July 23, 2024

12 Essential Plugins that Extend WordPress as a CMS

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.


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


  1. zack Reply

    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.

  2. Greg Reply

    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

    1. oberharzer.wildSEO Reply

      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?

  3. Gabi Reply

    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.!

  4. Kevin Behrens Reply

    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.

  5. Nina Anthony Reply

    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *