Manage Your WordPress Content Smartly

As content authors and bloggers you always want to offer the most useful content to the readers. You want to make it easy for them to find the right information. At the same time, as your content grows you want to make sure that it is easy to maintain. In this post, I will talk about some basic to advanced tips on how to manage your WordPress content smartly. If you are already an avid WordPress user, you can jump to the advanced tips. Please use these as the basis to get you started. If you would like to share any tips that you have found useful, please feel free to share in the comments.

Basic Content Management Tips

Decide a good URL naming convention

Content Management systems like WordPress make it a breeze to publish content. However, it is important to understand what URL will be formed and it is a good idea to choose a pattern that aligns with your needs the best. Following are some basic guidelines.

  • If your site is mostly static pages (not regular blogs), a URL pattern like http://site/%category%/%post% is a good choice. An example URL using this convention is https://cloudnineapps.com/products/wordpress-plugins.
  • If you publish content at regular interval, such as, regular blog posts, a URL pattern like http://site/%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%/ is a good choice. An example would be https://cloudnineapps.com/2018/06/smart-wordpress-content. This makes it easy to put a time context in your URL. Also, by having the post title in the URL, you still have an SEO friendly URL.
Tip
  • URL pattern can be changed via WordPress Admin->Settings->Permalinks.
  • By default, WordPress does not provide category support for pages. However, there is a a neat plugin for this – Post Tags and Categories for Pages.

Posts vs Pages

I know, I know. This must have been discussed numerous times before. But, it is critical to understand when to use which one. Here are some guidelines.

When to use a Page?

  • A Page is a good candidate for static content or content that does not change very often. A good example would be about us, privacy policy, home page. In addition, if you sell products or other content, setting up page for each such content is a good idea.
  • You can also use Page for helping with site navigation. For example, at Cloud Nine Apps, we use pages to organize the menu navigation links. So, when a user clicks on these menu links, they get a nice summary of that menu as opposed to a blog post view that may chop off content. Take a look at the couple links below to get a feel.
    https://cloudnineapps.com/products/wordpress-plugins/
    https://cloudnineapps.com/support/

When to use a Post?

  • Post is a great choice for regularly authored content, such as, blogs.
  • WordPress provides several out-of-the-box capabilities to present posts, such as, organizing posts in categories and search posts (that also shows post excerpts).
  • If you are interested in WordPress plugin development, you will particularly find post interesting as it is the base object for WordPress content including any custom content type (a.k.a. custom post type) that you may develop. If you would like to learn more about plugin development, please check out Writing Your First WordPress Plugin.

Organizing Media Content

When talking about content management, it is important to keep any media content in mind as well. This is a very likely candidate that can get easily disorganized making it harder to find the most relevant content. The good news is you can organize media content as well. I prefer to organize media content in a well-defined folder structure. Here is an example.

As a content author, this makes locating media more easy and you can keep building on top of it. In order to use media this way, you simply need to upload content under the WordPress uploads folder (similar to the one shown above) and use a plugin like Media Library Folders for WordPress to sync folders and regenerate the thumbnails.

Advanced Content Management Tips

Let’s talk about the text content itself now, which is the bulk of content for a vast majority of sites. How can you manage it more smartly? Here are some thoughts.

  • Dissect your content to see if it can be modularized. For example, you may have several blog posts and pages that repeat the setup instructions, product features, etc. Tomorrow, if you were to add another step or amend this content, you have to update all these posts/pages. So, when you look at modularization, think of reusability aspect.
  • Do you have content that is constantly changing, such as, promotion codes, coupons, etc? And, there are links all over your site. If you change the coupon code, you have to update in multiple places.
  • Lastly, when you work on big content releases, at times you may want to put all the content out there, but not make it open to public yet. Only make it available to a few selected users. And, when time comes, you want to simply hit a magic button to make the content live!

This is precisely where our content management plugins C9 Variables (free) and C9 Variables Pro (paid) come in handy.

These let you define the reusable content as variables. Then, you can simply use the convenient c9-vars-insert shortcode in posts and pages to use these variables. And, when these posts/pages are shown the plugin dynamically gets the variable value to show the full post/page. This way you get 2 benefits straightway.

  1. Avoid content repetition.
  2. Whenever you have an update for the variable content, simply update the variable in one place and all referring posts/pages will see the latest value.

These plugins integrate into the WordPress visual editor itself making it easy to lookup and insert variables. If you would like to see these in action, please see the C9 Variables Demo.

The free plugin is fully functional and supports up to 10 variables. So, go ahead and give it a try. The Pro plugin offers unlimited variables support along with more productivity enhancement features (such as, mark favorite variables and use most recently used variables).

Conclusion

Whether you have a website with static pages or a dynamic website that is constantly enriched by posts, it is crucial to have a content management strategy. It starts with basic things like URL naming conventions, using pages vs posts and organizing media content. Then, to manage your page and post content more smartly, consider use of plugins like C9 Variables and C9 Variables Pro that make it easy to define and manage reusable content.

Happy authoring!
– Nitin

Build smart reusable content that is easy to maintain.

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