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55 things media organizations can do with WordPress as CMS

The Poynter Institute is looking at moving its website to WordPress and is demoing a prototype in order to crowd source feedback in the early stages.

Poynter’s Julie Moos writes:

We expect to publish on a more open, flexible, fast platform than we do currently, to simplify both our production and your use.

WordPress is exactly that, and Poynter’s move has prompted me to compile a list of what news organizations can do with WordPress. Of course, this is far from exhaustive, so please let me know your ideas for what news orgs using WP could do, too.

    Social Media

  1. Use P2 theme or your own version of it for live chats between sources, journalists and readers or as live reader forums.
  2. Start a reader blog network, not unlike, where users could engage with your content, create their own and do it with little to no introduction to the platform.
  3. Foster better conversations about your content with social-network friendly and easily moderated comments seamlessly integrated with IntenseDebate or Disqus (destroy spam with Askimet standing by in both).

    The Guardian News Feed plugin

    The Guardian's News Feed plugin allows people to republish select content on their WordPress-powered blog, with links and ads providing benefit for The Guardian.

  4. Use built-in comment moderation to bulk edit comments, flag comments for moderation depending on custom rules and blacklist or whitelist users.
  5. If you must, require registration for people to comment on content or even view it.
  6. Develop and distribute a plugin like The Guardian to enable readers and bloggers to share your content across the web.
  7. Encourage users to share your content TimesPeople style (and stay on your network) with your own social network powered by BuddyPress.
  8. Update readers via SMS or have the platform play friendly with emailing services like MailChimp.
  9. Update Twitter from the admin area and display your org’s latest tweets in sidebar areas with Twitter Tools.
  10. Integrate Facebook’s Open Graph yourself or with a plugin like WP Facebook.
  11. Infastructure and Publishing


    Plugins like W3 Total Cache can serve huge spikes in traffic and do so for big-time websites like Mashable. Photo by Rami via Flickr.

  12. Run a network of sites on multiple subdomains all from one place by activating multisite in WordPress 3.
  13. Serve millions of pageviews and handle traffic surges with caching plugins like W3 Total Cache.
  14. Create endless page templates to display a variety of content in different ways. Landing pages for different areas, like local news and photography, could be customized to accentuate the special content they have.
  15. Create an endless number of sidebars in page templates for drag and drop, easy-to-edit content areas.
  16. Build custom taxonomies to sort, label and display content in advanced ways.
  17. Create an endless number of drag and drop, easy-to-edit custom navigation menus.
  18. Build custom post types for quick and easy content creation.
  19. Use custom fields to display particular metadata where it’s needed in a post.
  20. Edit the administration area to fit your needs. For example, create custom columns on the Posts page to help sort your content.
  21. Install Edit Flow or Assignment Desk to help manage your editorial workflow as well as establish user groups and roles.
  22. Add custom buttons to the WordPress visual and HTML editor to make styling content easy.
  23. Use a password-protected installation of WordPress as your organization’s intranet or fork WP Project to manage long-term assignments.
  24. Build your own mobile versions or install and customize a mobile plugin.
  25. Implement feeds for the whole site, categories, tags, comments and authors.
  26. Feature your staff with author profiles that display their bio, photo and what they’ve been producing.
  27. Enjoy content archived by date, author, category, tag and whatever other custom taxonomy you chose to deploy.
  28. Make use of basic built-in image editing, thumbnailing and captioning to get the best out of your photo content.
  29. Build a theme options page for easy deployment and adjustments down the road.
  30. Customize your permalink structure to fit your needs while optimizing for search engines.

    Journalists file stories from field

    With WordPress, have reporters file stories or posts from the field by logging in or posting via email. Photo by European Parliament on Flickr.

  31. Build your own title tag structure or use a plugin like All in One SEO Pack to look good in the SERPs and get your contentl indexed well by search engines.
  32. Track post revisions and autosave content to prevent lost man-hours, content and patience.
  33. Easily schedule content to publish when no one is even in the office.
  34. Use After the Deadline to help prevent embarrassing copy errors from going live.
  35. Display headlines from across your various media properties seamlessly and easily within dynamic pages.
  36. Make a friendly export of content in case it’s necessary to transfer to another platform.
  37. Use post custom fields to display a homepage headline that is different than the actual page headline like many publications do to keep their homepage a little more tidy and catchy.
  38. Manage the website from anywhere, and even have journalists posting to it from the field, editors reviewing from the newsroom and producers or editors publishing.
  39. Design

  40. Mimic The New York Times with a customizable related content fly-out window through Jason Pelker’s upPrev plugin or your own development.

    Photo from Angus McDiarmid on Flickr

    Photo from Angus McDiarmid on Flickr

  41. Add pull quotes and other designy items in your content with custom styles.
  42. Paginate lengthy content for usability, pageload, monetization and SEO reasons.
  43. Create a custom magazine theme for your site’s design with a homepage and landing pages rich in visuals and well-organized content.
  44. Use excellent built-in post thumbnail capabilities to create a visual design that shows off your graphics and photography teams’ mad skills.
  45. Display when stories were last updated automatically with the modified time template tag.
  46. With WordPress, you can make it easy for producers or editors to add designy items like pull quotes,  icons and other custom formatting to enrich your visual storytelling and page readability.
  47. Show custom-written excerpts on the homepage, in lists of headlines, in your RSS feeds and elsewhere in your design to give readers more detail than just the headline.
  48. Embed video from all over the web in content areas or use a service like VideoPress that plays really nice with the platform.
  49. Easily add custom content like thumbnails and related articles into your homemade RSS feeds.
  50. Build in widget areas in the sidebar, footer and content columns—especially on the homepage—to allow drag and drop customization of content.
  51. Make custom widgets with their own fields to create elements with their own style. For example, create a Breaking News element to be dragged to a prominent spot on your homepage when there’s big breaking news. Make it stand apart with custom colors, backgrounds or text.
  52. Business

  53. Drive more traffic with a search optimized, social-enabled, mobile friendly, feature-rich, easy to navigate website.

    Money Tunnel by Ramberg Media

    Photo by Ramberg Media via Flickr

  54. Save money and time by reducing training required for staff to learn how to use the platform.
  55. Pay nothing for licensing the software, utilize a rich and helpful community and hire outside talent easily to help you innovate and stay with the times.
  56. Get enterprise-level support by being invited to VIP…though it’s perfectly possible to use other hosts or your own systems without fear of your website going down.
  57. Give your publishing company’s corporate website a breath of fresh air by powering it with WP.
  58. Integrate advertising, including services like Google Adsense, with plugins or your own development.
  59. Stay in control of your platform instead of relying on a vendor for upgrades and new features.

Comments (1)

  1. #53 is kinda lame. It's not the CMS that gives a website a "breath of fresh air." It's the design and implementation of the site.