12 Essential Plugins that Extend WordPress as a CMS

By / Oct 29, 2009 / Resources

Over the past couple of years WordPress has grown into much more than just a blogging platform. People are now using it as a CMS (Content Management System) to power many different types of websites. Using WordPress more as a standard CMS often requires some creative thinking when building themes and setting up the structure of categories and content. In this article we present to you 12 very useful plugins that will give your WordPress install extended CMS functionality.

Pods CMS

wordpress cms

Pods is a CMS framework for WordPress. It’s a plugin that sits on top of WordPress, allowing you to add and display your own content types.


wordpress cms

Flutter is a plugin that gives the administrator custom write panels with the ability to add radio buttons, file uploads, image uploads, checkboxes, etc. Another key feature of this plugin is simplified templating.

WP-CMS Post Control

wordpress cms

WP-CMS Post Control not only allows you to hides unwanted items like custom fields, trackbacks, revisions etc. but also gives you a whole lot more control over how WordPress deals with creating content! This helps you use WordPress more like a CMS, alowing you to totally customise what your authors see and use.


wordpress cms

PageMash give you an Ajax interface allows you to drag-and-drop the pages into the order you like, modify the page structure by dragging a page to become a child or parent and toggle the page to be hidden from output.

Role Scoper

wordpress cms

Role Scoper is a comprehensive access control solution, giving you CMS-like control of reading and editing permissions. Assign restrictions and roles to specific pages, posts or categories.

CForms II

wordpress cms

CForms II is a powerful and feature rich form plugin for WordPress, offering convenient deployment of multiple Ajax driven contact forms throughout your blog or even on the same page.


wordpress cms

Scissors adds cropping, resizing, and rotating functionality to WordPress’ image upload and management dialogs. This plugin also allows automatic resizing of images when they are uploaded and supports automatic and manual watermarking of images.

TinyMCE Advanced

wordpress cms

TinyMCE Advanced adds 15 plugins to TinyMCE: Advanced hr, Advanced Image, Advanced Link, Context Menu, Emotions (Smilies), Date and Time, IESpell, Layer, Nonbreaking, Print, Search and Replace, Style, Table, Visual Characters and XHTML Extras.

Side Content

wordpress cms

Side Content enables you to define a set of widgets which are effectively placeholders. Each one is empty until you assign content to it when editing a page. This enables you to extend the content of the page into the sidebar.

Multi-level Navigation

wordpress cms

Multi-level Navigation adds an SEO friendly, accessible dropdown/flyout/slider menu to your WordPress blog.

Dashboard Pages

wordpress cms

Rather than have a majority of the dashboard widgets focused on new blog posts and comments, Dashboard Pages puts the sites page listing front and center in the dashboard for easier and quicker content management.

Custom Admin Branding

wordpress cms

The Custom Admin Branding Plugin allows you to re-brand the WordPress login screen, the admin header and footer with your own custom images.

About the Author

Henry Jones is a web developer, designer, and entrepreneur with over 14 years of experience. He is the founder of WDL and ThemeTrust.

  • http://www.stooni.ch stooni

    Here can finde other good themes


    —- Stooni

  • http://www.designworkplan.com Sander

    I would also suggest the remove top level catogories plugin, as found in this plugin http://fortes.com/projects/wordpress/top-level-cats/

  • http://hontap.blogspot.com Rilwis

    Thank you very much for this cool list. I like the Pod plugin most :), it’s really useful for creating more type of posts.

    I’ve created a plugin Private Messages For WordPress. How do you think about it? It’s unmissable tool for a real CMS.

  • http://www.themedigital.com ThemeDigital

    Awesome list – Flutter and the Custom Admin Branding plugins are really useful for client work :) Thanks!

  • http://www.designfollow.com/ designfollow

    thanks for this pluqins

  • http://contentandcode.org akagitano

    I will also suggest wpml.org that transform wordpress in a multilingual content management system.

  • http://giteguru.com dave

    great list, bookmarked and off to try out pagemash now. I’ve found tdo miniforms to be invaluable for clever form to post functionality in CMS type sites I’ve built in the past: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tdo-mini-forms/

  • http://cmstutorials.org krike

    really nice, tinymce and pagemash was exactly what I was looking for 😀

  • http://www.professionalseoindia.com/ Dharak Sandeep

    Cool, This is nice post for word press themes. Thanks a lot for sharing wordpress themes.

  • http://shankerbakshi.com/blog Shanker Bakshi

    Good Share, i need to build a static website for one of my client next week , surely will fill in couple of plugins from here into that.

  • http://www.mkjones.co.uk mkjones

    Great posts but Flutter is buggy and Pods is a little too far removed from the WordPress flow IMO.

    I’d recommend ‘More Fields’ or ‘Custom Field Template’ which both do the same:


  • http://www.evowebdev.com/blog Ray Gulick

    I thought I knew about most of the CMS-enhancing WordPress plugins, but you’ve listed 3-4 I never heard of and can’t wait to check out. Thanks for this post.

  • zack

    I’d stay away from Cforms — it’s a beast of a plugin that doesn’t support automatic upgrading (and it prompts for an upgrade what seems to be every other day). Contact Forms 7 is much leaner, easy to customize, and painless to integrate.

