Noupe Editorial Team May 27th, 2009

40 Exceptional “CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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Noupe Editorial Team

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WordPress is a great blogging platform with a potential of being an easy to use content management system. This is the third article of our three-part series, “The Comprehensive Guide for a Powerful CMS using WordPress”. We are taking a look at 40+ quality and useful WordPress Plug-ins that will turn a simple WordPress site into a blazing fast dynamic one, with easily managed content, that you and your clients will love to use.

The Comprehensive Guide for a Powerful CMS using WordPress – Part 1
The Comprehensive Guide for a Powerful CMS using WordPress – Part 2

Making Your Content Unbreakable

There is one big drawback to using WordPress as a CMS: the lack of custom content types/groups, an area where developers put restrictions on how clients insert content. This is fairly easy to do with some knowledge of custom fields, but can be a little complicated if your client is new to WordPress. Developers must create workarounds to keep the content clean, portable and relatively unbreakable.

1. More Fields Plugin

More Fields is a WordPress plugin that adds boxes to the Write/Edit page. These boxes contains input fields, so that additional (more) fields can be added to a post. For example, if you write about books, you can add a box where you can enter title and author, etc. The boxes can be placed either to the right or to the left on the Write/Edit page.

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2. Creating Custom Content Type with Flutter Plugin

Flutter is made precisely for CMS-making, allows you to create custom Write Panel (Posts, Pages, and Theme Options). This, basically, is a custom content type in which you can add your own fields. So, if a WordPress installation gives you two different content types (Post and Page), Flutter enables you to add more Write Panels to your likings. You can create any type of field (File Uploads, Audio, Video, Checkboxes, Dropdowns) to make as simple as possible for your client or yourself to enter content.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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3. Post Templates Plugin

If you find yourself writing posts and pages on a regular basis which have the same structure, then this plugin would be a great addition to your WordPress plugin arsenal. This could be very useful for clients who have no idea how to get started to write a new page or post. Written by Vincent Prat, Post Templates plugin helps you save time blogging by letting you save and recall templates for writing posts and pages.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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4. WP-CMS Post Control Plugin

This plugin gives you complete control over your write options. It 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.

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Managing Users and their Roles

1. User Access Manager Plugin

This plugin is useful if you need a member area or a private section at your blog or you want that other people can write at your blog but not everywhere. Features include:

  • User groups
  • Set seperate access for readers and editors
  • Set access by user groups
  • Set access by post categories
  • User-defined post/page title (if no access)
  • User-defined post/page text (if no access)
  • Optional login form (if no access)
  • User-defined comment text (if no access)

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2. Role Scoper Plugin

Role Scoper is a comprehensive enrichment for access control in WordPress, giving you CMS-like control of permissions. Assign reading, editing or administration roles to users or groups on a page-specific, category-specific or other content-specific basis.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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3. Role Manager Plugin

This Plugin allows you to define and manage multiple subscriber profiles – called Roles and their Capabilities. Also you can create new Roles and Capabilities.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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4. Member Access Plugin

Member Access allows a WordPress administrator to make individual posts and pages accessible only to logged-in members. Member Access allows global configuration so that all posts or pages can be viewable by everyone (the default) or only by members, and it also allows each post and page to override the global setting.

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Better & Smart Navigation

1. WP-PageNavi Plugin

Adds a more advanced paging navigation your WordPress blog. Example: Pages (17): [1] 2 3 4 » … Last »

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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2. WordPress Navigation List Plugin

The plugin gives you the ability to create unique site navigation from your pages, categories and users using a Drag ‘n Drop Interface; arrange the items within a group in any arbitrary order. Navigation groups may be composed of any combination of pages, categories, Authors, (Editors, Contributors, Subscribers), internal/external links and list dividers. This plugin has a lot of other great features, you have to check it out.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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3. Multi-level Navigation Plugin

Adds an SEO friendly, accessible dropdown/flyout/slider menu to your WordPress blog. The plugin generates the code necessary to create a Son of Suckerfish horizontal dropdown, vertical flyout or horizontal slider menu. The plugin produces W3C valid HTML and CSS and only requires Javascript to function for very old browsers such as IE 6. Check out the demo here. The options page allows you to choose from a range of options including:

  • What content will be displayed in the menu
  • Animation speed (how fast the dropdowns appear)
  • Mouseover delay
  • Hide delay
  • Add a second menu

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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4. Yoast Breadcrumbs Plugin

Breadcrumbs are the links, usually above the title post, that look like “Home > Articles > WordPress SEO”. They are good for two things: a) They allow your users to easily navigate your site. b) They allow search engines to determine the structure of your site more easily.

These breadcrumbs should link back to the homepage, and the category the post is in. This plugin allows you to add breadcrumbs to your theme.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

5. Simple Sidebar Navigation Plugin

This plugin adds a widget into the Widgets dashboard that allows in a simple way, without writing any PHP code on your part, to create custom navigation in any sidebar pre-defined by your WP theme. Features include:

  • Flat and multi-level navigation hierarchy for existing pages and custom links.
  • Very flexible conditional appearance options.
  • Out-of-the-box Suckerfish support.
  • Option to add navigation links with custom title, url and target attribute.
  • Unlimited number of navigation widgets.
  • Optional setting includes blog posts into the navigation selection list (only pages are available by default).
  • Support for custom drop-down menus CSS.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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Having a Multilingual Site

Writing multilingual content is already hard enough, so why go extra mile without making sure you already have a good plan to manage translation on your blog. Check out the plugins below that will help you have a fully featured multilingual CMS.

1. WPML Multilingual CMS Plugin

Turns WordPress sites into a fully featured multilingual content management system (CMS). WPML helps it go the extra mile. Features include: 1) Multilingual content support based on Drupal i18n architecture. 2) CMS navigation allows adding drop down menus, breadcrumbs trail and sidebar navigation (all wigetized). 3) Creates internal Sticky Links so that they never break. You can read more about the capabilities of this powerful plugin here.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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2. xLanguage Plugin

xLanguage is a full featured plugin allows you to blog in different language, and allows user to select which version to read. It works for blog post, page, tags, categories. The user language preferences will also select the right theme and plugins MO files.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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3. qTranslate Plugin

qTranslate makes creation of multilingual content as easy as working with a single language. Here are some features:

  • qTranslate Services – Professional human and automated machine translation with two clicks
  • One-Click-Switching between the languages – Change the language as easy as switching between Visual and HTML
  • Language customizations without changing the .mo files – Use Quick-Tags instead for easy localization
  • Multilingual dates out of the box – Translates dates and time for you
  • Comes with a lot of languages already builtin! – English, German, Simplified Chinese and a lot of others

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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Easily Manage Categories, Pages and Posts

1. Idealien Category Enhancements Plugin

Manage category templates as easily as you manage page templates. Select which apply through the post > categories menu using file names that make sense, not category ID numbers. Now any views of the category (or sub-categories) will render the according to the category template selected. Posts in a given category can also use a category-based template.

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2. pageMash > Page Management Plugin

Customise the order your pages are listed in and manage the parent structure with this simple ajax drag-and-drop administrative interface with an option to toggle the page to be hidden from output. Great tool to quickly re-arrange your page menus.

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3. Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin (YARPP) gives you a list of posts and/or pages related to the current entry, introducing the reader to other relevant content on your site. Using a customizable algorithm considering post titles, content, tags, and categories, YARPP calculates a “match score” for each pair of posts on your blog.

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4. Exclude Pages Plugin

This plugin adds a checkbox, “include this page in menus”, which is checked by default. If you un-check it, the page will not appear in any listings of pages (which includes, and is usually limited to, your page navigation menus).

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5. WP No Category Base Plugin

As the name suggests this plugin will completely remove the mandatory ‘Category Base’ from your category permalinks ( e.g. to ).

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WordPress by default is pretty decent at letting search engines see what’s going on. But there are a whole bunch of plugins that can be used to make your blog rank better.

1. Google XML Sitemaps Plugin

This plugin will create a Google sitemaps compliant XML-Sitemap of your WordPress blog. It supports all of the WordPress generated pages as well as custom ones. Everytime you edit or create a post, your sitemap is updated and all major search engines that support the sitemap protocol, like, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO, are notified about the update.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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2. All in One SEO Pack Plugin

Optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines: page titles, meta tags, keywords, and descriptions. This plugin allows you to configure them for either your entire blog or on a post by post basis.

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3. Redirection Plugin

Redirection is a WordPress plugin to manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This is particularly useful if you are migrating pages from an old website, or are changing the directory of your WordPress installation.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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4. Permalinks Moved Permanently Plugin

If you just migrated your WordPress blog from one permalink structure to another, and you don’t want to lose Pagerank or traffic that accesses your blog through the old permalinks, this is for you.

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5. SEO Smart Links Plugin

SEO Smart Links provides automatic SEO benefits for your site in addition to custom keyword lists, nofollow and much more. SEO Smart Links can automatically link keywords and phrases in your posts and comments with corresponding posts, pages, categories and tags on your blog.

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6. Platinum SEO Pack Plugin

This is an improvised version of the AllinOne SEO plugin. It does everything that AllinOne was doing and also some extra cool features. It takes care of pretty much everything, a bit more advanced than a basic SEO plugin but easy to use as well.

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Highly customizable Widgets

1. Widgets Reloaded Plugin

Widgets Reloaded replaces many of the default widgets with versions that allow much more control. Widgets come with highly customizable control panels. Each widget can also be used any number of times.

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2. Flexi Pages Widget Plugin

Flexi Pages Widget is a highly configurable WordPress sidebar widget to list pages and sub-pages. Can be used as an alternative to the default ‘Pages’ widget. Features include:

  • Option to display sub-pages only in parent page and related pages.
  • Option to select and exclude certain pages from getting displayed in the list. Alternatively, only certain pages can be displayed by using the ‘include’ option.
  • Option to include a link to the home page.
  • Other options include title, sort column/order, hierarchical/flat format, show date.
  • Multiple instances of the widget. Unlimited number of instances of the widget can be added to the sidebar.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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3. SidePosts Widget Plugin

With this widget you select the category you want, and all entries with this category, will be shown on the sidebar instead the main blog. You will have then a small blog on the sidebar for those special entries. For each entry, you have the link to the post page. You can select the number to post to show and if must show only the post excerpt or the full post content (Also excerpt with thumbnails can be shown).

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4. Query Posts Widget Plugin

This widget has everything you’ll ever need to show posts on your site without touching code. It’s like having a WordPress developer ready to do your bidding all wrapped up in a widget. All you need is a theme that’s widgetized.

It lets you displays posts by nearly any criteria you can imagine using the query_posts() function, except you don’t need to know anything about PHP to use it. You can do all kinds of neat things: Posts by tag, Posts by category, Posts by author, Posts by time/date, Posts by custom field key and/or value, Choose any number, Show pages, Show the full post, excerpt, or even order them in a list, and much more…

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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Must Check Plugins

1. Search Everything Plugin

Search Everything increases the ability of the default WordPress Search, options included: Search Every Page, Search Every Tag, Search Every Category, Search non-password protected pages only, Search Every Comment, Search Every Custom Field, Exclude Posts from search, Exclude Categories from search and more.

“CMS Enabling” WordPress Plugins

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2. Subscribe2 Plugin

Subscribe2 provides a comprehensive subscription management and email notification system for WordPress blogs that sends email notifications to a list of subscribers when you publish new content to your blog. Email Notifications can be sent on a per-post basis or periodically in a Digest email.

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3. Exec-PHP Plugin

The Exec-PHP plugin executes PHP code in posts, pages and text widgets. Features include

  • Executes PHP code in the excerpt and the content portion of your posts and pages
  • Configurable execution of PHP code in text widgets (for WordPress 2.2 or higher)
  • Write PHP code in familiar syntax, eg.

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4. WP e-Commerce Plugin

The WP e-Commerce shopping cart plugin for WordPress is an elegant easy to use fully featured shopping cart application suitable for selling your products, services, and or fees online.

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5. NextGEN Gallery Plugin

NextGEN Gallery is a full integrated Image Gallery plugin for WordPress with a Flash slideshow option. It can turn a regular blog into a powerful photo-blog while giving you all the tools to manage it efficiently and easily.

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6. Contact Form 7 Plugin

Contact Form 7 can manage multiple contact forms, plus you can customize the form and the mail contents flexibly with simple markup. The form supports Ajax-powered submitting, CAPTCHA, Akismet spam filtering and so on.

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7. Viper’s Video Quicktags Plugin

Tired of copying and pasting the embed HTML from sites like YouTube? Then this plugin is for you. Simply click one of the new buttons that this plugin adds to the write screen (rich editor included) and then paste the URL that the video is located at into the prompt box — easy as that. You can fully configure how the videos are displayed (width, height, colors, alignment on the page) and much more.

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Noupe Editorial Team

The jungle is alive: Be it a collaboration between two or more authors or an article by an author not contributing regularly. In these cases you find the Noupe Editorial Team as the ones who made it. Guest authors get their own little bio boxes below the article, so watch out for these.


  1. Great list – is there a plugin that you’re aware of that will let posts/pages expire after a certain date/event? ie they no longer turn up in the loop or in search

  2. Great post and great list of plugins, but while WordPress can be a decent CMS for small to medium sites, it can’t do enterprise level content management. The workflow is just too basic for a start.

    1. What CMS’s are you comparing too? The ones I’ve helped clients install/adapt have far wore workflow than wordpress.

  3. Stunning! This is by far the best list of plugins I’ve ever encounted, this really takes WP to a whole new level and makes client usability far far easier.

  4. That was one of the best blog posts I’ve read in a long while.

    As someone who’s business revolves around WordPress, I was surprised to see myself downloading so many new plugins I’d never heard of before.

    I can’t wait to dig in and start using them :)

    Thanks so much!

    All the best.

  5. I don’t understand why the image in Role Scoper Plugin is the same with in WP-PageNavi Plugin. I think the image is suitable for WP-PageNavi Plugin lustration. CMIIW

  6. Excellent collection of very helpful plugins! Your post will be as my reference in wp cms plugins. Thanks very much for sharing.

  7. Hard work appreciated, very nice list, but i think you should add some more SEO plugin other than all in one SEO since it does not provide too much options like SEO platinum provide. Anyways i found the info given by you very useful to me. Thanks.

    1. In case you didn’t notice, the Platinum SEO Pack plugin is already on the list.
      Thanks for your comment, glad you found something useful here.

  8. About “Viper’s Video Quicktags Plugin” is to be said: It’s nice, but in some cases, it destroys the WYSIWYG editor.

    Currently I got a customer’s WP 2.7.1 install which wont work with this plugins, thus I’ currently re-implementing something very similar using TinyMCE Advanced (which is still missing in your “Must Haves”-list) and Poppy’s videos.

    cu, w0lf.

    1. Hey, nice to know that. Though i already installed “Viper’s Video Quicktags Plugin” before and it worked like a charm.
      But, your feedback is appreciated in case someone here have the same problem like your client, thanks for sharing :)

  9. Thanks for the great list.

    Is there a plug-in for an admin area “help system” for new and/or non-tech-savvy “contributors”? Sort of a pop-up hint on roll-over type of thing? Also something that adds an extra div with introduction and/or instructional content?

    Also need a plug-in that hides everything in the admin area for “contributors” accept what they need to create and/or edit an existing post – keeping it as simple as possible for them (admins would see everything).

    Thanks again for a great article!

  10. This is amazing list…wordpress has always been a best blogging tool and now if it can be used as CMS then I think all those paid CMS has a fight in their hands.


  11. This is a great post. Thank you! My company focuses on TYPO3 for content management systems, but we also recommend and use WordPress for some clients if WordPress would better serve their needs. This article really define what WordPress is capable of.


  12. Bookmarked. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Making an “encyclopedia” for a non-profit. Will consist of links to research, etc. for making new programs. I’m going to need a lot of these. Thanks again.

