WordPress CMS – Create your Pages

A few weeks ago I explained how to set up your WordPress site as a CMS. So to follow on from this, the next job is start creating your pages. Using WordPress as a CMS is slightly different to using it as a blog. Your main content will be made up of static Pages (note the capital ‘P’ to denote a WordPress ‘Page’ as opposed to any page, yes this is going to get confusing!), so you’ll be using the Write Page section instead of the Write Post section.

Write a Page

Creating a new Page isn’t too much different, there are just a few different boxes on the page, and a few different options to check on. I’ve already listed the ideal, must have plugins for using WordPress as a CMS, so I’ll assume these are installed and activated. When you open up your Write Page section you’ll see a number of input boxes available to you (this list currently references WordPress 2.6.3, it will differ slightly for older or newer versions!):

This is the title of your page. Providing you’ve installed the All in One SEO Pack and Page Menu Editor plugins, then this page title will be displayed as the Page heading, usually output above the Page content.
This is the Page content box where all of your content goes
All in One SEO Pack – Title
This is the very top page title that appears in the top of your browser window, above the address bar.
All in One SEO Pack – Description
The meta description that will be output in the document header of the Page. It will not be visible on the page.
All in One SEO Pack – Keywords
The meta keywords that will be output in the document header of the Page. Again, these are not visible on the page.
Page Menu Label
This is the text that will be set as the anchor text for this page in the navigation menu.
Page Link Title Attribute
The text that goes into the title attribute of the page link in the navigation menu. It appears as a ‘tooltip’ when the user hovers their mouse over the link.
Custom Fields
Where you can add additional custom information unique to that page.
Comments & Pings
This will control if you want to allow comments and/or pings to the page – probably not something you’ll want anyway on a standard site.
Password Protect This Page
Naturally, will allow you to password protect the page.
Page Parent
If you’re going to have a number of pages and can group them then you can set the page parent of the group here. The page needs to already exist to be available as a parent page.
Page Template
Some pages may need a slightly different template with additional coding in. You can select which template to use here.
Page Order
Allows you to control the order of how the pages are displayed in the navigation menu.
Page Author
You can change the author of the page if you wish to assign different authors to different pages (useful for a site where you have multiple users/editors but probably not a necessity on a standard site).

Don’t worry if you’ve not come across some of these before. I’ll be explaining all of the options available over the next few weeks!

So for now, the main boxes that you probably need to ensure you complete are:

  • Title
  • Page (Content)
  • All in One SEO Pack – Title
  • All in One SEO Pack – Description
  • Page Menu Label
  • Page Order

The Page Order isn’t a necessity, however whilst you may create your pages in the order that you want them in, in the future if you want to add a new page somewhere in the middle of this list, you’ll need to set your page orders then for definite. I tend to set my page order on each post simply so that I know it’ll be in the right order!

Manage Pages

As you create your pages and publish them, they’ll then appear on your Manage -> Pages section. In this section you can view all of your pages, and they’ll appear in the order that you’ve set in the Page Order box, if you’ve set it there, else they’ll appear in the order they were created. Child pages will appear under the Parent pages. To edit a page just click on the page’s title. To view the page on the front end, click on the Published link on the right hand side.

Add your Basic Content

Whilst you’re creating each page you can also add your basic content to each one. Basic content is ideally plain text content, or with slight formatting such as bold/italics, headings, links and lists. This also includes adding in images where relevant. Content that I don’t recommend adding in via the Page Content box is complex content such as forms, tables and of course anything dynamic. The more complex information can be added in via a page template which I’ll explain next week.

You may wonder how to deal with perhaps a contact form on your site. For now, add in the brief paragraph for the page, or perhaps your contact details such as business name, address, telephone number and email. We’ll then set this to appear above the contact form output which will be in a page template. Then on the frontend the visitor will see your content first, and then a contact form.

I’ll explain Page Templates next week! If you can’t wait then I recommend the following reading:

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4 Responses

  1. SamHS says:

    Thanks Sarah – going to be following this given my new escapades with WP. You’ve got some really useful stuff here 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    Cheers Sam. If you haven’t already, have a look through my Blogging Tips posts (linked up along the top) as there’s plenty of more coding/advanced WP posts there that may be of use 🙂

  3. Aetrex says:

    Okay, so WP can act like CMS, but I’m trying to use WP to a review based platform where you can give stars to each post and have the ability to arrange posts by stars. Is it possible. Can I find a plugin that can do this ?

  4. Haze says:

    Excellent stuff… I am making my way through your tutorials/advice. Really informative.