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Using wordpress.com as a CMS-- examples needed

  1. I am attempting to create a more "traditional" website for a nonprofit organization. My site (not finished yet!) is at http://animalharbor.wordpress.com

    I have spent quite a bit of time searching the faq, forums, and google for tips and examples on using wordpress.com as a content management system for a more traditional website that has one or more "blog" pages. I have gathered that the wordpress.org software provides more options for this, but I am not skilled enough at this point to manage my own installation.

    So I'm asking here for examples of sites that are taking full advantage of wordpress's CMS features on the hosted platform. I'm kind of stuck on some navigation issues and need some ideas on where to put content. I find myself wanting to have sub-navigation or sidebars that change for each page, but that's not possible, so I need to find a way to use categories and links in addition to the main nav bar.

    Sorry this is such a long post and that I don't have a concise question, but if I could see some examples of how other sites work and see something that I want to incorporate into my site, I would be able to ask how they do a specific thing.

    Thank you so much for anything you can suggest.

  2. Just to point out that wordpress.com blogs can't be used to advertise. I'm not sure where your animal shelter falls under this rule, but I'm pretty certain that the ebay shop linked to on the blog isn't permitted. Sorry.

  3. I do really think that .org is a better option for this kind of site. You get a far wider choice of themes, many of which are geared up for CMS use in a way that wordpress.com themes just aren't, you can add plugins for extra functionality, and you don't have to tread on eggshells worrying about what links will get your blog deleted and wipe out all your hard work. If you ask on the forums or the lists you may be able to find an animal-loving developer willing to handle hosting, setup and maintenance for you.

  4. Thanks for the tip about the ebay link. It's gone.

  5. Lots of universities are actually using WordPress as a CMS--it's free, and you can set up a basic template and distribute it.

    One example I know of:
    http://provost.msu.edu/

    Some parts of Purdue were doing this as well, but I can't remember which ones to give you a sample URL.

    I agree with wank--a dot.org will be a more recognizable address.
    Wordpress as a CMS works just fine, though!

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