Guest Blogger: Kim Bruce
Artists and others can use the WordPress blogging platform as a content management system (CMS) for their online presence.
You can manage your portfolio, update your CV, and post upcoming shows and exhibitions by using WordPress PAGES. Imagine being able to update your website anytime, anywhere and without having to ask, wait or pay someone to do it for you! And best of all WordPress is open source meaning it’s free.
Here are the 5 steps you will need to take in order to use WordPress as a CMS–provided you already have WordPress installed with a suitable hosting company.
1. Change the “Reading” settings to a static page. What this does is remove the blog posts from being your home page and uses a standard (static) page of your choice instead.
2. Change the “Permalinks” to Custom Structure. This will display your page URL’s in the browsers address bar like a typical website. So rather than have your portfolio appear as www.yoursitename.com/?p=123 it will look like www.yoursitename.com/portfolio/
3. Uncheck the top 3 boxes under the Discussion Settings to close the comments and remove the links to and from other blogs.
4. While this will remove the comments box from the site it will by default cause a “Comments are Closed” to appear. To prevent this from happening you need a page template with the comment loop removed to be part of your theme. When creating a new page ensure you select the “page” template from the Page Attributes menu.
5. Get the Google XML Sitemap plugin and configure it so that the Priorities are set high for Static Pages and low for Posts. Also set the Change Frequencies for Posts to Never and–if you are updating your static pages, adding new work to your site on a regular basis–set the Change Frequencies to daily, weekly, monthly or what ever suits.
This tells the search engine crawlers when they should look for new content. Google XML Sitemaps adds a sitemap to your site which is used by the crawlers to find and index your content on the major search engines. It also notifies Google, Bing, Ask and Yahoo about updates to your site.
Once the 5 steps are complete you will have WordPress configured to use as a content management system without the blog component. All you have to do from here is add your content.
WordPress is user friendly and easy to use. When asked how easy I usually say if you can attach an image to an email and type in text editor like Word then you can use WordPress.
Kim Bruce runs Artbiz: the business of art “web design,” where she creates websites for creative types. She is an artist herself and uses WordPress as both a CMS and a blog. Kim works out of her office/studio located in the foothills of Alberta just outside of Calgary.