  • http://www.txtfeeder.com kyle

    good post. I use most of those on my sites.
    I also like the sidebar generator plugin http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/sidebar-generator/

  • http://leap.ro/blog Andrei

    Truly good. More NGO projects should use these

  • http://www.smashingshare.com/ Waheed Akhtar

    Great list of CMS plugins. Never heard most of them. Would definitely give some of them a try.
    Thanks for sharing

  • http://planetozh.com/ Ozh

    “WordPress as a CMS” bwahahaha.

  • http://www.gregprogramming.com Greg

    I like the list 2 thoughts/questions:

    I found RoleScoper had too much going on and worst of all Does not uninstall nicely which to me is a HUGE negative. I use Role Manager now it’s quick and easy.

    Flutter: I’ve tried this because it seems to have great potential. My only problem is that there is not much documentation on it to really get into it; however, if any one has a good resource on it that would be a great share

  • http://www.anythinggraphic.net KDzyne

    Sweet list dude, thanks!

  • http://www.nopun.com Noel Wiggins

    I really dig the PageMash one !

    Thanks and Regards

    Noel for Nopun.com
    a professional graphic design studio

  • spoetnik

    WordPress as a CMS?? Why don’t just use a CMS then??

    • http://www.oberharzer-wildseo.de oberharzer.wildSEO

      yeah man, that’s right. in my opinion wordpress is one of the best systems for presenting awesome websites. but when looking for real-cms functionality i would use other systems than wp. please don’t misunderstand my words. i like, no, i love wp and most of the time i spend with is this one.
      but why don’t using a cms where most functions are “onboard” like real user access control? why using wp as a, for example, intranet solution? why putting up a (huge) amount of work and spending time for concepts, creation, development, maybe design, maintenance and servcing?

  • http://www.givision.net GIVISION | Jiri Mocicka

    Thanks for the WP-CMS Post Control.

  • http://lmjabreu.com lmjabreu

    Dear lord, hacking a blogging platform into a rudimentary cms.

  • http://www.bigtunainteractive.com Adam Hermsdorfer

    Good list. I’m going to try out the custom admin branding plugin.

  • http://siyudis.com yudhistira

    nice info, I’ll try it out thanks :)

  • Henning

    Yes, WordPress can run as a CMS! But there some changes to make – a site like http://www.prepaid-kreditkarte.com/ use WordPress.

  • http://www.yummygum.nl leon

    I don’t understand why all ‘WP as a CMS plugins’-posts list Pagemash. It’s only compatible up to WP 2.7.1.

  • Gabi

    I don’t understand why people complain about using wordpress as a CMS, it manages content! Ok, it doesn’t have some of the functionality out the box as some of the other competitors do, however, this is an excellent product.!

  • http://agapetry.net Kevin Behrens

    If you read the Role Scoper FAQ, I clearly state that its functionality is entirely different from Role Manager. Role Scoper is all about assigning category-specific or page-specific restrictions and roles. This brings a lot of implications and options. Role Manager / Capability Manager simply changes the capability set for blog-wide WordPress roles. If that’s all you want, the solution is to install RM/CM and not Role Scoper :)

    I don’t know what Greg meant about not uninstalling nicely. In 18 months of release, that has not been a complaint I’ve heard. I will check with him directly. If anyone else has a problem, feel free to leave a detailed description in the Role Scoper support forum.

  • http://www.estudioray.com Michelle

    Thank you for this information. Lends a little insight in some areas.

  • http://www.inspiredcss.com InspiredCSS

    This is a great list and just what i’m looking for. Thanks for the information

  • http://www.wesst..org Nina Anthony

    I’m researching forms plugins so appreciated the info about cFormsII. @Zack: I appreciate your feedback about cForms complexity and will check out Contact Forms 7. I also really like Kiernan O’Shea’s calendar plugin and would appreciate any feedback about that plugin.

  • http://bookistan.blogspot.com waqas

    nice collection

  • http://www.pallyweb.com Shahzad Hassan

    thanks …using all tips in my blog..keep it up..
    nice posts

  • http://www.tristanbotly.com Tristan Botly

    FYI Guys

    If you would like to display your pages in a windows explorer style drop down on your dashboard then I built this plugin:


    Any feedback or issues would be really helpful on the comments section thanks.


  • http://item-9.com Jason Pelker

    You missed a very important plugin I found last week–CMS Press: http://vocecommunications.com/services/web-development/wordpress/plugins/cms-press/ .

    It’s not in the repository, but it gives you the ability to create and manage custom content types and taxonomies for your WordPress site (introduced in versions 2.8-2.9).

    It’s basically the precurser to built-in functionality that’ll be included in 3.0 and the missing piece to the CMS puzzle.

  • http://battlelive.com Erwin Caravana

    Thanks for the list with pictures. Made it real easy to find which plugins that I was missing. I found atleast 4 new plugins here. Nice work.

  • http://www.lilyboys.com Shepdaddy

    Thanks for the posts. I use WP as a CMS all the time and some of these plugins look useful.