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How to organize your WordPress site

I’ve been working on a lot of different WordPress sites and I’m noticing a few things. People are using lot’s of plugins, lot’s of posts, lot’s of categories, and lot’s of tags. So I’d like to share a few tips on how to organize your WordPress site.

When you log into WordPress the only place to place content in are “Posts” and “Pages” by default.

Posts

Try to think of posts as articles that you are going to constantly write. This is what blogging is. Every time you have an idea or something that you want to share with the world, you “post” it on your site. It’s then dated, by an author, categorized and tagged.

Post Categories
This is how you should organize the posts or “articles” that you write. For instance, this blog is a Genesis Web Development Blog. So my categories are “Genesis Framework”, “HTML/CSS”, “Javascript”, “Better Web Design”, and “Misc”.

Each category a general word or phrase that says what the article is about. If you want to add more “key phrases” to further describe your article, you would add those in tags.

Post Tags
When adding tags to your articles, try keep them consistent. For instance, this article that I’m writing will go under the “Better Web Design” category, but because I’m discussing WordPress and it’s a How To article, I’ll add those as tags. When someone clicks on the tags, they’ll find posts related to that topic.

You can add as many tags as you like. When it comes to categories, I would only add one or two at most. You’re article may fall under more categories, but if it does, see if you can condense how it’s structured, and replace some categories with tags.

Pages

Pages should be used as parts of your website that don’t really change much. For example, if you want to write about yourself or your company, you wouldn’t create an “About Me” post, you would create a page.

The pages you create should be dedicated sections on your website. These also relate to what your menu or “navigation” should be.

[sws_ui_box ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” ui_state=”ui-state-highlight” icon=”ui-icon-info”]Note: When you hear a designer or developer say, “Ok, what would you like your navigation to be” What he’s saying is, what top level pages would you like as dedicated sections for your site. They can of course be broken down into other pages, but these are the parts of your site that aren’t going to change much. [/sws_ui_box]

Custom Post Types

WordPress is becoming more and more amazing and time passes. There’s something in WordPress called Custom Post Types. This is where some real organization can come in.

What many people do on there websites is add everything to “posts”. Then when they need to separate sections, they’ll just add new categories. So in “posts” you may see categories like events, news, blog, market, etc.

Though this may work, it starts to become very large and cluttered with the more things that you add.

What I think should be done is instead of coming up with categories for each section, make a custom post type. To summarize, a custom post type is a section in the admin of your site, similar to “posts” except it’s solely dedicated to whatever you want.

So instead of clicking “Posts”, then adding a category for “news”. You would create a custom post type called “News”. Now you’ll have an added link to your administration menu titled “News” where you’ll be able to fully manage all of your “News” articles exactly how you would posts.

If you’re not familiar with creating custom post types, there’s a great free plugin called “WP-Types” that will do all the work for you! (Just scroll to the bottom of the linked page)

One Step Further

If you really want to get creative and organized, you can color code your admin menu. This way, when you login, instead of everything being grey, you can change the one link that you use the most to a different color so that it stands out!

Here’s how:

[php]add_action(‘admin_head’, ‘my_custom_fonts’);

function my_custom_fonts() {
echo ‘<style>
#menu-links {
background-color: #A2E5F1;
}
</style>’;
}[/php]

That will change the links menu by giving it a light blue background!’


Have any other organizing tips or plugins?? I’d love to know about them! Share in the comments!

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About the Author
What's UP! This is my site, I write 99% of the articles on here. I'm also the owner of SureFireWebServices.com. I help out a lot of developers and designers getting into the web game. Helping is fun for me, so feel free to ask me any questions! I've made courses and have a membership as well to help get you on your feet!

0 comments on How to organize your WordPress site

  1. Carrie Dils says:

    I did not know about custom coloring menu items in admin. That rocks!! I used Firebug to find out the CSS id for my custom post type menu item. Great tips!

    1. SureFireWeb says:

      Yeah, there was actually a plugin that made it easy too, I just couldn’t find it. The snippet is easy enough though =)

  2. Carrie Dils says:

    p.s. I second your recommendation for WP-Types (and Views). The more I use it, the more I love it.

    1. SureFireWeb says:

      It is pretty damn sweet, though not perfect, but for the average site, it’s more then enough to get things accomplished!! I’m actually a “featured” consultant on their site, so if you need help with anything, let me know!!

      1. Carrie Dils says:

        Oh that’s awesome! Will do!

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