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There are many lists of the best plugins for taking WordPress from a blogging platform to a full-blown content management system. Which plugins you use will often depend on the theme you have chosen and site-specific needs. But for someone just starting to work with WordPress as a content management system (CMS), here are some that we have used at HB Design.

The basic WordPress setup, out of the box, is fine for doing blog posts. But when working with a CMS, you are more often working with pages.  The following plugins make managing and editing pages easier.

  1. CMS Tree Page View
    Adds a CMS-like tree view of all your pages, like the view often found in a page-focused CMS. Use the tree view to edit, view, add pages and search pages (very useful if you have many pages). And with drag-and-drop you can rearrange the order of your pages.
    Visit the plugin site >
  2. Page Builder by SiteOrigin
    Build responsive page layouts using the widgets you know and love using this simple drag-and-drop page builder. There are other tools out there like Carrington Build, but this plugin does the job just fine, and it is free. Building complicated page layouts with multiple columns is easy with this plugin.
    Visit the plugin site >
  3. Black Studio TinyMCE Widget
    One of the mysteries of WordPress is that the widgets don’t come with a WYSIWYG editor. This plugin adds a WYSIWYG widget based on the standard TinyMCE WordPress visual editor, making it easy to build custom widget-based sidebars.
    Visit the plugin site >
  4. TinyMCE Advanced
    Enables advanced features and plugins in TinyMCE, the visual editor in WordPress, including editor options for tables. Visit the plugin site >

These plugins are just the start.  If you need custom content types  (called custom post types in WordPress) to define content such as press releases then you can look at  Types – Custom Fields and Custom Post Types Management.  It makes the creation and management of custom types easy.

And, for SEO you have several choices, but one that is often at the top of the lists of recommendations  is WordPress SEO by Yoast