPress and offering 25,000+ products.

In this, WooCommerce can be is expanded just as easily as WordPress. There are numerous plugins for payment gateways, product overviews, shopping basket settings and so forth. It’s even possible, using the open API of WordPress and WooCommerce, to link everything with various inventory control systems. This enables you to operate shops with 25,000 products and more.

Time is money!

With so many features and content options, the site would have to be sluggish – one would think. With each new version, WordPress itself has become more and more streamlined and relieved of unnecessary ballast. As a result, the actual core program becomes faster.

In addition, using plugins from simple HTML cache, right down to entire cache suites, there is a whole host of conceivable ways to boost performance. To do so, all the additional plugins, the theme, along with the infrastructure, naturally have to work in concert as well.

Those for whom that is still not enough can always deploy various enhancements for caching their content, files and media data entirely in Cloud and CDN services.

Bottom line

You might easily think that the setups discussed above cost thousands of euros. But the only thing you have to pay for is expertise. The technology is open source and by and large can be used free of charge:

Naturally, you cannot expect to get a solution for free that is totally customized to your own needs. But at least it is a start in order to grasp the entire scope, and above all, the opportunities that WordPress has to offer.

WordPress is not a basic blog system. WordPress is a full-fledged CMS, an online shop system, a community, everything you want it to be – we’ll prove it.

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Thomas is a WordPress-Developer, who always thinks beyond the tellerrand. Born 1985 and living in Düsseldorf, Thomas loves to play games, enjoys cooking and creating music.

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