Long have gone the days when WordPress was seen as a lightweight CMS, it took many years for people to believe they could do more then just with a WordPress install. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you those days are long gone. With the 3.8 update, the core of WordPress has pushed itself once again, forward and (and this is my opinion) has given a definitive answer to the age old debate ‘which CMS is best?’.
There are fanboys of each CMS of course and having spent many years in Joomla (and still do) I have found myself in the last few years preferring WordPress. Why? Well Joomla is a good CMS solution, and it has many decent pre built solutions to use with its core.
So why do I prefer WordPress? Partly personal preference but also because the core allows for a lot of adding in functionality and being able to bend it how you see fit. Which turns a run of the mill site into, well whatever you want your site to be.
To help extend WordPress here are four plugins I’ve found very helpful in some of the complex sites I have built in the past, but perhaps haven’t had the spotlight like the more glamorous plugins.
Advanced Custom Fields
It isn’t often that I will build a WordPress site with whats supplied. It carries the basics but more often then not your custom posts or pages need extra info on them. ACF is brilliant at easily adding whatever extra options are needed on the backend for a post. For instance you could create member profiles. There are also great extras like ‘conditions’. Which is handy for revealing extra options depending on a previous selection, for instance in a member profile, for finding a current town of residence. You could start with which country, which when selected would bring up a selection of cities in the next option.
Another great plugin that adds dynamic options on the backend. You can turn a designated custom post into another custom posts taxonomies allowing for dynamic relationships on the fly. For instance, if in creating our member profiles we had a need to add departments, but those departments might change. You can add a ‘department’ custom post, create a department and it would automatically show up on a profiles department selection option.
Posts to Posts
Again another relationship plugin, this one has a slightly different flavour. With this you can basically add a relationship between two posts. Allowing for a ‘related products’ style link but with the option to select specific posts to relate. So you could have a ‘related members’ section at the bottom of our members profile.
I think this SEO plugin has become a staple in most peoples builds. It basically is an all singing all dancing SEO solution, allowing for specifics on each post and page as well as some of the standard, site map generation and content analysis insight. Don’t leave home without it.
Add a couple of these plugins together and you can make WordPress do whatever you like.