WordPress is an amazing, easy-to-use piece of software. I first started using it for my blog and fell in love with how easy it was for me to tweak my theme and get great search engine results from simple things like the Google Sitemap Generator plugin and custom permalinks.
Although WordPress is billed as blog software, I’ve personally used it to power dozens of websites — from churches to businesses and my own sites. Time and time again, I’ve found WordPress to be a powerful, yet simple content management system.
And I took that background into my business plans for iThemes …. I wanted to build great themes for websites, and not just blogs, to really showcase how WP can be used in this fashion.
Anyway, here are a couple of items that I think could be added (or refined) within WordPress to make an even BETTER CMS …
Disclaimer: I realize that many of these could and are WordPress plugins … but if they were seamlesslsy integrated into the software, WOW, game over! And again, this is just my wish list.
1. WYSIWYG Widgets
I’ve heard the widget system is going to get some tweaks in 2.8. Widgets are a whole other post as they need some help, badly, and I hope 2.8 will get closer to being easy-to-use for the beginning user.
But every time I’ve helped someone set up their site using WordPress, they invariably get hung up on widgets. And if there were an elegant way to include WYSIWYG widget option, it’d make WordPress THE best CMS I’ve ever used.
The functionality could be simple …. just bold, italics, lists, alignment … and a place to easily upload and place photos in a widget WITHOUT having to upload via FTP or the Media Library and copy and paste code … that most users don’t know.
This is THE wish list item I would want over all others at this point.
2. Dashboard Reordering
WordPress is blog software. Automattic and the others behind it have made it clear through some of the things they’ve done that they want to continue building it for blogging. And that’s awesome!
But almost every time I’ve showed a business web client how to use WordPress, they invariably ask what a Post is.
To make WordPress an even better CMS, there should be a function that allows you to reorder the Dashboard to push down the Post button and list and put Pages in its place. Or even hide the blogging function as needed and appropriate.
3. Embedded Tutorials
iThemes has a robust set of WordPress tutorials and we even offering unbranded ones in our All Access Pass, but it’d be great for freelance designers if they could give clients a built-in tutorial system to watch video screecasts from within the WP Dashboard.
By the way, we’re working on a plugin for this …
I hate to even mention a Calendar function. I think calendars are OVERBLOWN in usefulness … they are hard to maintain and practically useless in my opinion. But businesses ask about them and it’s one of the main weaknesses I see in using WP as a CMS.
The few plugins I’ve seen have flaws. If someone came up with an elegant solution, I’d love to hear about it! And so would the hundreds of designers out there building WP websites.
What about you? What are your requests and suggestions for making WordPress into an even more powerful CMS?