  13. Awesome list, Mr. Noupe. Thanks to plugins, WP is so flexible and powerful, but also can get overwhelming. Thanks for taking the time to sort these out!

    1. There is no need to change any snetitgs in the wp-config.php file. Yes, you install the plugin into your site, then you install it in an empty instance of wordpress at the new location, then click generate on the original site, then download the file, then upload the file into the new empty install at the new location.

  14. It’s great to have all these plugins listed in one place. Some I already use, some I’ve heard of and some I want to try.

  15. This is probably the best and most comprehensive list I have ever seen. A lot of those plugins I am already running, but there are a lot I need to take a serious look at.

    There are a couple that I recommend that you add – one is a light box effect for images and a slideshow with preview images for articles.

    I was really hoping to find, was a slideshow with a preview image and where it links to an article. Nextgen gallery has a slideshow, but I want something that links to certain articles.

  16. Hello,
    I already use some of your side plugins and as mentioned, I have over 70 plugins in use, do I enjoy the whole thing with caution.

    However, you mentioned many plugins that make WordPress as a CMS more user-friendly and effective. Thank you for this compilation of useful plugins.

  17. Thanks for including Role Scoper in this list.

    Readers here should also appreciate my just-completed Revisionary plugin. It allows for moderated revisions to published posts and pages. Also enables fully qualified authors / editors to schedule changes for future publication.

  18. Wow – this lists totally rocks. I’ve tried most of them, but a few new ones need to be checked out. Thanks so much for putting this list together. And I love the CSS behind your blog – that pink, and large fonts for your title is perfect. Great work.

  19. Search Everything does improve search by adding more stuff that gets indexed, but it doesn’t really improve the quality. Try Relevanssi, a better search plugin I created. It can search shortcode content, comments, tags, categories and trackbacks, and it also makes the search results much better. It can also create custom excerpts that highlight the search term hits.

  20. Hello

    Just wanted to provide my own suggestion.

    I use a tool for making menus for my WP site and its worked like a charm. Its called AllWebMenus WordPress Menu Addin and, if interested, you can take a look at:


  21. Maybe you would like to add my plugin “IM8 Box Hide”? It hides Metaboxes based on roles and capabilities and also works with additional roles (for example Jordi Canals “Capability Manager”) and additional plugin metaboxes (All in one SEO, Mappress, …).

  22. As a SEO plugin I’d add Broken Link Checker. You don’t want to have broken links on your page would you. They come from comment’s websites usualy.

  23. What an excellent collection of plugins! One plugin that definitely should be added to this list is the Custom Post Widget which allows you to flexibly use specific custom posts called ‘Content Blocks’ in the widget areas of your website.

    This plugin not only makes WordPress a much more flexible CMS, but it also helps if you content editors don’t have admin rights (which they shouldn’t) as non-admin users cannot edit regular text widgets.

  24. Great list. A lot of these, I’ve seen. Some are new to me. Always looking for more ways to extend WordPress as a CMS.

    Another good one I’ve found: Page Widget. It allows users who don’t know HTML to customize their widgets. Extremely helpful since so many who want CMSs want it for the ability to customize on their own.

    I’ve also found Back-End Instructions for leaving detailed how-to’s for clients in WP.

  25. I like the list. My big question is, what members access only plug-in do you recommend. I imagine that the three you mentioned step on eachother’s feet.

  26. Great list, I already use a bunch of these and add them with every single WP installation. Invaluable in my opinion are: WP-CMS Post Control, More Fields, Post Templates, YARPP, Redirection alongside my chosen standard SEO + Sitemap + Analytics ones.

    As far as multilingual, you should also include PolyLang. :)

    Oh and for me, “HeadSpace2 SEO” is much much more powerful than “All in One SEO Pack”.

    Thanks for the bunch.

  27. Terrific list of plugins most lists don’t include. Instead of YARPP, which uses a lot of bandwidth, I use LinkedWithin, which offers thumbnail photos from relevant posts.

  28. it is longer maybe slightly a pain in the bum but for the client it is very worth it.
    I am interested in EE i have come across it a few times but it doesn’t seem to be very good when viewing the demo.

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