Designing a website with WordPress back-end


I’ve been looking in to using WordPress as a back-end to a clients website this enabling them to edit the site themselves. I was wondering if anyone knew of any books or on-line tutorials which will help me with this.

I know my way around WordPress quite well and have managed a few personal blogs. But I’m looking to design the website then make editable regions which the client can edit within the WordPress CMS.

Thank you for any help given

Kind Regards

You might be better off trying something like CushyCMS (remotely hosted) or Perch (self hosted). Both are a lot easier for this sort of thing than WordPress.

I liked the look of Perch, however I don’t really wanna pay for a service when I can get a free alternative (WordPress). As well as this I like the functionality and vast options WordPress have and am just looking how I can help implement the WordPress CMS in to my designed website (not a blog).

The new version of Drupal (7) has some of those features that are pretty close to what you are looking for.

I think Ralph’s suggestions are taking into account the fact that you want to design first, then add the CMS. Wordpress isn’t well suited to retrofitting to an existing design.

Here’s a good starter tutorial for developing Wordpress themes: How To Create a WordPress Theme: The Ultimate WordPress Theme Tutorial

If you’re set on Wordpress I can recommend some plugins that will make it a bit more “CMS”-y

[]Admin Menu Tree Page View
Allows you to see the pages in a tree view in the admin sidebar nav
]Contact Form 7 + [URL=“”]Contact Form to DB Extension[URL=“”]
You can use this to add a contact form to your website (with the DB extension it’s perfect for data capture forms as well)
[]More Fields
With this plugin you can add more editing fields to pages/posts
]NextGEN Gallery
Image/Photo galleries are everywhere, this plugin is the best I’ve come across in terms of gallery/image/album management so far. While it has some crappy defaults, dive in to the settings and change them :slight_smile:
Also, top tip for new players with NextGEN Gallery, if you want to write your own JavaScript and not have it include all it’s default stuff, put this in functions.php

// Don't want Nextgen Gallery to load any JS - we'll take care of that ourselves

[/LIST]If you’re going to start a theme from scratch. Well. Don’t. :stuck_out_tongue: Use something like the Wordpress Toolbox theme to get you started. (Toolbox is a HTML5 theme, you could also use something like [URL=“”]Sandbox if you don’t want to go HTML5)

Net Tuts+ has a bunch of tutorials on Wordpress:

Sitepoint naturally has some articles on wordpress [URL=“”]as well that might be helpful :slight_smile: (Not to mention their latest book, [URL=“”]The Wordpress Anthology is going to be an excellent reference as well, I just got myself a copy the other day! Keep an eye out on the [URL=“”]Sitepoint Sale that’s on for the next while, it might come up!)

When doing any Wordpress dev, you will come to love the Wordpress Codex!

The possibilities are many, if you want to have a super customised theme with many widgets that clients can edit and move around and whatnot, then you can do that. If you want a custom post type for products or wallpapers or what-have-you, you can do that. If you want to blog, you can do that too :wink:

I was holding out on wordpress for a while, tring to keep my sites simple and fast loading. It turns out that wordpress has plug-ins that allow you to load your site faster than a regular html site, and it also has great SEO plugins that direct you to create SEO friendly pages. My favorite SEO plugin is Yoast’s SEO for Wordpress. I guess in the end, the web is becoming more and more web 2.0-ish and we need to integrate more interactive sites in order to be important.

I used the template “blankslate” to create this theme, but many people just use the old default “Kubrick” theme because it is very easy to modify. I found that blankslate was great because it was html 5 ready, and it didnt have any existing styles in the stylesheet so you can style it as you go.

I was curious about this myself, thinking if I should stay with WP or try something else. AussieJohn posted a lot of useful information. Thank you for that.

Really the only way to provide editable content in Wordpress is to have each editable section be a post or a page. It’s a limitation of wordpress. Outside of that issue, WP is a great choice. Additionally, I like Thesis for the ability to create custom hooks.

Nice job with the design. I need to try blankslate some time. I also agree on the SEO… personally I haven’t decided between Yoast SEO vs All-in-one SEO. I love how with wordpress you can create very SEO friendly URLs almost out of the box (just by changing the permalinks).

That’s only the out-of-the box functionality, there are a few plugins (like More Fields) that will give you an arbitrary number of editable fields.

I personally haven’t tried either of the SEO plugins, but a relatively large WP site I develop for uses All-in-one SEO, they seem quite happy with the way it works.

Not knocking the good ole “All in one SEO”. Yoast’s seems more advanced however and is not difficult to install as I have read on other forums. I have installed both, and I have to say Yoast’s SEO for WP is awesome!

I think that wordpress can be altered pretty easily compared to other CMS solutions. The great thing about Wordpress is its documentation, support and vast number of users who probably have already done it before.
I was so impressed with how easy it was to create a new template file for the home page. All I had to do was create a php page and place this at the top.

Template Name: Lapel Pin Design Home

Then just set the “home” page to static in the general settings. I had to create a page in the page settings named “home” first, leave it blank but specify a template in the page’s template drop down option - the template option was only available once I had uploaded the .php page aforementioned.

This included functionality blew me away it was so easy to implement. I am a huge fan now, after dealing with other CMS solutions such as Drupal and Silverstripe (ick). I am sure that it is easy to use the functions.php to create many more modifications.

Pagelime and surereal CMS are the best two simple options (like cushy but better). In order to keep it free you can just use a different login for each client.

Sorry, but I have to disagree. If it has a header, content and footer section it can be made into a wordpress website. Wordpress has been the easiest to work with of any other CMS I have used. If you can google a question - the answer is out there for developing wordpress sites.